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Hire a tripsitter

Image credit: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/06/lsd-guides-psychedelic-assisted-psychotherapy

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Povilas S
Povilas S Aug 30, 2021
A tripsitter (trip sitter) is someone who watches over people who are under the influence of psychoactive (usually psychedelic) drugs. This is done as a form of insurance to have someone with a clear head able to ease the psychological anxiety in case someone will be having a "bad trip". Such person can evaluate and distinguish objective dangers from psychological fears (e.g. someone actually has extremely fast or slow heart rate, hyperthermia, etc. vs someone believes they have that because they are anxious about the psychological/cognitive effects the drug is causing). The tripsitter can also prevent people from doing something dangerous while under the influence of the drug, call for help if there's a real need for that. Needless to say that this person has to be sober.

The idea is to create an online service (an app) for people to find a tripsitter whenever they need one. The app would only be allowed in countries where certain drugs are legalized/decriminalized for personal consumption. The tripsitters could only serve people who are taking those drugs that are not in conflict with the law in that particular country.

If people decide to take drugs and want to have someone tripsitting them it's usually difficult to find a person willing to do that job from the circle of friends, because firstly people usually want to also get high instead of staying sober and watching and secondly - it's a responsibility. Paying to friends is hardly an option.

I Imagine such an app working by a similar principle that bolt, wolt, and similar apps work - anyone can register as a worker, and when there are requests for the service from customers' side anyone available at that time and in close enough location will get a job to do. Just in this particular case, the hiring process would take a bit longer.

Each tripsitter would have a profile on the app for those willing to hire to get to know a bit about him/her and decide whether they want to hire that particular person. The tripsitters would indicate their interests, character features, experience with drugs, etc. The reviews from people who hired that person in the past would be displayed. Common social media connections could also be displayed to make people trust each other more. Finally, after getting a good impression from the profile the "travelers" and the tripsitter could meet live for an equivalent of a job interview, just in this case it would be mostly done to test whether the tripsitter and all the people who will take drugs get along and feel comfortable being around each other. This is extremely important in the context of drug use.

Tripsitting is not a rocket science and any sober person could potentially do it, but nevertheless, it’s best to have some knowledge on how to deal with different situations. The app creators could provide courses for tripsitters on how to correctly behave in different situations that they might encounter with drug users. Such information should be backed with objective data - things learned from drug studies involving human volunteers, simple first aid medicine rules, basics of psychological help for people who are anxious/afraid, etc. Only those who passed the course could be allowed to register as tripsitters on the platform.

While researching the web for this idea I found one Holland-based website offering live tripsitting services and one online chat-based website which seems to be internationally oriented and operates in disguise by using VPNs. I didn't find any app similar to the one that I envision. Ideally, the app would be international, legal (adapted to the specific laws of each country), and the tripsitting services would be live, or both live and online tripsitting could be provided.

Benefits that the realization of this idea brings: Makes it easier for people to create a safe environment for themselves when taking drugs. Contributes to the lessening of unnecessary stigmatization of drugs which only causes more harm to society by provoking hasty and irresponsible drug use. Creates job vacancies.

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TL
Tobias Lirsch Sep 03, 2021
Hi

That's a great idea and I've been working for a few months on a website which does the things described by the author (it's in developement).
You can register as a tripsitter, give your approximate location and be found by psychedelic consumers near you.
On their profiles tripsitters can describe themself personally and give information like the hourly price and payment methods they accept.
Besides that the website will offer much more cool features and some privacy tools.
It is currently in developement and I expect it to be finished within the next weeks or months!
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa month ago
Haha that's great, the idea is being implemented at the same time as I post it here! xD It's usually quite disappointing to find out that the idea you came up with is already realized, but since I didn't find anything similar researching the web and you announced it as a creative contribution here that's so cool, it gives that synchronicity feeling of something happening as quickly as you think about it xD
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TL
Tobias Lirscha month ago
Povilas S Haha I actually have a similar synchronicity feeling because I wondered if somebody already published a website of this kind so I googled it and I discovered your contribution which was just 3 days old :D
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Spook Louw
Spook Louwa month ago
That sounds so cool!
Will the trip sitters be employed by your company, or will you act as a platform for "freelance" trip sitters to advertise their services? The reason I ask is I'm interested in what type of insurance or security measures will be implemented, as trusting a stranger while you are in a vulnerable state of mind could be dangerous.

