Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago has played a significant role in American culture. As the third largest city in the United States, just behind New York and Los Angeles, Chicago offers a wealth of art, music, and historical, architectural experiences.
The Chicago area is located on the homelands of the Anishinaabe, or the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations. This offers a unique chance to explore native cultures, and if you are lucky, check out the yearly Pow-Wow.
If that’s not your speed, take a stroll through Millennium Park and the loop around to view the outdoor art, one of the most famous being the giant metallic Bean. If you want something more interactive, catch some live blues or jazz, or have a laugh at one of Chicago’s many comedy clubs. Many top comedians launched their careers in one of the many comedy clubs.
Although the city has a lot on offer, if you’re looking to explore psychedelic therapy, the options are currently limited due to legislation on psychedelic drugs. If you live in the city or surrounding areas, don’t lament just yet, read on to learn about the current options for seeking therapeutic psychedelic experience in Illinois.
The Current Legislation on Psychedelics in Chicago
Illinois, and consequently, the city of Chicago, have very stiff penalties for those found possessing psychedelics. Let’s take a moment to explore the state’s laws on the books and possible consequences for psychedelic possession.
If you’re found with less than 200 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, it’s considered a Class 4 felony, meaning you could be sentenced with up to 4 years of incarceration. On the other hand, if they catch you with more than 200 grams, the repercussions are much harsher.
It will be classed as a Class 1 felony leading to 4 to 15 years in prison. If caught with 1 to 15 ‘doses’ of LSD, you can be sentenced with up to 3 years of incarceration. If they suspect an attempt to distribute (perhaps if you’re found with separate small bags of psychedelic products), you could be looking at 50 years of incarceration.
Though this information may be discouraging, keep in mind the presidential announcement that was made in July of this year. President Bident announced that he expects nation-wide approval for MDMA and psilocybin therapy within the next two years.
Giving these psychedelics the nation-wide green light for therapeutic use federally would undoubtedly place tremendous pressure on state government officials to reconsider psychedelic reform.
You might find it interesting to know that many psychedelic mushrooms grow in the wild throughout Illinois. Major disclaimer here, though. This is not a guide on how to forage for illegal psychedelics, nor is it a call to do so. The information we provide is purely for educational and harm reduction purposes.
Having said that, wild mushrooms are often present in temperate forests, near the base of trees, or in cattle fields. Many psilocybin mushrooms grow out of cow dung and are most abundant after heavy rain or in the early fall. They prefer darker, more humid areas near decaying wood, leaf litter, or manure. This provides an ideal environment for fruiting.
The most common psychedelic mushroom species in Illinois include Panaeolus cinctulus, Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe cyanescens, and Pluteus americanus. Do not pick and eat wild mushrooms. Even if you are an experienced mycologist, eating the wrong one could severely harm your health.
What Qualifies a Psychedelic Therapist?
First, let us make this clear. In Illinois, if you seek out a psychedelic therapist, they will not be able to sit with you during the actual day of your journey. With that out of the way, let’s define what a psychedelic therapist, guide, or facilitator can do for you, and how you can qualify their expertise.
Despite sounding very similar to talk therapy, psychedelic therapy is very different. Although both share the same goals, such as helping clients work through issues and traumas, the methodologies are very different.
In psychedelic-assisted therapy, you will work closely with a psychedelic guide or therapist. They will help guide you through preparation and will aid in the process of integration. Therapists hold a mental health license, while many facilitators don’t. A guide/facilitator’s expertise comes from years of first-hand experience using the medicine and facilitating its experience.
Though we have a great article discussing the qualities you should look for in a psychedelic therapist, it’s important that we briefly touch on a few. When you enter into a therapeutic relationship, it is vital for you to feel safe and comfortable. Here are a few things to consider:
- Find out what the therapy sessions will entail. Do they offer only preparation and integration, or are they also able to attend your ceremony?
- Make sure the guide’s healing philosophy aligns with your intentions and goals for the session. The facilitator is there to support and encourage your journey.
- Psychedelics have a way of bringing repressed emotions up to the surface. Thus, you must feel comfortable with your service provider and in the chosen environment. Is this someone you can trust to open up to? Psychedelics have a way of bringing repressed emotions to the surface.
This is the beginning of a very intimate relationship between you and psychedelic medicine. Do your due diligence, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, you can always move on to another psychedelic facilitator. Even if there is nothing inherently wrong, you should always feel free to explore your other options. Sometimes we don’t click with a particular person, and thats ok.
