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Vegas Cannabis Magazine - April 2023

The Shame & Stigma Of Psychedelic Use: How To Talk To Your Friends & Family

By Jaden Rae

Disclaimer: We do not encourage illegal activity. Check with and adhere to your local laws. We do not claim psychedelics or plant medicine to be a substitute for professional medical care. Always consult with your doctor. The goal of this article is to promote safety and education.

The relationship between psychedelics and shame is one founded in a long history of legal and social disapproval. While psychedelics have long been used to dissolve shame and heal the self, society’s attitude toward them has caused many to hide their psychedelic use for fear of judgment, ostracism and legal punishment.

More and more, people are overcoming shame to speak out about the ways psychedelics have healed them and changed their lives. A few notable voices include:

  1. NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers revealed that ayahuasca significantly improved his mental health, just prior to being selected as MVP two years in a row.
  2. Actress Susan Sarandon, who has mentioned experiences with LSD and psilocybin and how they allowed her to tap into creativity and mental expansion.
  3. DJ and music producer Diplo, who opened up about his experiences with ayahuasca and how it has helped him to feel more connected to nature and the universe.

Decriminalize Nature Nevada, who organizes regular educational events on drug policy reform and psychedelic medicine, is using their voice to push for plant and fungi medicines to become the lowest law enforcement priority in Nevada. With help from groups like this, Senate Bill 242, which would legalize the use of magic mushrooms (and possession of up to 4 ounces) for those 18 years and older, has just been introduced in Nevada.

As we currently navigate our way through what many are calling “the second psychedelic revolution”, it’s important to ask ourselves how we can use our own voice further the normalization of psychedelics and plant medicines so that, like cannabis, we can finally emerge from the long-standing cloud of shame and fully benefit from psychedelics’ healing gifts.

How To Talk To Friends & Family About Psychedelics

Right now, psychedelic advocate groups are fighting for legalization and decriminalization throughout the country, and we can help to impact the social narrative in our own communities by starting from where we are now.

Talking to friends and family about the positive aspects of psychedelic use can be challenging, as there’s a lot of misinformation out there, but here are some ways you can open up a dialogue around psychedelics:

  1. Start with education: Start by providing science-based information about the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics. Here are some great stats to start with:
    • Johns Hopkins’ researchers found that a single dose of psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” led to a significant reduction in depressive symptoms among participants with major depressive disorder.
    • Another Johns Hopkins study found that psilocybin-assisted therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer.
    • A JAMA Psychiatry study reported that MDMA-assisted therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD in participants who had not responded to other forms of treatment.
    • A review of multiple studies done by Cureus found that psychedelic-assisted therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of addiction, including alcohol, tobacco, and opioid addiction.
  2. Share your personal experiences: If you have had positive experiences with psychedelics, consider sharing your story with your loved ones. Be honest about your experiences, including any challenges you may have faced, and emphasize the positive casssaasaqhanges you have seen in your well-being.
  3. Emphasize safety: Assure your friends and family that using psychedelics can be done safely and that there are ways to minimize risks and negative side effects. Share information about harm reduction practices, such as testing substances, intention setting, and working with trained professionals.
  4. Frame it as a wellness practice: Framing psychedelics as a wellness practice that can help individuals gain new insights, overcome mental health challenges, and improve their overall well-being can help your loved ones see psychedelics in a different way. Emphasize that psychedelic use can be done with intention and care, and that it has the potential to be a transformative and healing experience.
  5. Be patient and respectful: Recognize that your friends and family may have deeply ingrained beliefs and attitudes about psychedelic use, and that it may take time for them to come around to the idea. Be patient and respectful in your conversations, and avoid being confrontational or judgmental, as this rarely changes minds.

Talking to friends and family about the positive aspects of psychedelic use requires empathy, education, and an open mind. By sharing accurate information, personal experiences, and emphasizing safety and well-being, we can all help reduce the stigma, change minds and maybe even change the course of history.

If you’re someone who has experienced shame around psychedelic use, know that you’re not alone. Connecting with a group of like-minded people who can relate to your journey is often as important as the experiences themselves. The Las Vegas Psychedelic Society is a great resource for people at any stage of their journey where they can find support in their medicinal practice.

I also run a free online psychedelic community with weekly zooms called Magic+Glow, a safe space to educate, inspire and support those on their psychedelic and plant medicine journey. We’d love to have you join!

About the Author:

Jaden Rae is a Las Vegas resident, international best-selling author of the Microdosing Guide And Journal. She hosts a free weekly Microdosing Mondays zoom call at She provides tools to enhance emotional well-being, find meaning, create magic, nourish souls and enrich lives. Jaden has been featured on the Today Show, The Early Show, Martha Stewart Radio, Fox Business News and more. You can find her on Instagram @magicandglowco.

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