A bad trip occurs when the pleasurable effects of a drug turn into a nasty, paranoid, and horrible experience.

Bad trips happen for a reason, usually one of the following:

  • adverse environment influences noise, strangers etc preying on the vulnerable, tripping mind
  • attempts to mentally resist the effect of the drug because you are scared or can't relax
  • the surfacing of difficult and uncomfortable unconscious material or memories
  • the amplification of issues or problems between tripping people
  • a larger dose than you have experienced before


Even experienced users can have bad trips, although experience makes you less vulnerable.

Clearly, the best way to avoid a bad trip is not to take any drug at all.

Signs of a bad trip

They start small and can snowball into anxiety, fear, paranoia, and paralysis. People experiencing a bad trip may appear withdrawn and silent or visibly upset, scared or wild. They may curl up into fetal position.

You may feel like you are going insane, or losing control or dying. You may get caught in circular thoughts, like a hall of mirrors. The anxiety may trigger breathlessness or even a full-blown panic attack.

Any drug

Any drug can bring on a bad trip - even Ecstasy or even alcohol.

While the more powerful psychedelic drugs (LSD, magic mushrooms, ketamine) are most likely to cause a bad trip, 'lesser' mind drugs such as amphetamines, cannabis, and cocaine can also induce paranoia and weirdness.


You can reduce the chance of a bad trip by ensuring you are in a safe comfortable environment with someone you trust. Read up on the drug you are taking.

Be informed and be careful. Measure the dosage accurately. When trying a new drug, always start low to gauge its strength.

Bad trips: What to do?

The most important thing to remember in the midst of a bad trip is not to panic. Bad trips can be diverted, lessened, and stopped by certain careful techniques.

If you are having a bad trip

  • change the music to something light and familiar
  • change the location go outside, into another room, or find a quiet, non-threatening environment
  • talk to a friend someone you are close to who you can trust
  • concentrate on your breathing a bad trip can be worsened if you try to resist it. Instead divert your mind by counting your breaths in and out.
  • the drug will not harm you repeat to yourself the phrase 'I am immortal'. Your anxiety is purely an effect of the drug and will pass. You will be okay.

and if someone else is having a bad trip

  • change something - the location, music, lighting. do not force anyone to move if they don't want to. Gently coax, invite or encourage instead
  • reassure them they have taken a drug, the trip will end, and they will be okay
  • tell them the time with their sense of time distorted, bad trippers often feel caught in eternity. Give them a schedule for when they will feel better
  • relaxing and breathing the fear is often heightened by the tensing and trying to resist. Letting go will make them feel better. Breathing will relax them and give them something to focus on
  • don't leave them alone but don't crowd them either

Now with all this information, you might say that, "So you say I shouldn't use, but you provide tips. Why?"

The simple reason is that drug users are not often persuaded from doing something by reading a web page. Our goal is to provide information about the effects and addiction risks of drugs, and drug addiction treatment options that are useful to those in need, and our tips are merely here to help keep those set on using from succumbing to common pitfalls and dangers of usage.

Bad Trip on Weed

Most users will deny there is any possible bad side effects from smoking weed. They may enjoy its euphoric high for many years, not experiencing anything other than feeling “mellow.”

Bad Trip on Acid

In the 1960s, LSD became a popular drug for recreational use and was legal in in the U.S. until October 1968, when it then became a controlled substance. Bad acid trips usually include thoughts of dying, intense paranoia and ideation of superhuman powers, such as flying or flotation. While wildly exaggerated during the popular use of LSD in the late 1960s and 1970s, actual bad trips are proven to be less than 1 in 1000. What Causes Bad Acid Trips?

Bad Trip on Shrooms

"Tripping" is a term used when having psychedelic experiences, primarily induced by psychotropic drugs. Favored because they are natural and easily found and grown, mushrooms have been popular for thousands of years. Furthermore, religious ceremonies and rites are often accompanied by use of “magic mushrooms.” What Causes a Bad Shroom Trip? There are a few reasons why people may have a bad trip on mushrooms. Most often, they start out in a depressed state or negative frame of mind and this becomes exacerbated by psilocybin, the active ingredient in shrooms.

Bad Trip on Spice

Spice, commonly referred to as "synthetic marijuana," is an unregulated substance that is subject to side effects that can be unpredictable and deadly. First-time users, as well as those who have had long time experience, suddenly find their next trip to be their worst nightmare. A "good" trip on spice includes a feeling of floating and hallucinations. What a Bad Spice Trip Feels Like