The Manual of Psychedelic Support is a comprehensive guide to setting up and running compassionate care services for people having difficult drug experiences at music festivals and similar events. The Manual grew out of the work of its original creators at KosmiCare, the psychedelic care service at the iconic Boom Festival in Portugal. Whilst psychedelic care services have been in operation for decades, and have grown in number and in scope in the past few years, a general guide on how to establish and run them did not exist in the public domain, nor indeed—beyond training manuals for specific organisations—at all. We envisaged a work that would address all aspects of such a project, containing material to guide the care service leader, team leads and care givers, and those fulfilling vital supporting roles (such as psychiatrists and nurses) through the entire gamut of preparation, training, logistics, operations, and the wrap-up of a care service.
What started off as a small project grew into something much larger, involving over fifty people from around the world. These people came from all walks of life – psychiatrists, therapists, scholars, psychonauts, artists, and many more – all united by a common love and interest. Some brought deep knowledge and rich experience gained from work with KosmiCare in Portugal, with the Burning Man organisation in the United States, and with other groups worldwide.
The First Edition of The Manual of Psychedelic Support was published at the beginning of 2015 as a freely downloadable PDF. A year and a half later the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) formally joined this project as its publisher, and in 2017 released the Second Edition of the Manual in hardcopy book form, available for purchase from the MAPS store or from Amazon. The Second Edition contains a new section, the Guide to Drug Effects and Interactions.
As per the original principles of the project, the latest version of the Manual continues to be available for free download here, from this psychsitter.com website. The Manual of Psychedelic Support, in both its hardcopy and downloadable format, is published under a Creative Commons License – its content (not including artworks and photographs), is open to adaptation and modification; for example, for utilisation in training manuals for particular care services. All proceeds after costs from sales of the hardcopy book will be allocated by MAPS and by Psychedelic Care Publications to drug harm reduction projects.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. A History of Psychedelic Care Services
2. The Principles and Ethics of Psychedelic Support
3. Legal Considerations
4. Planning and First Steps for a New Project
5. Recruiting a Team
6. Supporting Roles
7. Building and Training a Team
9. The Care Space
10. Running the Service
12. Complementary Therapies
13. Team Welfare
14. Working with Other Organisations
15. Risk Management and Performance Improvement
16. Case Studies and Impressions
17. Online Resources and Obtaining Assistance
• Final Words
• Appendix A: Street Names for Commonly Encountered Psychoactives
• Appendix B: Monitoring, Evaluating and Researching—Recommendations from an Academic Perspective for an Evidence-Based Approach to Psychoactive Crisis Intervention
• Guide to Drug Effects and Interactions