Citation: Rockey. "Insanity in a Red Capsule: experience with Red Pills : Ethchlorvynol? Secobarbital? Chloral Hydrate? (ID 25825)". Erowid.org. Feb 7, 2004. erowid.org/exp/25825
I have a friend who's mom is a crazy insomniac and she takes some of the weirdest pharmaceuticals known to man. I think the pills that we had swiped from her were phenobarbital [Erowid Note: See below
]. They were the largest, reddest, most evil-looking pills we'd ever seen.
Not knowing how incredibly potent these pills are, I took two of them, while my friend only took one. Thankfully, we were smart enough not to chase them with alcohol, or I probably wouldn't be alive to write this today.
Within half an hour, we both started to feel woozy. We both felt warm, flushed, and happy. Our limbs turned to jelly and walking turned out to be extremely difficult. But we were loving it! A new experience. 'Wow, Man!' was all we could say. Soon these warm, woozy feelings turned to complete drunkenness that got worse as each minute passed. We finally could not walk anymore and found a safe spot behind a building to chill out and collect ourselves.
'Dude, my face is numb,' my friend said.
'Mine too,' I replied, and we exploded laughing.
As the world became dimmer (we were both on the verge of blacking out), we got up from our hiding spot and decided, for some really stupid reason, to go out and dig the streets.
Okay, picture slamming a gallon of whiskey in two minutes. That's the only way I can describe the feeling. The only difference is that we didn't get sick or nauseous. After at least 20 minutes of walking (more like staggering) down Main Street and yelling obscenities at each car that passed by, we realized that we were on the front lawn of my friends house, where we had started less than two hours ago.
'Oh, I'm home,' my friend said, 'I think I'll turn in. I'm sleepy.' And with that he plopped face-first into his dad's vegetable garden. I thought he was joking, but when I tried to pull him up, he was already in a drug-induced coma, drooling out the side of his open mouth. It was then I realized that I had taken two of those pills and I figured if I didn't get to a safe place soon, I'd probably end up sleeping on the sidewalk.
It was then that my mood suddenly changed. I became very angry for some reason. I began screaming and stomping around the yard, smashing lawn ornaments and kicking over all the potted plants on the porch. Finally his dad, who had been watching, came out and grabbed me.
'What the fuck are you guys on?' he screamed as he attempted to put me in a full-nelson headlock.
'Fuck you!!' I screamed and wiggled out of his grip. I ran like the devil to....wherever. I just wanted to leave.
Well friends, everything is a blur from here on. I vaguely remember being in a gas station and beating on the bathroom door, telling whoever was in there to get out of my bedroom. This part of the experience can closely resemble the weird stuff I've read about Datura trips. Very very strange. I awoke lying on my back the next morning in a cow pasture about three miles out of town. My shoes were gone. My shirt was ripped and I had cuts on my belly and arms. I was very disoriented and a little frightened, because the first thing I saw when I looked up was a big, ugly cow chewing on grass and staring at me like I was an alien.
I found my shoes a few yards away in some tall weeds. They were caked with mud and probably cow shit too. I slid them on and started waking back toward town. I knew where I was because I saw a billboard up ahead for the McDonalds on Iowa Street. I was on Highway 151, in farm country, south of town. I realized my shirt had been ripped when I attempted to scale a barbed-wire fence.
My friends mom knew what he had taken and dragged him into the house to sleep it off. Suffice to say we weren't allowed to hang out anymore. But hey, he got caught, and I didn't! That's a cruel thing to say, I know, but if my parents caught me they probably would've called the cops.
Beware of downers.
Comments on the identity of the substance
[Erowid received comments about the identity of this substance in Dec 2005, by RQ, and Oct 2006, by Soardude, which seemed like they may provide some additional information about what this person might have taken. Thanks to RQ and Soardude for their comments.]
'In this trip report the subject recalls consuming the 'Most evil looking red pills I had ever seen' and believes them to have contained Phenobarbital. This information is incorrect for a few reasons.
First, Phenobarbital traditionally has been in the form of a white, scored tablet. The only barbiturate/sedative hypnotic, or 'downer' drugs for that matter produced in an entirely red capsule is Secobarbital (Seconal Sodium) and Ethchlorvynol (Placidyl, 500 mg). Given that the author was not specific as to characteristics of the capsule (i.e. gel cap) or of the medication itself (i.e. odor, side effects, etc) it is difficult to determine if he/she had consumed Seconal or 500 mg Placidyl.
Now, given that the author said that he consumed two of the dosage units, it must also be noted that consuming two tablets of Phenobarbital, even in the highest dosage form would not produce such effects of intoxication that are described in this report. I personally have consumed up to 800 mg of Phenobarb (pharmaceuticals are my specialty) and can state that the Phenobarbital experience is best characterized by a sluggish cloudiness that is anything but enjoyable.
Furthermore, the effects described in the report are similar to that of acute short sedative hypnotic intoxication. Consuming two 100 mg capsules of Seconal would *certainly* bring on effects like that, as would consuming two 500 mg capsules of Placidyl (had the subjects had a tolerance to either substance, such effects would not be as pronounced).
Also, it should be important to note that if the date of experience of this report is valid, it is not likely that the subjects consumed Seconal (as it hasn't really been around since the 70's), and is more likely that they consumed Placidyl (which was produced until 1999, and in stock until 2000, although generic forms are still in existence).
Based on the limited information provided in this report, it is proper to say that it was NOT Phenobarbital consumed, rather it was either Placidyl (Ethchlorvynol USP) or Seconal (Secobarbital Sodium, USP).'
I just want to state that in Canada at least, the potent hypnotic chloral hydrate sold under the brand name Noctec has a 1000mg formulation that comes in a red gelcap. This may have gone unnoticed to most because of the difficulty in obtaining such a strong formulation of this highly addictive hypnotic but I was able to obtain it legally on a few occasions. The much more common 500mg Noctec gelcap is green.
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