This article covers some basic rules and tips on how to tripsit someone through a drug experience in life. Additional to this page, you can pick up some extra tips on attitudes and what to say on How To Tripsit Online.

Common Duties

A responsible trip sitter assists a drug user before, during, and after their experience; it is their responsibility to help the user by making sure they drink enough water, giving them conversation when needed and assisting them in moving around when needed, and generally doing whatever necessary to ensure their comfort throughout the trip.

Before The Experience

It is important that the sitter be a source of stability and safety for the tripper. It is extraordinarily helpful for the tripper to see you as knowledgeable. The responsible trip sitter will thoroughly research the substance which will be ingested (as well as the users) in order to answer all potential questions the user may have, and to prepare for any potential crisis situations it may cause. The sitter will discuss this research in detail with the user; it is also considered important to talk to the user about any ground rules for the session, how to handle any emergencies that may arise, and what, if any, guidance will be wanted during the trip. A trip sitter will also frequently help a drug user create a healthy set and setting for the experience. They do this by making sure the user's surroundings are comfortable and orderly, adjusting lighting, temperature, and music (if any) to suit the desired tone of the trip, and overall doing whatever they can to maximize the user's openness to the experience and minimize their fear.

A good trip sitter will make sure that the person they're sitting is ingesting substances responsibly; eg. not mixing substances which have dangerous interactions, not mixing a substance when taking it for the first time, etc.

When in doubt, it is better to contact emergency services than to be responsible for bodily harm or death. This advice presupposes that you are knowledgeable and capable of distinguishing between benign and potentially life-threatening symptoms.

During the Psychedelic Experience

A sitter typically remains present for the entire experience. In some cases, they may actively guide the experience of the user by adjusting their environment or through guided meditation or visualization. In other cases, they stay uninvolved except when the user has questions, fears, or needs for which the sitter can provide (such as making sure the user drinks enough water). Assistance in facing fears may be especially necessary if the experience turns into a bad trip. In order to maintain the immediate well-being of the drug user, it is important for the sitter to know what situations he/she can or cannot handle on his/her own, and when to call for professional medical assistance.

Although the sitter may be called upon to intervene during a difficult situation, bad trip, or medical crisis, the mere presence of a caring sitter is often enough to keep a user comfortable and even enable deeper exploration of the drug's effects. The experience of being present during an especially powerful experience, such as when the user reaches new insight into themselves or their beliefs about the nature of the universe, is reportedly quite rewarding.

Things to avoid doing include constantly asking the tripper how they are doing or questions such as "What are you seeing?" Questions like this can become quite annoying.

Dealing With Psychotic Episodes

Psychedelic compounds are known to induce psychosis or cause the manifestation of latent mental illness. In this situation contacting emergency services is paramount: identifying and treating someone in the early stages of a psychosis can improve their long-term outcome. However, it is important to make the distinction between a bad trip and psychosis. Psychosis is generally given to diverse types of hallucinations or delusional beliefs; e.g. grandiosity, delusions of persecution. Individuals who have a substance induced psychosis tend to have a greater awareness of their psychosis and tend to have higher levels of suicidal thinking compared to individuals who have a primary psychotic illness. Primary psychiatric causes of psychosis include the following:

  • Schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder
  • Affective (mood) disorders, including severe depression, and severe depression or mania in bipolar disorder (manic depression). People experiencing a psychotic episode in the context of depression may experience persecutory or self-blaming delusions, while people experiencing a psychotic episode in the context of mania may form grandiose delusions
  • Schizoaffective disorder, involving symptoms of both schizophrenia and mood disorders
  • Brief psychotic disorder, or acute/transient psychotic disorder
  • Delusional disorder (persistent delusional disorder)
  • Chronic hallucinatory psychosis

Your safety and the user's mental and physical health are more valuable than being questioned by the police or similar. Here are some guidelines for dealing with somebody that is mentally unstable in a situation where you are unable to contact emergency services:

  • A psychotic friend may be frightened or unable to communicate their thoughts due to 'brain fog' or a fear of expressing themselves for any number of delusional reasons. A person who feels persecuted or worried for their own safety may be on edge. Your goal is to be patient, non-judgemental, and caring.
  • Evaluate the risk of harm to yourself or the psychotic friend. If you feel that you are in danger, leave if you can. If your friend is armed, do not attempt to disarm them. Distance yourself immediately.
  • Take threats very seriously, a friend in a state of psychosis is not the person that you know and care for. Assume that they will follow through on threats of bodily harm.
  • The appropriate course of action must be improvised if your friend has become violent. You are risking your own safety by remaining in proximity to this person.
  • Do not touch them without permission. Avoid laughing, sudden movements, or anything that may appear to be an attempt to hinder your friend's movement or verbal expression. Remain calm, composed, and non-confrontational.
  • Ask them what will help them to feel safe and in control. Do your best to comply with reasonable requests. Find out if there is somebody that this person can contact whom they trust, such as a sibling who is aware of their drug use.
  • If emergency services arrive, explain who they are, and help your friend to understand that they are here to assist them.

Dealing With an Overdose

If you believe that the tripper has overdosed, here are some guidelines:

  • Contact emergency services immediately. Do not hesitate for a moment, it could be the difference between life and death.
  • Do not tell them that they are going to die. Avoid the word 'death' if possible. This will only cause them to panic, potentially exacerbating any adverse physiological reaction.
  • Reassure them that they will be OK. You may or may not want to tell them that you've called for an ambulance. They may begin to panic and/or attempt to flee. When the police/EMTs/paramedics arrive, reassure them that they are not in any legal trouble and that they are only here to help them.

After The Trip

A sitter may help the drug user to integrate or understand their experiences when the trip is complete. Just as they did before, and during the trip, they may reassure the user about any fears or worries that have occurred. This discussion may take place immediately after the drug's effects have worn off, or they may wait until a later date.

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