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PsyCare is an umbrella term for volunteer-based, peer-led harm reduction services supporting people who are having or have had challenging drug-related experiences. PsyCare Austria cultivates a sensible approach to substance use and altered states of consciousness.
Mission Our mission is to provide support for people undergoing challenging drug-related psychological experiences, particularly those involving psychoactive substances; and to provide education to reduce the harm associated with the use of such substances. Our timely and compassionate assistance helps reduce the number of drug-related medical interventions, hospitalizations and arrests.
Vision We are creating a world where individuals can easily access the support they need to navigate challenging drugs-related and/or psychological experiences; and where such experiences are viewed as opportunities for growth.
About Psycare Austria is currently headquartered in Vienna and offers the following services: 1 PsyCare is a peer led, on-site harm reduction service that aims to address problems immediately as they emerge, particularly at festivals and other music events. PsyCare is designed to help people navigate challenging experiences and prevent long term harm that might be caused if such situations are not handled appropriately. 2 Integration circles help people to process their (challenging) drug-experiences after the fact. During small group sessions, trained facilitators help participants to re-visit the event and encourage them to take a closer look at their thoughts and emotions. Often, such experiences—particularly the difficult ones—carry meaningful insights, which in turn, can lead to a positive change of behavior.
Although most drug use at festivals is intended for enjoyment, some drug experiences can cause a person to be physically and mentally vulnerable; to experience feelings of fear, paranoia, delusion, discomfort and even psychosis; creating the potential for people to be a danger to themselves and others.
Difficult experiences arising from psychedelic drug use may require special interventions due to the mental crises and altered states of consciousness they can induce. People on a strong psychedelic “trip” can become volatile and feel a wide range of intense and heightened emotions, potentially lasting several hours. In these cases, conventional medical services may struggle to find an appropriate response. Being taken to hospital or handled by security or police whilst undergoing an intense and frightening psychedelic experience can be incredibly traumatic and increase the risk of long-term emotional and psychological harm. We work closely with medical personnel to address the needs of those in distress, while aiming to prevent sedation, hospitalisation or detention. The work of PsyCare organizations worldwide has demonstrated that these individuals often only require the type of engaged, empathic care we provide, to move from a place of crisis to a calm, positive perspective.
Our volunteers are dedicated to helping people. We do not encourage the use of illegal substances, neither do we condone such behaviour - We are not here to judge, we are here to care.
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