Frequently Asked Questions
Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybin mushrooms
Treasure Beach, Jamaica
Photo by Taylor Hayes, 2018
What is psychedelic nursing?
Psychedelic nursing is a newly emerging field of modern nursing practice not yet recognized as an accredited branch of nursing. Psychedelic nurses utilize high quality plant, animal, and fungi based medicines to safely aid clients in optimizing personal health and recovering from illness. In the latest academic research, psychedelic medicines show promising results in the treatment of traditionally difficult to manage psychological and physical conditions including chronic pain, clinical depression, addictions, eating disorders, anxiety, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, and more. Please review the resources tab for access to current data.
Why do we need psychedelic nursing?
With illness rates at an all time high, psychiatry is due for a big breakthrough. Now more than ever, our Earth is in need of widespread access to effective healing modalities. Psychedelic nursing is a paradigm shift in modern medicine.
Why do I need a nurse? Can't I just take substances on my own?
Injesting psychedelic substances under the care of a professionally trained health care professional is akin to wearing a seatbelt in a car. We support your comfort, safety, and well being throughout your experience. Nurses can ensure a therapeutic environment, assess baseline levels of health, obtain relevant medical history, review your diet, monitor vital signs, lead restorative activities, connect you with a supportive follow-up integration therapist, preserve your confidentiality, take appropriate action in the event this is necessary to save your life, and much more. We minimize the "worry" in your experience and maximize your care. Ingesting substances alone is not recommended and may lead to increased anxiety and poorer outcomes.
What is a psychedelic experience like?
Psychedelic experiences range widely depending on the set, setting, substance, dose, and other factors. Psychedelic experiences typically last between 10 minutes and 24 hours depending on the medicine injested. Many people describe a psychedelic experience as the single most impactful experience of their life and oftentimes people feel vulnerable. You may or may not experience a "purging" response such as laughing, crying, sweating, or trembling, visual, tactile, or auditory hallucinations, synesthesia (5 senses melding together), a perception that all is one, a range of emotions, or sexual feelings. You may feel as though you are connecting with deceased loved ones or foreign entities. You may feel awe and wonder or fear and anxiety. These are all normal responses.
How can I safely access psychedelic medicines?
Please review our resources tab for a list of trusted, nurse-led psychedelic experiences around the world. Check back as we update this list to include more options. No matter where you choose to participate in a medicine session, your psychedelic facilitator should NEVER make sexual advances on you while you are under the influence of these medicines, and you should always report sexual misconduct to the provider's governing board. If you are afraid to make a report or need help, please contact IAPN, and we will help you.
How can I become involved in IAPN?
We need as much help as we can get to make the world a better place, and we would love for you to become involved! You don't have to be a nurse to make a big difference in psychedelic medicine. Please sign up for our newsletter, submit a contact form, follow us on social media (Facebook & Instagram), donate, or share this organization with your friends. New opportunities for front-line involvement occur frequently. Stay connected to our network for the latest news in global psychedelic nursing care. Don't hesitate to contact us with your collaboration ideas - we are here to help! More membership, education, and support options coming soon.
Aren't psychedelics dangerous? I'm afraid of "going crazy."
There are some risks in taking psychedelic substances, but the risks can typically be minimized or avoided when administered under the care of an experienced professional. There is no sufficient data to suggest psychedelics cause psychotic disorders; however, a psychedelic experience may trigger the expression of an underlying psychotic disorder in approximately 1% of the population, especially those predisposed to psychosis due to genetic factors or first degree relatives affected by psychosis. There is evidence to suggest these individuals may have developed psychosis regardless of psychedelic consumption. Insufficient data exists on the usefulness of psychedelic medicines in the treatment of psychotic disorders. Other inherent risks may include surfacing suicidal thoughts, asphyxiation risks (emesis), serotonin syndrome, increased fall risks, electrolyte imbalances, cardiac complications, and more. These risks can all be safely managed by an experienced health care professional. Psychedelic medicines are considered very safe, have relatively few adverse food/drug interactions, are not addictive, and contain a low potential for overdose.
Urubamba Valley, Peru
*Non-psychedelic plant medicine
Photo by Taylor Hayes, 2018