What is The Role of a Psychedelic Guide?
Although you may not yet be able to access a psychedelic therapist in Illinois, you can choose to work with a psychedelic guide or a facilitator through Psychedelic Passage. As a psychedelic guide or facilitator, their goal is to make your psychedelic journey as effortless and productive as possible.
You want someone who will give you the room to work through your issues, this is a very personal process, and it will look different for everyone. Although a facilitator or guide should give you the autonomy to direct your journey, it’s also essential that they act as a soothing voice of reason to help keep you in the present moment.
As we touched on earlier, psychedelics bring up repressed fears and issues. Although this can be scary, know that it’s common for people to have some anxieties arise. Without a professional present to help you move through these rough patches, it can be easy to get caught in what many refer to as negative “thought loops”.
A good facilitator and guide will approach these issues with non-judgment and loving acceptance. By taking this stance, they allow you to explore your personal truths and find healing. This is a process of self-actualization, personal growth, and self-improvement.
Is it Really Necessary to Hire a Psychedelic Guide?
Is it a must to hire a psychedelic guide? In short, no, it’s not. Again, this is your personal experience, and you should go about it in a way that makes you most comfortable. However, a psychedelic guide will contribute massively to your overall experience.
Many times people take psychedelics to deal with issues like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. During the experience, your emotions will likely become magnified. If you decide to journey alone, these feelings can quickly become overwhelming.
The best way to get the most from your journey is to have a psychedelic guide present. They will have the necessary knowledge and experience regarding safety, they’ll help you set and retain your intentions, and they assist in emotional regulation throughout the process.
Most importantly, a professional psychedelic guide will have the tools to help you navigate preparation and integration processes. They will not only prepare you for the journey but they’ll also help you implement the lessons gained, so you can use them effectively in your life.
All in all, it is definitely not necessary to have a psychedelic guide present during your ceremony. However, it is the safest and most supported option, especially if this is your first time trying psychedelics.
Where To Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences in Chicago 2022
Although there are strict laws surrounding psychedelics in Chicago, a few options are still available for engaging with psychedelic medicine: Ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage.
1. Ketamine Clinics
Currently, ketamine clinics are one of the only options for working with psychedelics in Illinois. Ketamine has proven to be effective in treating PTSD, depression, and chronic pain. Since ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic widely used throughout our medical system, it’s been a lot easier to approve the drug for off-label use.
Therapeutic use of ketamine is done under the direct supervision of medical professionals. The main benefit of ketamine is it allows clients to temporarily create distance from their issues. This separation allows for a more empathetic and objective view of our lives and current issues.
Often, this detachment allows people to be less self-critical, promoting self-love and healing. Sadly, many report ketamine’s effect to be only temporary due to the current lack of therapeutic support that’s present in many ketamine clinics. Before finding a ketamine clinic, you want to understand ketamine clinics more deeply. If that’s the case, check out the pros and cons of ketamine therapy.
2. Guided Psychedelic Experiences with Psychedelic Passage
At Psychedelic Passage, we are dedicated to spreading the message of psychedelic healing and to giving everyone equal opportunity to benefit from these medicines. Every part of our 5-week program is designed for personal transformation and customization to each client’s specific needs.
Not only can you choose from a wide range of psychedelics, but you have full autonomy over the direction of your journey and the pace of your experience. In fact, you even have the freedom to choose where your experience takes place.
You can choose to be hosted by one of our host facilitators or you can choose to have your journey in any Chicago landscape, in a private residence. Our facilitators can even travel to you, allowing your journey to unfold from the comfort of your own home.
Our program includes preparation and integration, as well as in-person ceremonial support. Whether aiding financially with our sliding payment scale or connecting you with the perfect pre-vetted facilitator, Psychedelic Passage will meet you exactly where you are.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey in Any Major Chicago Area
- The Loop
- River North
- Gold Coast
- Old Town
- Lincoln Park
- Lincoln Square
- West Town
- West Loop
- Wicker Park/ Bucktown
- Logan Square
Getting Started on Your Healing Journey
For a long time, navigating this novel space of psychedelic medicine has been intimidating, but you no longer have to do it on your own. If we’ve caught your interest and you’d like to begin your journey of psychedelic healing, we empower you to book a consultation with us.
Psychedelics have been proven to catalyze incredibly meaningful changes in quality of life, and you can be one of the next journeyers to experience these benefits. If you’d like to learn more about all-things-psychedelic, head over to our resources page. Set an intention and dig deep!