Citation: Xherrus. "Childhood Revisited: An Experience with Dimenhydrinate & Caffeine (exp23567)". Erowid.org. Feb 20, 2006. erowid.org/exp/23567
Recently a large pharmaceutical company in Australia, Pan Pharmaceuticals, had to recall a large number of products due to concerns about consumer safety. Among these products was a motion sickness remedy named 'Travacalm,' which many consumers were complaining about due to side effects of hallucinations and delerium. Having heard that such a product was being taken off the market for such a reason, and having read about the psychoactive effects of Dimenhydrinate, I decided to try the drug out.
It was a Sunday evening in the privacy of my own home. I took notes during the experience. It got off to a slow start, but I could never have imagined how deep it would be.
~ 6:00 PM: took 3 Dramamine tablets each containing 50mg Dimenhydrinate, and one 100mg Caffeine pill and sat down to do Math while waiting for any effects.
~ 6:20: small effect of altered perception, nothing strong enough to be definite
6:26: no real effect, may take more in a few minutes
6:31: little effects that disappear before I can determine what they are... will wait another 10 minutes before taking more
I was just about to take more when a friend called, I told him what I was up to and he said that one of these days I could kill myself on this crazy pharmaceutical stuff... I answered that I had done my research and had decided it was safe enough to try.
6:54: dropped 3 more Dramamine tablets, since no real effects by now. Sat down to study more Math.
7:01: a bit drowsy, took another 100mg Caffeine pill
7:16: took two more Dramamine tablets, hardly any effect up to now
At this point I wrote: 'Something coming up. Will drop more, I trust my interior monologue's judgment.' I was getting irritated at the lack of effects after over an hour, and decided to finish the packet.
7:22: Took two more Dramamine tablets, finishing the packet and making a total of 10 tablets taken by now.
I went inside to go to the toilet, looked in the mirror and analysed what small effects there were - I wrote on my notepad: 'Felt like how animals must feel, thinking it is a different creature [in the mirror] and reacting accordingly. Hard to think straight, a bit more drowsiness.' I felt a bit separate from my reflection... almost like it was another person. But these were only small effects at the time, perhaps even created by my attempt to analyse them.
7:30: 1 more 100mg Caffeine pill.
7:53: No visual effect... leads me to wonder what everyone who tried it was talking about [I had read reports on the internet of LSD-like visual hallucinations and such]... will wait and see anyway. Noticed more drowsiness, don't want to fall asleep and waste the 'trip'
After this I went inside to get some food, and started noticing some effects which I described: 'Noticed definite 'weirdness' and made sure I didn't act or talk stupid... can recognise some of the effects I had read about... got occasional stabbing chest pains but always for only a few seconds at most.'
I had decided that I must not have taken enough, because I was only noticing small effects after an hour and a half. From this point, though, the effects started to properly kick in.
8:30: still only small effects - disturbances [like things at the corner of vision]
8:40: rolled and smoked a joint - hoping not to fall asleep. [I was bored by then and hoping the joint might awaken the effects somewhat]
Now I started to notice the Dramamine high, which had come on very stealthily. I wrote: 'Can really focus on music.' It was not euphoric at all, listening to music, maybe even worse than normal, but I could really separate and focus on the different layers of sound.
I was looking at my hands when sitting at my desk and I noticed 'feels like fingers, hands in different positions from what I can see... crazy.' Although I could see my hands in one position in front of me, it felt to my sense of touch like they were in a totally different position. For example sometimes it may have felt like I had my index finger pointing out when I could see all my fingers clenched.
I was also occasionally getting up and pacing around my room for no reason. At one point I must have imagined my friend Jurek was there, because I caught myself talking out loud to him and then realising that I was alone in my room. I seemed to have been thinking that I was in a different situation from the one I was in, and acting exactly like how I would have acted in that situation, because I believed I was there.
I noticed a 'warm' feeling around me too. This might have been the marijuana, or the combination of it and the DMH, but it was really nice, and I felt safe and had no worries on my mind.
8:52: I wrote more about the crazy bodily effects I was feeling at this time. The best way to describe it would be that I felt like I had another body inside (or outside) of my physical body, but this was the body that received sensations. I decided it resembled what I have read of some PCP effects (I haven't actually used PCP). I was feeling like some parts of my body were bigger or smaller than usual. I felt 'pushes' to the sides of my 'astral' body as I called it in my notes, and at one point I imagined myself having a small head on a very broad body. I also felt limbs making motions that I was not in control of. Looking back on this scares the hell out of me... but at the time I took the effects as they came and was actually curious and not afraid.
I lay down on bed and listened to more music... this time I noted the 'concert hall' effect that I had experienced on DXM, where the music seemed to surround me and felt like it was coming from every direction instead of from the stereo on my right. The sensation was not euphoric like DXM, though.
