Citation: Anon of Ibid. "Oh My God, We've Really Fucked Up: An Experience with AMT, MDMA, Ketamine & 2C-T-7 (exp2963)". Erowid.org. Sep 14, 2000. erowid.org/exp/2963
There has been a lot of discussion recently about safety and psychedelics, due to several recent events in our local community. In particular, I was involved in a series of events over the weekend that I feel it is important to bring to the attention of our community, in the context of helping others avoid our mistakes. I'm doing so anonymously to protect the identities of the individuals involved, though i do have permission from the primary individual to discuss her circum- stance here.
Before i begin, i do want to make a few general comments. One thing that is apparent to me, as i have grown up in this community, is that there are many many standards for what people consider safe psychedelic technique and practice. It is my goal, as i grow and learn, to try to respect and understand a wide range of opinions, and find a balance between risk and caution that i consider acceptable. I think what often makes it hard for people to discuss their mistakes with the group is that it is very easy to wind up on the receiving end of some harsh judgmentalism - the 'I can't believe you were so stupid!' Response, which inhibits sharing of future mistakes due to embarrassment and other factors. I definitely feel that criticism and critique are useful and important; i'm mainly asking for community support as i describe these events. You can't possibly be harsher on us at this point than we are on ourselves; in the meantime, we honestly want people to know what we learned, and how we learned it. If these things seem obvious to you, please understand that we are all coming at this journey from wildly different places in our lives, and i've seen 'common sense' defined differently over and over again by very smart people who simply disagree on certain fundamentals.
For the most part, the weekend was rather beautiful. This was the third in a series of multiday, multiple substance experience that a small group of us had engaged upon together, in various combinations. The seven of us are, for the most part, very experienced with psychedelics in general - years and years of experience among us, with only one individual really being a newcomer to the vast majority of the substances we typically do as a group. We started off the evening with amt, a drug that some find annoying, but which every member of our group finds to be quite a wonderful drug - like mdma, but without the mad scramble to squeeze it all in before it wears off. Amt features two hours of nausea up front, which can be mitigated with the less-drowsy formula of dramamine. After that, it's a very very long experience, 12 hours at least, a very leisurely and enjoyable ride.
After the AMT had pretty much wound down completely, we took MDMA. From a safety perspective, some have suggested that combining amt and mdma is an unsafe move, because amt is an mao inhibitor, and mdma does not combine well with maois. My response to that is that we are taking the mdma well after the amt has essentially run its course, not stacking the peaks, and have never noticed any untoward physical effects. Moreover, as some have heard of this weekend, the mistaken impression seems to be that we were stacking many concurrent peaks; the actual technique, which to me seems much more rational and acceptable, was to essentially let one drug finish out its course entirely before starting the next one. This is much less aggressive physically than stacking concurrent peaks; it gives you time to fully enjoy one substance before moving on, and really does manage to avoid bad synergies. However, it's still an aggressive move: You wind up gradually more and more exhausted, and thus more physically and emotionally open to the drugs that are later in the schedule. It's not at all without risk; but it was within the acceptable range for what every member of this group considered comfortable.
After the mdma, some bumps of ketamine occurred, and then a couple people drifted off to sleep. Ketamine at very high doses is dissociative, but at very low doses, it acts as a very mild repotentiator of whatever you happen to be on. It's a very enjoyable state. At the end of the mdma, some folks moved on to 2cb. Most people managed to squeeze in at least a few hours napping after that. As a group, we were all having a wonderful time, eating split pea soup through- out to keep our spirits up, reminding each other to stay very hydrated, etc.
One thing we did *not* do was utilize a sober sitter for the duration of the experience. It's been my experience with this community that sober sitters are rarely particularly encouraged, no matter what the experience.
It happens occasionally, but it's not a rigid rule of thumb. I've participated in dozens of experiences, with combinations, with new substances, with new people, where sitters seemed optional due to the experience of the people involved. It's not overconfidence; it's just confidence, which i've noticed is something many ppl in this group seem to have. Not a confidence that nothing can go wrong, but a confidence that if something does go wrong, it can be handled. That was the mindset we were in, for the most part, as we approached day two. I would consider this the first of our small but very serious mistakes.
After getting up from our naps, 2ct7 was on the agenda. One member of our group bowed out, in order to get some sleep. Of the rest of us, only 2 of us had really had a threshold dose of 2ct7 before; the rest were either new to the substance or had not taken a threshold dose previously. A *lot* happened to us from that point on, and i don't intend to comment on all of it. From a safety perspective, i will focus on one individual, whom i'll refer to as melissa (obviously not her real name). Melissa had never taken t7 before. I informed her that people were considering 20mg a good starter dose, and that some ppl were finding 20mg to be an extremely intense dose as well; that you could start with 20mg and boost your way up, if you wanted to. One of the other women in the group told melissa that she had tried 30mg and found it ok, but that she was going to do 40mg this time. Another woman in our group had done 40mg pre- viously and found that to be boring. The men in our group are all very much high dosers, and we were not particularly used as datapoints in her decision, i believe; we were all doing 60 and 70mg. Melissa chose 40 as her dose. In retrospect, i regret not being more forceful about considering 20mg as a starting point; i also feel that melissa didn't spend nearly enough time educating herself about t7. She came to it with very little if any understanding of what others' experiences had been, and she should have done more research. She was essentially trusting all of us, and that was a mistake. It's the kind of mistake you make when you really trust the people you're with, but there's no excuse not to do the research, and we all should have spent more time right at that point discussing what was about to happen.
