It is a common experience to find that you tripped more regularly and frequently in your younger years, with experiences happening less often with age. Psychedelic use typically occurs between ages 15 to 19, with 19 being the most likely age for people to first experiment with these compounds (although this doesn’t mean this is the ideal age to begin such experimentation). There is then typically a period of initial strong enthusiasm for having these experiences.
Interestingly, however, research has found that the rate of lifetime use was greatest among people aged 30 to 34, with many people still tripping in middle age. But this doesn’t discount the very common trend of people having more psychedelic experiences when they were younger and, moreover, that these trips were approached with more ease, excitement, and fearlessness (and sometimes heedlessness).
As we age, it’s perfectly normal to find it daunting to venture again into the psychedelic realm, and this can sometimes mean tripping less often than as a teenager and young adult. But why might someone feel more intimidated by having a psychedelic experience now compared to, say, a decade ago?
There are many reasons, in fact. Not all of them will apply to you, but some may resonate. And of course, it should be emphasised that none of them may feel relevant at all; some psychonauts most proactively use these substances in their later years (such as Michael Pollan, although he did say, “I was a very reluctant psychonaut), and for many there is either no change in their fearlessness or they actually became more intrepid and confident about using psychedelic compared to when they were younger. Also, some young people may be more affected by the stigma surrounding psychedelics, due to the influence of authority figures – and these fears may go away with age after exposure to more accurate information.