Psychedelic Peer Support Education

Harm reduction trainings provide education on how to work with challenging experiences and create a platform for honest and responsible conversations about substance use. Our intention is to create public awareness around the potential risks of drug use and to reduce these risks by providing tools and information.

Psychedelic Education
Information & Resources

Comprehensive Education & Trainings

In addition to creating safe spaces for those in need of support and assistance, the Zendo Project also provides harm reduction trainings for the public, providing education on how to work with challenging experiences and creating a platform for honest and responsible conversations about substance use.  These topics include:

  • The principles of psychedelic harm reduction
  • How to work with difficult or extreme state experiences
  • Role of the sitter or facilitator
  • Ethics
  • Developing harm reduction protocol

Trainings Available – Onsite & Virtual

We provide knowledgable and professional Zendo Project representatives to speak at your event, conference, or university. Additionally, Zendo Project creates trainings and workshops for festivals and can provide custom training geared for medical, security, and production staff.

Training Manual cover photo
The Zendo Project Training Manual
The manual of Psychedelic Support Cover photo
The Manual of Psychedelic Support

Characteristics of a Challenging Psychedelic Experience

Psychedelic experiences can vary tremendously, and are sometimes unpredictable, but are most influenced by these factors:
Drug
  • Type
  • Dose
  • Duration
  • Presence of impurities
Setting
  • Familiarity
  • Sense of safety
  • Level of noise/activity
Mindset
  • Intention/expectation
  • Emotional state
  • Psychological well-being
  • Previous experience with substance

Possible characteristics of a challenging experience

Anxiety
Memory Loss
Confusion
Fear of losing control
Feeling alone or trapped
Altered sense of time and space
Disorientation

Trust.
Let go.
Be open.
Breathe.
Surrender.

4 Zendo Project Principles of Psychedelic Peer Support

Safe Space

If someone is having a challenging experience try to move them into a comfortable, warm, and calm environment. If possible try to avoid noisy or crowded spaces. Ask what would make them most comfortable. Offer blankets and water.

Sitting, Not Guiding

Be a calm meditative presence of acceptance, compassion, and caring. Promote feelings of trust and security. Let the person’s unfolding experience be the guide. Don’t try to get ahead of the process. Explore distressing issues as they emerge, but simply being with the person can provide support.

Talk Through, Not Down

Without distracting from the experience, help the person connect with what they are feeling. Invite person to take the opportunity to explore what’s happening and encourage them to try not to resist it.

Difficult is Not Necessarily Bad

Challenging experiences can wind up being our most valuable, and may lead to learning and growth. Consider that it may be happening for an important reason. Suggest that they approach the fear and difficult aspects of their experience with curiosity and openness.

Psychedelic Peer Support Educational Videos

Psychedelic Peer Support Articles

  • Intro to MAPS and Harm Reduction with Sara Gael
    Q&A with Sara Gael, M.A., Harm Reduction Officer, Zendo Project & MAPS What is the history of MAPS and how did it begin? Since 1986, MAPS has been conducting research […]
  • Upcoming Psychedelic Education Events: May 7-9, 2021
    This week, explore psychedelics during three online educational events: Friday, May 7, 2021On Friday, May 7, attend Sacred Sovereignty: Reclaiming Our Right to Heal, an online event with the intention […]
  • Zendo Project Fundraising Campaign 2015
    Zendo Project: Psychedelic Harm Reduction This year, millions of people will use psychedelics outside of medical and research contexts. Using psychedelics can produce overwhelming and uncomfortable experiences, which becomes more […]

Allied Organizations

MAPS.org

Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

Psychedelic Integration List on MAPS.org

Millions of people have had a psychedelic experience at some point in their life. Without support it can be challenging to understand and incorporate these experiences. The Psychedelic Integration List is a resource of individuals and organizations in the mental health field who help people integrate past psychedelic experiences.

Erowid.org

Erowid is a member-supported organization providing access to reliable, non-judgmental information about psychoactive plants, chemicals, and related issues. They work with academic, medical, and experiential experts to develop and publish new resources, as well as to improve and increase access to already existing resources. They also strive to ensure that these resources are maintained and preserved as a historical record for the future.

Bluelight.org

Bluelight is an international, online harm-reduction community, committed to reducing the harm associated with drug use. Bluelight understands that drug use encompasses a broad range of behaviors, some safer than others, and that drug use can progress towards increased risk with some individuals. They encourage our community to be honest and cognizant of their drug use and understand the warning signs of abuse and addiction before they manifest.Bluelight also hosts a robust recovery community for those seeking a way out of drug abuse and addiction.

DanceSafe.org

DanceSafe is a 501(c)(3) public health organization promoting health and safety within the nightlife and electronic music community. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998 by Emanuel Sferios, DanceSafe quickly grew into a national organization with chapters in cities across North America. Combining harm reduction and peer-based, popular education  has enabled us to create successful programs to reduce drug misuse and empower young people to make healthy, informed lifestyle choices.

Psychedelic. Community

An open source list of psychedelic clubs, societies, and harm reduction groups throughout the world, maintained in an Airtable spreadsheet.  Organized by type of groups: society, service provider, harm reduction, NGO, media, conferences, events, and educational programs.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

The largest global youth-led network dedicated to ending the War on Drugs. At its heart, SSDP is a grassroots organization, led by a Board of Directors primarily elected by and from our student and youth members. We bring young people of all political and ideological orientations together to have honest conversations about drugs and drug policy. We create change by providing a platform where members collaborate, communicate, share resources with, and coach each other to generate policy change, deliver honest drug education, and promote harm reduction. Founded in 1998, SSDP is comprised of thousands of members in hundreds of communities around the globe.

The Drug Policy Alliance

The mission of The Drug Policy Alliance is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.  They envision a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights, in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies but only for crimes committed against others, and in which the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more.