Sitting at my desk I imagined myself to be some long-necked creature... my sense perception was distorted and although I knew that I was a human with normal body, I could just perceive myself differently and have the feeling of having different characteristics. I looked down at my hands and they appeared much bigger than usual, like I was holding a magnifying glass right up to my eyes, even when I moved them around and stared at them. I thought it was quite strange and cool - I wrote 'awesome time' on my notepad. I think I was very confused by now, getting up and moving around my room sometimes for no reason, having crazy thoughts, or a completely blank mind.
I wrote that I had a crazy notion of the world being like a 'circle' around me, however I can't remember what I was feeling then.
9:11: 20 minutes felt like at least an hour. 'Underestimated DMH,' I wrote, because by then I saw how intense it could be. I think I definitely underestimated the time required for it to take effect.
Now the most profound part of my night took place. I found myself sitting on a rug on my bedroom floor, driven there by whatever delusion I may have had, staring at the rug. I wrote about how I was feeling then: 'Evokes childlike states of mind.' Memories of the rug from my childhood came into my mind, because it had been in all the houses I had lived in and it was in my room now. I saw it where it was in the house I first remembered and was taken back into the child-like state of mind I had then - I was not only remembering this place in my childhood, I was feeling the feelings and thinking the thoughts I had then. In that mindset, I was inquisitive, constantly taking in information and learning about the world, forming associations.
I linked the colours green and brown on the rug to my mother and father. This was a very old, old memory of a childhood thought that welled up in my mind, that might have been lost forever. I knew deep inside that I had really made this association of colours when I was very young and was taken back to that state of mind.
I explored other parts of my childhood too, places I had lived and their atmospheres. I went back into my memories deeper than I had ever thought I could go. When I saw a place like an old bedroom of mine, it wasn't only a flash of the memory, like a photograph. I could actually feel what it was like to be back in that place, and most amazing of all, I could actually feel how mysterious and wonderful it felt to me as a child back then.
I got to re-explore part of this later after an interlude in which I wrote more about the insane hallucinatory aspects of the trip that occured in the meantime. My perception was definitely disturbed and I was constantly seeing things 'inside' other things, like seeing a creature 'inside' my sweater, that was my sweater. I noted that I smelled a brief whiff of 'rubber,' and I had read about olfactory hallucinations. I had my eyes closed at one point and heard a car rev in my ear. The thing about all these phenomena, though, is that as soon as I realised that they were not normal, they disappeared. It was really weird, and because I was confused too, it was not much fun noticing stuff just appearing and disappearing. I wrote: 'hallucinations are fleeting.... little changes that vanish when looked at.'
The delusions were frequent now, and they happened more when I was closing my eyes, because the caffeine was wearing off and I was becoming drowsy. When I had my eyes closed, I found myself in completely different situations and engaging in different activities - sometimes menial tasks like housework, sometimes talking to people at school.
I had closed-eye visuals too, and the main ones were a lot of parallel lines flashing in front of my eyes at once, sometimes horizontal, sometimes vertical, and every so often I would see just flashes of white light in my vision, and eyes staring at me out of the darkness. By now I noticed a great connection to music, like it was somehow connected to my body - I 'felt' the music.
I was very drowsy by now, dozing off and waking up every so often on my bed. I went back to my childhood again. I vividly remembered scenes from my old primary school that I thought were completely lost - the memories were welling up. Sometimes I was almost choked with tears - writing this makes me like that now. I had the chance to re-live the memories of childhood dreams that came to me, dreams of things that would make no sense if you told them to other people, but when you think of them, you remember the whole dream in a flash and the feelings you associated with it. I remembered fantasies of living in beautiful places like a luxurious bedroom, or exploring fantastic gardens. In dreams I would relive and explore things that I experienced in life, like a visit to the pool. 'Memories continually arise,' I wrote. This part of the experience was awesome. I was actually reliving my childhood, I felt like I was there. Words cannot describe it.
When I opened my eyes and looked around, objects kept jerking and quivering. I had disturbances in the corners of my vision - like little bugs and spiders crawling in the darkness. Eventually I fell asleep.
I had trouble integrating this experience into my life. Reliving memories that I thought I would have forgotten forever was beautiful but confronting at the same time. I know I was not scared when I was tripping, but looking back on how confused I was and the insane hallucinations and delusions I had makes me afraid. I am not likely to want to try Dimenhydrinate again unless to try a combination with DXM, because it was not really pleasant and did not seem like a good choice at all for a recreational drug; just because of how much it f***ks with your mind - it seems like anything can happen on DMH. You might have an intensely profound experience, but reading of all the reports of people who had a terrifying or unpleasant time, and experiencing all the fucked-up effects of the drug too, convinces me that it would be just as easy to have an experience that could unbalance you. The 'stabbing chest pains' were worrying and I had a nasty hangover the next day.
My advice would be to stick with abusing DXM when it comes to pharmaceuticals, although even DXM has ugly side effects - surely the best choice is to be kind to your mind and body.
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