Telling Loved Ones About Your Psychedelic Medicine Use

Azalea Montaño-Kemp
5 min readNov 25, 2021

I work with psilocybin mushrooms medicinally to help people who suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many other severe mental health illnesses as well as physical illnesses. My parents, being Christians and former drug addicts, did not know for the longest time that I had ever even smoked weed, let alone the fact that I led people through mystical ceremonies on a plant-based psychedelic. A few of my friends knew what I did, but I was afraid to speak up about my use of psychedelic medicine and my work because of the societal backlash I could get from “doing drugs.”

The deeper I got into this work, I knew it was way too important and life changing for me to hide. After almost a year of working with the medicine 🍄, I took the first step forward and talked to my parents. Less than 2 weeks after telling my parents not only that I do mushrooms on a regular basis, but that I wrote a book about using psilocybin mushrooms medicinally, my mom expressed interest in micro-dosing herself! It was scary getting here and I wish I had a step by step guide teaching me how to tell my parents that I do drugs. So, I am now grateful to share 3 guidelines that helped me open up about my use of psychedelic medicine.

hands reaching through a portal of the universe to each other
  1. Despacio y poquito-

Slowly and a little. When we first step into the world of psychedelics, we are often told to start out slowly with small amounts. This is good advice for life in general and particularly helpful to consider when we begin talking about our use of psychedelics. Start slow and small. For example, if you have a conservative parent helping out with medical bills and you are worried about being cut off financially if they find out you take psychedelics, you probably don’t want to talk to them about any DMT experiences or even bigger doses of LSD that you’ve had recently! What you can tell them about easily, though, are micro-doses (if that is something you do) as a form of natural antidepressants.

If everything you ever do is a huge psychedelic experience, describe these experiences softly. Maybe even talk about the afterglow of the experience rather than the psychedelic trip itself. A friend skeptical of this medicine doesn’t need to know exactly how your ego death went or that you met God on your trip. Yet, what can help them open their mind is knowing that any depressed thoughts and/or feelings you had prior to your trip disappeared and stayed away weeks after your experience.

Give friends and family small amounts of information in bite sized pieces so that they have time to process. Usually, after receiving the bite sized information and allowing their brains to chew on these ideas, friends and families will come back to you with questions allowing you to express more about your trip. (Only express what you are comfortable with, of course!)

2. Aprender

Learn. Take some time to learn about the neuroscience and psychology that is going on underneath the surface when you take a psychedelic substance. Nobody expects you to go super deep in the textbooks or to show with your knowledge that you have a degree in psychology. Just try to learn the basics of the benefits from these psychedelic medicines so that you can brief your concerned friends and family members about how healthy you are when you take these substances!

Thankfully, there is so much research happening in this area, so there are many ways to reference articles, books, and clinical studies in the psychedelic space. I like to keep a note file on my phone that has a few different links to easy-to-read articles about psychedelics medicinally so that I can copy and paste when I’m asked concerning questions by people who love and care about me deeply!

(Bonus: It does help if you find articles from well known magazines rather than favored psychedelic websites. Although so many psychedelic websites have great information, your mom might be more willing to listen to information that comes from something she read on Newsweek or a documentary she can watch on Netflix.)

3. Madre Tierra

Mother Earth. You don’t have to get all spiritual here if you don’t want to, but I personally think the easiest way to get people “on board” with this stuff is to remind them that most of our psychedelics are found naturally on the Earth. Mushrooms (my absolute favorite!) are obviously the easy talking point here. You can tell someone who is religious that psilocybin mushrooms have been growing naturally for a long time on this Earth so they must be provided to us by a creator with purpose. You can tell someone who is scientifically inclined also that psilocybin mushrooms have been growing naturally for a long time on our planet as part of evolution, again, with a purpose.

Whether you believe in creation or evolution, with the medicinal benefits we are seeing evidence of from psilocybin mushrooms alone, it’s difficult to deny that they are a valuable resource we should be utilizing safely. Of course, we can eventually speak about synthetics such as how LSD was derived from a fungus. I just find it easy for people who know nothing about psychedelics to follow the logic that if they come from the Earth, they have a purpose on this planet.

When speaking to friends and family about your psychedelic use for the first time, it’s important to remember that this process looks different for everyone. I have friends who have taken mushrooms with their parents. I also have friends who are years into shamanic training with Ayahuasca and have family members that know NOTHING about this journey of theirs! As with psychedelic experiences, it’s important to move at your own pace. You don’t have to tell everyone at the same time and, honestly, you don’t even need to tell everyone period! The most beautiful thing about life is that these choices are always up to you … and you are always making the right choice for yourself. ☺ Trust yourself in this process and, as always, I am sending you an incredible amount of love for support.

You can read more of my work on

I wrote a book about micro-dosing mushrooms! Find it on Amazon here.