Citation: Samantha. "No 'Standard' Dose: experience with MDMA (Ecstacy), Mushrooms & Cannabis (ID 27808)". Erowid.org. Jun 2, 2007. erowid.org/exp/27808
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This report concerns my younger brother, who committed suicide this past June at the age of 20. I wanted to write this, and hopefully to have it displayed, in the hopes that someone would read it and maybe take a little more care with the drugs they do, and in what doses. As someone who used to do a lot of drugs, I have found the information available out there to be confusing and contradictory. Very few straight answers are available.
First, a quick background: my brother and I were two years apart, I was two years older. Through high school, he smoked a lot of pot, sold it, and did mushrooms at least three or four times a year, with no problems. He stayed away from what he called 'the powder family' until a few years later. I had started going to raves, and had been doing E and coke on a semi-casual basis, about every 1-2 months, for two years. Once again, I had had no ill effects, no scary experiences. I recommended that my brother, Jason, do E, as it had helped me overcome a lot of personal issues in my life. He thought about it but always ended up deciding not to.
But he was an impulsive guy. Ten months before he died, he and I took a trip out to Vancouver to see some family and friends. He went out one night to meet a girl he knew there and didn't come back to our place until five in the morning. I remember the time because he woke me up to wave an empty water bottle over my face. He told me he'd done E, just one cap, and loved it. He wanted to go out again the next night and do it again, but I convinced him not to.
Back in Winnipeg, where we lived, Jason started becoming obsessed with raves and E. For about two months, he would go out almost every weekend and do it. But something weird happened: it never worked nearly as well for him as it had the first time. I found out later that he once took six caps at a party, which is just insane, because he was getting nothing at all from the drug. The one time I did it with him at a party, he did four (all 1.5-2 hours apart), and he was sitting on the floor disappointed because nothing was happening. His personality started changing too. He changed from an easygoing, flexible guy, into someone with strong ideas about life, someone you made sure to not get started on certain topics, because he just wouldn't stop. He started managing his money badly. He quit his job, and didn't even look seriously for another one for over a month.
But maybe the weirdest thing of all was that about a month after he first did E in Vancouver, Jason did mushrooms with a friend one night in his apartment, and had a much stronger experience than he'd ever had before (please note that he had gotten mushrooms from this same guy before, done mushrooms in his apartment before, done the same amount as always, etc). The mushrooms lasted about ten hours for him that night. He didn't sleep, became convinced that he was a bear and had to go live in the woods, and unplugged all his appliances. I visited him the next day, and his fridge was warm. He was freaked out by this and said he wasn't going to do shrooms again.
But again, he was impulsive. A month after THAT experience, Jason went to a friend's party. He invited me, and dear God I wish now that I'd gone, but I didn't. I heard only later that Jason had done about two grams of shrooms, and freaked out. He thought his legs were filling with fluid, and that he was dying. He couldn't move his legs. He started talking about good and evil, seeing into peoples' thoughts, etc. Really, really crazy stuff. He went home the next morning, having not slept at all, and went out to get his hair cut and do errands. He didn't sleep all day. That night, he went out to a show and smoked some weed, which was weird for him, since he had quit smoking weed about six months earlier. He didn't sleep that night either, or for five nights after that.
Long story short, five days after Jason did mushrooms for the final time, he had a psychotic break. A nonviolent person, he assaulted a stranger because he thought he could see evil in their eyes. He had numerous delusions, too many to mention here. My family had to get the help of the police to forcibly commit him to hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Jason stayed in the psychiatric ward of that hospital for six weeks. He got out just before Chritmas last year, with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Jason denied that he was ill, but had very low energy and a lot of depressive feelings. He worried about everything, from whether he would hear voices again, to what he and I would do with my parents' furniture when they died. He had to move home to live with my parents, which depressed him further. Although on a low dose of Risperidone, an antipsychotic medication, he did not improve, but became so despondant that this June, he hung himself.
My brother had no prior history of mental illness. There is no such history in our family. I'm not a pharmacologist, but I believe now that the amounts of E Jason did in a short time (an estimated 25-35 pills in two months), possibly combined with his history of drug use, made him vulnerable to brain damage of some kind. In my heart, I felt a change in him after the first time he did E. And the first bad experience he had with mushrooms, after using them safely for years, was a warning which he ignored.
I only had one brother, and I loved him, and he's gone. For the sake of those who love you, please use caution with all drugs, because all drugs can have an effect on you that you can't predict. If you have a bad experience with a drug, or an experience which seems really different from what you expect, or if you have to take massive doses to feel anything, maybe take a step back. It really could be your life at stake. An overdose isn't the only danger. I wish my brother and I had known that.
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