The first four hours of the t7 were marvelous and wondrous, in many ways. T7 can be an amazing substance, truly beautiful. Melissa was having a wonderful time by her own account, and so none of us were on alert. The one sober person in the house was asleep at that point. Melissa announced that she was going out for a cigarette, something she'd been doing all night. For some reason, none of her usual smoking buddies went with her; in fact, no one went with her. We realized about 15 minutes later that she hadn't come back, and that she'd gone out alone. It was a rather difficult realization to make, a realization of the 'oh my god, we've really fucked up' variety. We went out to do a quick look for her, but she was long gone. We called likely spots that she might have headed to, but she hadn't been sighted. Hours went by. We reasoned that melissa was a pretty hardcore tripper, known to be able to walk the streets of major cities on lsd without much trouble; she knew the neighborhood we were in, she'd taken walks earlier in the day (accompanied) and she perhaps just wanted some time alone to appreciate the experience. But we were all extremely unsettled.
Other things happened while she was gone that lead me to state categorically: 2Ct7 is worth extreme caution. It's wonderful, but it's an extremely strong psychedelic. Be careful!
Approximately four hours later, melissa returned. Her story was chilling. She remembers walking down the street away from my apartment. The next thing she remembers is being in a man's car. She doesn't know how she got in the car. She remembers them stopping at a 7-11, and asking him to pick up some water for her. She remembers him taking her to a friend's apartment. She remembers them asking her if she was drunk, and responding she was on 2ct7, which of course they didn't recognize. She remembers asking for a telephone, and not being given one. They asked her what her name was, and where she lived, and she couldn't remember. She remembers watching cartoons for a period of time. She remembers her pants coming off, and asking 'where's my pants?' Her underwear stayed on, and she believes nothing sexual happened. Eventually they brought her back to my apartment and let her go. She had left the apartment without shoes on, and without her wallet, meaning she had no identification with her at all.
A few days after the event, melissa is doing reasonably well. Her temperament is typically very upbeat and resilient, and her friends have tried to stay in close touch with her. In the hours after her return to this apartment, emotions ran high. We were so, so fortunate that someone we loved had come that close to extreme physical endangerment and had made it back to us. She was very, very shaken, and so were the rest of us, for that matter.
Some people have suggested that it was completely irresponsible not to have a sitter for the experience. Considering our relative inexperience with 2ct7 as a group, I do agree. It's just not something i'm accustomed to, after years of never bothering. As far as the multiple substance aspect of it all, i don't feel that our technique is particularly unsafe, but clearly that's a subjective statement. Melissa had done amt and mdma, come down completely, slept for several hours (six or seven at least), before the t7, so i don't personally attribute much of the intensity to combination effects; but clearly, there's a little of that present regardless. I think i would have a smaller group next time, and i'd encourage a sitter in cases where new drugs were being employed. It seems so obvious now, but that's typically how many ppl learn, by making obvious mistakes. We're just very very lucky that nothing worse happened.
In terms of physical endangerment, there's one other scary story that i'm personally aware of. I know of one individual, a hardcore tripper, who decided to take mimosahuasca alone in his apartment. He literally *came back to consciousness* while driving his car at high speed out of the city, fleeing on the freeway from whatever it was that had scared him back in his apartment. He has no real memory of how he managed to get out of town. Obviously he could have used a sitter too!
To conclude, I just want to say that i'm very sorry that this happened. I feel very foolish, but i'd feel more foolish if we didn't learn from our mistakes, and communicate them with you all. I have heard far too many times 'oh, I've never had a bad trip' from young and old alike, with that telling undercurrent of 'and i never will'. As sasha shulgin states quite clearly, there are no insignificant psychedelic experiences, and an attitude of cockiness or compla- cency is not your friend in these matters. It *can* happen to you. You *can* find yourself, after ten solid years of having safe and reasonable experiences, suddenly in new and uncomfortable territory. The value of this list is that we can share our experiences and our ideas in a relatively safe environment; we know that some of us are greater risk-takers than others, but we all ultimately share a desire to see each other taken care of, to see each other healthy and vibrant and well. This is an asset we can utilize.
For my part, I have long ago stopped speaking publicly on these matters. My reputation precedes me in too many ways, and it's hard to penetrate the noise of that reputation. I'm known for what seems to be reckless high dose behavior, but most people don't get beneath the surface of that to see what motivates me. I am *constantly* questioning the value of this path in my life. It is one of the biggest single spiritual and moral issues I wrestle with, and i don't believe I *ever* take these experiences for granted any more. The reason is that when i was younger, i was *extremely* cocky and arrogant, and i paid a price for that, over and over again, with too many bad trips to count. I literally count my blessings that it's been years since i've had that kind of trip, and i *know* if i'm not careful, it could happen to me again. It's part of why i can talk to people so easily and fluidly when they're in trouble, and bring them back (something i'm also known for at this point); it's because i really have had to work to pull myself back from disgusting and awful places, where even those closest to me just wanted to get the fuck away from me rather than put up with my shit again. At this point in my life, i take high doses because that's what works for me; i don't try to encourage anyone to join me, rather i just want people to feel like they know what they're doing and respect their own needs. I don't know if that's true throughout the community, but i hope it is.
I feel broken hearted about the weekend, but it has brought us together, and we are honestly endeavoring to learn. I appreciate those of you who have taken the time to talk to us about it on irc or in person, and who have scolded us without insulting us. It reminds me that i'm happy to call this place home.
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