Trip curators

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw Sep 01, 2021
Another aspect of this service could be to sell curated experiences accompanied by a guide/trip sitter.

Many Psychedelic retreats and therapy centres already exist whose services actually resemble what both of us are describing. They tend to be very spiritual and often focuses on ancient knowledge and traditions, while there is definitely value in that, it does leave a gap in the market for recreational users looking to enjoy more popular culture.

The service you suggested could send a guide with an entire itinerary for your trip. Places to go, activities and art that work well with psychedelics and matches your interests.

One group might decide to be taken to a Heilung ritual and a subsequent hike, which could be followed by a hike.
Another group might prefer Off the Air or Psyche Coaster screenings followed by time spent with musical instruments or art supplies.

You'd be able to tell the service provider what you like or don't like, as well as what you're looking to get out of the experience. The tripsitter would then not only be there for your safety and peace of mind, but also to facilitate and guide.
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa month ago
The activities you suggested as options to do while on psychedelics (links you gave) would definitely cause me a bad trip xD But it's a matter of taste, of course.

The idea of giving suggestions for things to do while tripping is good, but it would be hard to combine tripsitting with various activities while out in public places, tripsitting is best to be done in a safe and rather static environment (in a building or somewhere in a quiet place in nature, etc.). In public places it might become very complicated and attract unwanted attention.

Keep track of the client's drug dosage and behavior

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Samuel Bello
Samuel Bello Sep 05, 2021
Other than needing a safe environment to get high in, how will the trip sitter prevent their clients from overdosing on the drugs they take?

The reason society stigmatizes drugs use and abuse is not just because of the client's behavior when they are high. The long-term effects of the drugs on the user's behavior and the risk of overdosing on drugs are usually major sources of concern. If trip sitters are readily available, the use of drugs will become more common. Naturally, overdose and addiction cases will become more rampant. How can the existence of trip sitters do more good than bad to society?

I propose that the trip sitters should also be the ones who administer drugs to the user. Knowing the exact drugs the users take and their dosage can help the trip sitters determine the tendencies of the clients when they high. They should also know when to restrict their services to keep the client from overdosing or developing an addiction.

The issue with such an approach is that it is very restrictive and people who take drugs to get high do not want to be watched so closely or controlled so strictly.
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa month ago
Tripsitting is usually about psychedelics (although I think it's beneficial in case of using any drug) and it's hard to overdose psychedelics, with the most popular ones - mushrooms and LSD you'd have to take crazy amounts to overdose. From this post: https://www.shroomery.org/9122/How-many-dried-mushrooms-would-I-have-to-eat-to-die-from-an-overdose-of-psilocybin - you'd have to eat 1.6 kg of dried mushrooms to reach LD50 for rats, and that's still a 50% chance of death. A usual dose of psilocybin mushrooms is around 1-2 grams of dried mushrooms. So that's around a thousand times more to reach the LD50. It's way harder than to overdose caffeine by drinking coffee.

With LSD it's similar, you'd have to take close to 1000 ordinary doses at once to reach the LD50. https://www.dmt-nexus.me/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&m=731676. If you don't trust those sources, you can try to find scientific articles measuring this, but I'm pretty certain you'll find similar numbers.

And of course, the tripsitter will be aware of the dosage the users are taking, it's important to know this for everyone in the group, both users and the tripsitter, because then you can know how intense of an effect you can expect. But this is more for psychological reasons rather than to prevent overdosing, if people get at least some background information before taking the drug, overdosing is out of question (even in the case of other, non-psychedelic drugs). For this you'd have to buy large amounts of the drug and be totally reckless to take all that at once. A bigger danger lies in taking different drugs together rather than overdosing on a single drug.

