Citation: Gothmog. "Death Trip but Grateful: An Experience with Toad Venom (exp107335)". Erowid.org. Jun 16, 2018. erowid.org/exp/107335
(Note: I have exercise-induced asthma and had taken 10mg of amphetamine salts on the day of my trip. These effects may have contributed to my experience.)
I smoked a large dose, had difficulty breathing, and thought I was going to die. The experience helped me feel grateful for being alive. Retrospectively I should have not mixed drugs, smoked a medium to low doses, measured my dosage, and had a sitter. Duh.
I had smoke Sonoran Desert Toad venom before at lower doses, and had felt the characteristic rush, strong body high, and three-hour afterglow, but the time had come to do a huge dose. On a beautiful fall afternoon, I laid out my glass pipe, torch, and toad venom, and then I meditated alone in my study. After meditating I loaded up three medium to large sized flakes of Sonoran Desert Toad venom. I don’t know how many milligrams, but the largest I had ever previously smoked was only one medium sized flake.
I lit the pipe, waited for the flake to blacken and snap, I slowly inhaled the vapor which had a sickly sweet flavor. I inhaled until all the smoke was gone, and then I held it for a long time, several seconds at least. I exhaled and there was no vapor residue.
I laid down and felt the effects surged over me like waves from an ocean rising up through my body. Wave one, whoosh! Wave two, Whoosh!! Wave three WHOOOSH!!! Everything inside of me was coiling with energy. I wasn’t afraid, and it wasn’t painful, but it was intense. I kept my eyes closed and just focused on my breathing, while I watched vague swirling blobs of light. I completely accepted the experience and was slowly drifting deeper and deeper into a sense of oblivion— suddenly I sensed something was wrong. Right as I was about to fade out, I was barely breathing to the point of holding my breath.
That’s ok I thought, I’ll just refocus on my breathing. I did that just that, but as I relaxed again my breathing faded to a faint whisper. It felt like my natural inclination was to stop breathing. Breathing felt like a terrible chore, like I had weights on my chest. Just relax, I thought, but then I heard a terrible ringing in my ears.
Just relax, I thought, but then I heard a terrible ringing in my ears.
I opened my eyes and my vision was fuzzing out like when you stand up suddenly. My limbs were all pins and needles as if asleep. I looked at my hands. They were purple! I wasn’t seeing visuals, they were literally purple. Recently I ran an ultramarathon at high elevation and knew exactly what the feeling was: I running out of oxygen.
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I was fucked. I couldn’t think super clearly, but I could think enough. I knew then that I couldn’t pass out. If I did there was a strong chance I would stop breathing, or have oxygen depletion throughout the body including my brain. I had to keep breathing. I literally thought I was going to die. (This sounds like a classic freak-out, but I had read Shulgin’s account in Tihkal where he describes a similar experience at 30mg smoked of 5-MeO-DMT. He also had to revive a friend from respiratory arrest after smoking an unknown about of 5-MeO-DMT.).
There I was alone, on the floor, with purple hands, struggling to breathe. Each breath was a conscious effort, like sucking air through a six-inch length of garden hose. Then the panic attacks came. I fought off two or three during my ordeal. Each time the thought of actually dying took over, and my pulse would spike, the ringing would grow, the needles would tingle over my body, and my breathing felt rushed.
Each time I just refocused on my breathing, I thought of my wife, and all the things I wanted to do with my life. I refused to pass out, I refused to let go. I didn’t fight the overwhelming energy, or the tightness in my throat, or the pressure on my chest, I just flowed with it, but I refused to get pulled under, I had to stay alert. I wouldn’t describe the experience as hell, but it was probably one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.
The ordeal lasted over forty minutes.
The ordeal lasted over forty minutes.
Finally when I could walk, I staggered over to my neighbor’s house. He told me I looked real pale, and I just chilled with him until I felt better. From start to finish the ordeal was about an hour and a half. Funny enough I had an amazing after glow all evening. It was sweet.
What really came from my experience was a sense of gratitude for being alive. Perhaps foolishly I had put myself in a dangerous situation by trying to be a hero, not measuring my dosage, or finding a sitter. I am grateful to the toads, and the toad venom, for giving me such a difficult experience, and for giving me another chance at becoming a better person. I think the drug has a lot of potential for positive outcomes if used with caution.
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