The unfortunate thing about psychedelics is the stigma that’s still attached to people who use them to better themselves, especially if you come from a family with a religious background. The topic can be just a divisive as politics. The question is, how do you share honestly about something that has helped your mental well-being while still maintaining a connection with people who may fundamentally disagree with you?

Explain how psychedelics have helped you

This is the bread and butter of my advice. When you lead the conversation by sharing your personal experience and how they have helped you, it presents the opportunity for the other person to hear what you’re saying. Be open with loved ones about how different psychedelic experiences benefit you, with relatable examples. 

Anyone who has experienced psychedelics understands there are moments you have that can’t be put into words. Try to stear clear of these comments or sharing about the dragon that came to you and shared deep insights of the universe.

Instead share specific examples of how they have helped you better understand your inner world, grow as a person, become closer to God, be less reactive and judgmental, and the list goes on. 

You them to hear the good that’s come from working with plant medicine, not the stories that may further justify their fears. 

Talk about the scientific research, policy updates, and Indigenous practices

For those of you speaking with loved ones who are totally psychedelic-naïve and who still believe the War on Drugs propaganda they were taught in D.A.R.E., sharing the long history of traditional Indigenous practices, as well as current scientific research and policy updates (especially in mainstream news sources they already know and trust), can really help to shift their perspective.

Share proven research on psilocybin-induced mystical experiences to help patients come to terms with their diagnoses and spend the rest of their days (whether that be months or years) living and enjoying their lives to the fullest rather than being consumed by their fear of dying. 

You can also talk about the thousands of veterans who have found peace from PTSD by using psilocybin, ketamine, or MDMA. 

Be honest about the potential negatives

While psychedelics have helped millions, they are not the cure-all for everyone.  Don’t present them as answers for all society’s problems or be one-sided in your assessment. Acknowledge some of the possible negative drawbacks of psychedelic use—so be sure, to be honest, and balanced in your approach and talk about how things like frequency of use, dose, and set & setting can significantly affect a trip and its outcome. 

Don’t try to sell psychedelics as a miracle cure for all of someone’s problems because they’re not, and you run the risk of sounding like a snake oil salesman that most rational people will see right through.

None of these guarantees that your loved ones will be able to agree with your decision to use psychedelics fully. Still, leading with how they have improved your life, coupled with having a well-balanced approach to the negatives, will give you the best shot at keeping the relationships you care about most in tack through the holidays.