Do you have any thoughts on microdosing to get through family holidays? I heard new parents were microdosing to ease the stress of parenting and thought why couldn’t this work for family dynamics in general?
This totally depends on your relationship with microdosing as a whole. No drug is a silver bullet, but some drug regimens and doses can help certain people with certain things more than others. If you’ve found that microdosing is an effective way for you to improve your mood throughout an average day, it might very well be worth trying during family holidays, with a few words of caution.
- If you overshoot your microdose, you might end up in one of those threshold states where you’re more emotionally impacted by things than you normally would be. This can happen if you’re in a stressful situation or there’s some mildly sad thing that ends up making you cry/feel more emotions than you’d otherwise expect. (Example: Feeling a sense of joy at your family being together, followed by a recognition of the passage of time, and then bursting into tears.)
- Depending on what you’re microdosing (mushrooms or acid, most likely) you might end up having a harder time sleeping if you take it too late in the day.
- Again, if you overshoot your dose it might be hard to explain to your relatives why you think that one joke is so funny and can’t stop laughing about it, or why you’re having a hard time forming sentences/picking up on social cues.
For this reason, I advise against mushroom chocolates, acid gummies, or any other form of psychedelic that’s difficult to dose with consistency. Volumetric dosing for acid is probably your best bet, as well as grinding up and capping 0.1 g of mushrooms. (Each batch and individual mushroom contains a varying quantity of psilocybin, so 0.1 might be different each time, but is generally a pretty safe sub-threshold dose.)
What substances are more likely to lead to dehydration or heat stroke and what is the best way to stay hydrated?
I always tell people that the biggest risk of MDMA (ecstasy) use is overheating. Stimulants in general, tend to raise your body temperature, which can lead to hyperthermia and/or dehydration – especially if you are, for example, doing coke while rolling. Alcohol also dehydrates you by making you urinate more frequently, which causes you to lose more fluids than normal.
I’m glad that the question about hydration was raised, because it’s actually more common than people realize for folks to experience hyponatremia, which is overhydration. “Natremia” refers to salt, and “hypo” means under. Too much salt and not enough water (hypernatremia) is dehydration, and too little salt and too much water (hyponatremia) is overhydration. Both conditions can be unpleasant or dangerous in different ways.
I love the electrolyte mixture Liquid IV and that’s usually what I direct people to, but it does have a lot of sugar in it. Other electrolyte powders or tablets, often sold in outdoors sport stores or health food markets, sometimes use sugar alternatives. Pedialyte, another electrolyte mixture, is the most standard and unpleasant-tasting of the electrolyte fluids. I’m biased against Gatorde and don’t prefer it.
Being in hot conditions, especially in the sun, can lead to hypernatremia if you’re not hydrating at all and hyponatremia if you’re chugging water because you’re thirsty. Paradoxically, being excessively thirsty while you’ve already been drinking lots of water might actually be an indicator that you’re experiencing an electrolyte imbalance and need to cool it. Rolling in a hot tub is a no-no in my book, as well as being in a hot, stuffy warehouse with no ventilation.
You can refer to DanceSafe’s guide on heat stroke here. This includes specific tips about how much water to drink and how often.
I’ve been in a relationship for almost a decade and am interested in my partner and I trying psychedelics for the first time, but she doesn’t want to do them with me. Should I try them without her? Should I be concerned about how this might affect our relationship? She seems concerned that it will change things.
First thing’s first: Don’t push or try to convince your partner (including covertly) to do any substance she doesn’t want to, ever. It doesn’t sound like that’s your plan, but I think it’s important to say anyway.
Second: There are two main things I’m interested in here, one of which is your question about doing psychedelics without your partner and the other is your comment that she’s concerned about psychedelics changing your relationship. My responses will be colored by my personal biases around codependency in relationships, so – as always – they are not universal. You know your partner and yourself better than I ever will.
I, personally, am always a very strong proponent for relationships consisting of two whole people who complement each other, not two halves that make a whole. This means that each individual in the relationship tries new things and expands themselves continuously. The entire world might affect your relationship in some unknown way.
What if you break your leg and your personality changes while you process your lost mobility? What if you get too drunk one night and uncover some childhood trauma that makes you more emotionally volatile? What if your partner finds herself falling in love with her high school friend?
Psychedelics tend to enhance (or exacerbate) what already lives within you. Most people end up falling somewhere in the middle of the bell curve, having a trip that may be interesting, frightening, or awe-inspiring to some degree. While others end up on the far ends of the spectrum with either a strong negative reaction or a life-altering mystical experience. It’s impossible to say where you will be.
Additionally, it seems like your partner might have some misunderstandings around what psychedelics actually do. Sometimes people who have limited exposure to drugs will interact with someone who’s tripping like they’re a bomb that might go off, or they’re on the verge of sprouting a second head. I strongly suggest sitting down and reading some reports in the Erowid experience vaults together (or separately!) to get a better understanding of the variety of trips that people can have.
In a nutshell: Of course doing psychedelics might affect your relationship or change things, just like any other human experience. It might be a good idea to examine what exactly the fear is here, because it sounds like there’s something deeper going on, like an insecurity of being left behind or abandoned (two similar, but very different things). Change can destroy so much, and it’s also the only reason why things ever get better. Food for thought.
About Your Psychedelic Auntie
When we have questions about psychedelics, we often consult our Auntie. An Auntie can be a person of any gender who offers wise advice about psychedelic substances and how to effectively use them. Lucid News is asking a collection of well-informed people to step in as Auntie and answer your questions about psychedelics. Some of the best peer-based, accurate information about psychedelic substances and harm reduction comes from DanceSafe, a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1998. DanceSafe provides health and safety services at festivals and events. This month, our Psychedelic Auntie is DanceSafe Programs and Communications Coordinator Rachel Clark. Send your questions to the Psychedelic Auntie via the Lucid News contact page and watch this space for the answers.