Dear Culturalist,
When I was in high school, some kids did acid, but I was always too scared to try. Now I am almost 30, and I keep seeing positive things about it online. How do I know if I am ready to do it?

Writing to an advice columnist about lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a sure sign you are not ready to do it. When you no longer care what I think, what random online articles tell you, or how anyone else feels about you doing it, maybe then you will be ready. Or maybe not.

As with threesomes, you will know you are ready when you have stopped your internal dialogue. There will be no more debating because you will know it is what you want to do. Whether for a ménage à trois or a hit of blotter acid, just avoid mistaking your readiness for such experiences to mean that you’ll definitely have a good time doing them.

Why not dip your toes into the world of hallucinogens before you jump right in? If you have not spent a lot of time vaping, dabbing and/or eating edibles, you are not ready to do acid. If you have not spent a lot of time eating psychedelic mushrooms or truffles, you are not ready to do acid.

Also, if you have not microdosed, you are not ready to suck on a full hit (or two) or lick the tray the tabs were made on. My yoga teacher claims microdosing is the key to accessing her most productive self. Yes, my yoga teacher is the best, and this fun fact should remind you to consider what you want from an LSD experience. If you do not know, find out by digging around in your own brain rather than the craniums of other people.

Acid isn’t for everyone. Neither are other psychedelics, but magic mushrooms are for more people than acid, and both are for more people than eating a bunch of morning glory seeds for their lysergic acid amide. Which I would not recommend to anyone. I only grow them in case there is a zombie apocalypse and all the mushroom growers and acid makers are eaten first.

The tryptamine-class psychedelic 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) was wildly popular in my high school. Spending a lot of time with people high on it talked me out of doing it. They all seemed to think they were going to die the whole time, which is already how I live my life.

My point is, a good way to figure out how truly interested you are in doing a particular drug is to hang out with people fueled by it. This is the next best thing to actually doing it yourself. Babysit a bunch of people your own age who are high on Lucy and that should enlighten you more than any online article could.

I would say you should only do drugs with people you love and who love you back, but really (and ideally) that is who you should spend all your time with. A friend once had to drive me a long distance while I was high on acid. He still loves me, and I still love him, but he will never forgive me for how many times I asked him to turn the radio down when it wasn’t even on. I do not think he has done a tab ever since.

Note that there is a difference between being ready and being in the right time, place and head space. Does a clown live in a Winnebago at the end of your driveway? Happened to me, and if you find yourself in a similar situation, you maybe should not drop some blotter acid in your pie hole… not at home, anyways. Not when you could look out your window and see a clown juggling in an open field.

The first time I tried acid, I ran into a group of totally naked men playing baseball in the middle of nowhere. Would you be okay if that was your experience? I also once ate a bunch of hallucinogens and promptly heard banging on my door. It was a crazed neighbor looking for someone to watch her baby while she pulled a tooth out of her husband’s head. Sound like a fun trip to you?

Neither of those trips were as bad as the time I swallowed a handful of psilocybin and the friend who was driving me around picked up two hitchhikers. They happened to be two of my ex-roommates who I hoped I would never see again. Anyways, my point is, you are not ready unless you are ready for anything and everything, but there is something to be said for tripping in a nice environment.

Ultimately, the best advice someone could give you is to never do—or not do—drugs because of something someone else has said to you. Also, any advice I danced around these past few paragraphs should not be construed as suggesting you should maybe do LSD, especially if you live in a place on Earth where enjoying this compound is prohibited for no good reason.

Lastly, I would like to stress that I do not think you should do acid even if you are totally ready and in a glorious comfortable paradise with no silly drug laws. For the more people who do acid, the more mainstream it will be, and soon there will be no drugs left that normal people have not almost completely ruined for me.

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