Social Underground: MAPS’ ‘The Zendo Project’ Turns Bad Trips Good

Summary: The Social Underground covers MAPS’ research and education with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and the MAPS-sponsored Zendo Project’s psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals worldwide, which provides an alternative to arrest and hospitalization for people undergoing difficult psychedelic experiences. "From exploring the effects of MDMA on veterans with PTSD to expanding minds with honest information about cannabis, MDMA, Psilocybin, and other illegal for no-good-reason medicines, MAPS is on the cutting edge of psychedelic research and education, “ reports Gabriel Montoya of the Social Underground.

Originally appearing here.

Taking psychedelics can be a positive, uplifting experience that opens the mind and heart to new possibilities, spiritual healing and a deeper connection to the world around you. It can also go the other way, especially in a public place such as a giant music festival in a remote locale filled, surrounded with strangers and law enforcement. Have no fear, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and The Zendo Project are here.

“Founded in 1986, MAPS is a is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana” according to their website. From exploring the effects of MDMA on veterans with PTSD to expanding minds with honest information about cannabis, MDMA, Psilocybin, and other illegal for no-good-reason medicines, MAPS is on the cutting edge of psychedelic research and education. Which brings us to The Zendo Project: Psychedelic Harm Reduction.

If you happen to be a hyperspace cowboy, (that is to say, someone who has fearlessly imbibed psychedelics such as LSD, Magic Mushrooms or DMT fully aware of the potential for the next six to eight hours to buck & roll in any manner of ways), odds are good you have had at least one or two moments where it all seemed too much to handle. Perhaps the vibe of the people around you made things take a bad turn. Or maybe someone dosed you with Magic Mushroom Tea at Burning Man, which is trippy enough on its own. Maybe it was that brown acid from Woodstock. Who knows? Regardless of how it was incurred, in a setting such as Burning Man, which takes place in the dangerous-to-the-unprepared Black Rock Desert, a bad trip can turn deadly. The Zendo Project’s mission is to make sure you come back from your trip safely through compassionate care in a safe environment.

With a little luck, a lot of love and compassion from the trained Zendo staff, you might even turn the whole thing into a positive drug story.

The Zendo Project is a wonderful alternative to putting someone in jail or the mental ward of a hospital simply because they are having a rough time on a psychedelic. According to their press release, The Zendo Project, which ” has a presence at five major events: Burning Man (Black Rock City, Nevada), Envision (Costa Rica), AfrikaBurn (South Africa), Bicycle Day (San Francisco, CA), and Lightning in a Bottle (Bradley, CA),” has “assisted over 700 guests and trained 500 volunteers.”

As we transition out of the darkness that is The War on Drugs and into a period of enlightenment about psychedelics and their potential to heal, entities like MAPS and The Zendo Project are sorely needed.  Last summer, The Zendos raised over $69,406 from donors in 32 countries to expand their efforts to events worldwide.