Medical Screening and Psychedelics

Medical Screening and Psychedelics

Published on:

June 18, 2023

Are psychedelics safe for me?

Before venturing on a psychedelic journey, you want to ensure it is safe to travel and the timing is right. In general, psychedelics are well tolerated by most healthy people as the toxicity profile appears to be quite low when used in a private setting without other drugs or medications in the system. Beyond this, it is a critical step to conduct a medical screen to see if you have any physical and or psychiatric vulnerabilities that may lead to serious medical events. Additionally, it also important to consider if the timing of introducing a psychedelic is right. This is another key factor to consider as psychedelics can often introduce varying degrees of uncertainty or chaos that require intentional processing and integration to make sense of and regain one's footing. For example, if you are going through a very significant life transition that has introduced several changes in your life already, this may not be the best time to travel into the unknown to then see even more avenues for change. So as a first step, conduct a medical screen and consider timing to see if psychedelics are right for you.

Use the following information as a guideline on when to avoid or when to consider taking psychedelics.

When to avoid psychedelics:

  • You are under the age of 19.
  • You are pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive. 
  • You have uncontrolled high blood pressure. 
  • You have an uncontrolled heart condition.
  • You have had a recent surgery or recovering from a significant physical injury. 
  • You want to rebel against, escape or avoid some given situation. 
  • You have active or recently active suicidality. 
  • You have a family history of Schizophrenia 
  • You have Schizophrenia or Borderline Personality Disorder
  • You have an unstable mental illness such as bipolar disorder or psychosis
  • You have an uncontrolled eating disorder.
  • You have uncontrolled anger issues. 
  • You have a history of long-term use of chronic tricyclic antidepressants and or lithium
  • You have not tapered from your antidepressant medications. 
  • You are currently on tramadol or other serotonergic drugs.
  • You are going through a significant life change and have an unstable living situation.

When to consider taking psychedelics:

You are curious about: 

  • Experiencing other states of consciousness. 
  • Finding new avenues to improve well-being.
  • Explore purported enhancements to mental flexibility or creativity
  • Improving self-acceptance.
  • Finding new perspectives on personal issues. 
  • Feeling more connected.
  • Expanding personal growth opportunities.
  • Your feeling stuck or looking for purpose.

You are exploring other options to manage:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • End of life anxiety
  • Substance abuse and addiction disorders
  • Cluster headaches and chronic pain
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

If you have any questions about whether psychedelics are right for you, bring these up with your primary healthcare provider or speak with one of Entheo's psychedelic coach's here.