In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Erica Siegal, LCSW
NEST CEO & Founder of Nest Harm Reduction. She is a professional harm reductionist, community organizer, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy researcher.
We discussed a very important topic in this space, which is harm reduction — creating a safe container, understanding trauma, and more.
- Tell us a little about who you are, what you do, and what led you to this chapter in your life.
- Past psychedelic experiences
- When we say ‘harm’, what does that mean?
- Is there a difference between a harmful experience and a difficult one (bad trip)?
- Harm reduction — does that happen before, during AND after the experience?
- Safe space
- Societal harm, interpersonal harm
- Yes: from intention to integration
- Stay away from the news and TV; digital detox
- What are the biggest risks for somebody exploring with psychedelics in a non-medical situation?
- Not safe access; don’t know what you’re getting
- Ask your source key questions
- Create a safe container; trip sitter; never use them alone
- Over-use; non-addictive but can be over-used
- A lot of people seek help with things like depression, addiction, suicidality, anxiety…with the aid of psychedelics. Much of this seems rooted in trauma. Is that right? [talk trauma]
- Everyone has trauma history
- Fight or flight dysregulates the body; a lot of that creates a dysregulated existence
- Mindfulness; diet; self-care; psychedelic use – all help build against dysregulation from traumas
- Social media and 24-hr news cycle presents little traumas
- What catches people by surprise?
- Sage integrative health; donation-based psychedelic therapy
- Access is key
- Santo Daime
- Plans among friends
- What recommendations do you have for a good, safe experience?
- For somebody who is not in a therapeutic setting, how can they minimize the risk of harm?
- Have an AED on-site; robust first-aid kit; safety plan
- CPR Certified
- Carry Narcan for opiate overdose; tainted Ketamine
- Tell us a little about your business. How do you help people?
- What else?