Looking into the eyes of someone who is having a bad drug trip is an odd experience. When someone is coming down from a bad trip they often require a very specific kind of emotional labor. In my day job I need to keep the energy up for clients to help them, it’s almost the opposite when you are holding hands with someone working through a rough trip it feels more like becoming a boundary stone. You have to ground and center so they know you as a solid place to come back to when their world has become all uncharted territory. You have to listen and talk and give them something to hang on too. It’s intense. For me it is also deeply rewarding. I have anxiety attacks so I have some experience in losing my landmarks and having to re-stake my mental territory.

I personally don’t do drugs. Once when I was 14 I smoked pot and spent an hour laying in a ditch trying to figure out which way the North Pole was,  I decided the whole drug thing was just not my jam. Because of this sometimes I feel like I am working blind, I can feel what needs to happen but I can’t see their experience.

Like basically any intense experience it requires aftercare for everyone involved. I like a cup of tea and to sit alone maybe talk to a trusted friend about the experience so it can stop circling around in my head.

I am not here to offer advice for how to treat someone who is working though their drug experience. I am not claiming to know anything special or important, I think what I want people to know is that this is a thing, it happens, and if you are there when it does you will have to choose if you are committed to helping this person or not.  It’s a big commitment, do not choose lightly.

If you ever find yourself helping someone in this state all I can recommend is listen to them, keep your energy and voice low and calm. if they become non responsive call for an ambulance.

Also go get Narcan certified.

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