About addiction - the same case, psychedelics don't cause addiction, unless a mild psychological one. About long-term effects on behavior - it's more likely that they would be positive than negative. Psychedelics are in fact the class of drugs that poses the lowest risk for the users and the people around. Take a look at this article concerning drug harm evaluation: https://www.ias.org.uk/uploads/pdf/News%20stories/dnutt-lancet-011110.pdf, especially the bar diagram in the page nr. 1561 (4th from the top). Mushrooms are at the end of the chart, alcohol - in the beginning, and this is an objective evaluation done by experts in the field of drug abuse. However, the "common sense" knowledge is usually vice versa. This reflects to what extent drugs are stigmatized in the society.

The issue with people not wanting to be watched while taking drugs - the case with the tripsitter is a different one, that's when people want to have some insurance, someone sober beside them while on drugs, the tripsitter is not someone who is against drugs or someone representing controlling bodies of the government, it's someone you can trust, someone you feel safer to take drugs with than without.


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General comments

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J
Jurana month ago
Another problem I would point out is the concept of a "safe environment for drug use" that would support the use of drugs. I am not saying drugs should not be investigated, invested in, and used in medicine for their beneficial effect, nor they should be banned, but building a safe environment for people that want to use them... come on, guys.

That kind of environment does not exist for any substance in the world. There are no safe places where you can get drunk and be sure that you will be taken care of. Nobody will create a room where you can drink as much coffee as you want and have a medical team ready if you have a heart attack. There should be no doctors, trip sitters, or any other type of security next to you when you do potential harm to yourself. Isn't the core idea of needing someone to be next to you when you take drugs or any other substance more than a good sign that you need to rethink taking it?

My thought is that those safe environments for drug use do not bring long-term beneficial effects for the user, nor for the general drug acceptance progress. It's could actually be the opposite, like saying "Yes, take drugs. They are not safe, but I'll be next to you, so you don't have to worry." Povilas S Spook Louw Tobias Lirsch
I didn't want to spoil the fun, but I would like to hear your thoughts on this (in a peaceful manner).
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Spook Louw
Spook Louwa month ago
Juran I agree with you mostly, that's why I have been asking a lot of questions regarding the safety precautions. That said, just because you cannot guarantee safety does not necessarily mean that there is not an opportunity here.
Look at guides taking you up mountains, or instructors who you are attached to when jumping out of a plane with a parachute on, even getting in a taxi or uber or boarding a plane. People are willing to put their lives completely in the hands of relative strangers providing they trust that the strangers are competent in their jobs.
If the fear is that these potential clients will not be in the state of mind to decide whether the person can be trusted, then we have to question the safety of getting an uber when you're drunk too.
Services like these will be much easier to regulate once the use of the substances has been legalized, I'm sure, for the most part, it would even work now, but I would also be hesitant to make use of it before legal structures can be set in place.
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Jurana month ago
Spook Louw Okay, I get it, but I think I structured my question wrong. What your ideas are trying to make is a safe environment while you use drugs or drink, so not comparable with a safe uber drive home when you already get drunk. Besides, uber was not made to bring drunk people safe. Their starting idea was not targeting and supporting anything barely legal or illegal. Guides in the mountains and instructors help you not to get lost or do things you are not trained to, but they also mostly do not tend to promote the use of something possibly life-threatening (tandem parachute jump is discussable, I agree).
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TL
Tobias Lirscha month ago
Juran Spook Louw Not sure if I completely get your comment Juran but I would like to refer to a very important point you are making. Like you said there IS NO safe environment when it comes to drug use just like there are no safe use guidelines but they are called safer use. So there can only be a safer environment in terms of having someone to take care of what you are doing and steering the trip into the right direction and also being in a safe place with minimal risk of injury. Psychedelics are less dangerous compared to other drugs but they still pose a risk since they intervene deeply in consciousness. Having a bad trip can never be completely ruled out but all the safer use things can reduce the risk.🙂
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw2 months ago
One potential problem I see with this is that if a person does not like the experience, it's not like anything else where you can just stop. Once you've taken the psychedelics there's not much you can do about it until it wears out.
I know certain music festivals tend to have "chill out" areas for people who might not be enjoying their trips, usually, this just involves being comfortable and not overstimulated.
This service would therefore have to be prepared for such instances. Like, if people who took psychedelics start acting strange they might make the trips sitter uncomfortable, is he/she then allowed to just leave them unattended, would the service provider be able to send support, or will we have to make sure that trip sitters are "qualified" to deal with nearly any situation?