Citation: The Wonder. "Tripping Balls Into the ER: An Experience with DXM, Diphenhydramine & Paroxetine (exp49946)". Erowid.org. Jun 3, 2021. erowid.org/exp/49946
The reason I am submitting this report is to warn fellow trippers the dangers of mixing DXM and SSRI's (Serotonin Syndrome) and the general danger of a Diphenhydramine OD.
It was the last day of my fall 05' finals, I was 18 at the time, at my university and decided I wanted to trip balls to celebrate the end of a fairly decent semester. I decided to mix 2 OTC's I had experimented with a few times before: DXM and Diphenhydramine. (Note: I have been prescribed 20 mg daily dose of Paxil for anxiety/depression for the past 2 years and throughout my entire 'drug experimentation' career) The biggest mistake I made on this day was mistaking a missed dose of Paxil would mean I would be 'ok' to take a large amount of DXM and DPH.
First, let me detail my previous use of DXM and DPH
I had done DXM 3 times previous to this night (4 oz, 6 oz, 4 oz: each with no other active ingredient)
I had done DPH at 'tripping' doses maybe 3 or 4 times (however I had been using it is a sedative/sleep aide for a while), never going above 300mg in a single dose.
So, let's see what I had going for me tonight: Equaling my largest dose of DXM + an SSRI (by itself is a bad combo, let alone mixed with ANOTHER drug) and matching my largest single dose of DPH. I remember thinking, 'Shit, I hope I don't suffer serotonin syndrome tonight.' Fucking karma, huh?
Now, to begin with the experience...
Around 10 pm, I decide to go to the local Walgreens to pick up the desired OTC's before they closed at 11.
+30 mins I call my buddy Mike up and ask if he's busy tonight. He knows what's up and realizes I want him to watch/sit me.
11 pm I down 6 oz of the 8 oz bottle of Max Strength Robo and swallow 12 25mg tablets of Benadryl immediately after. I tell my buddy Mike and Matt that I'm gonna trip massive balls tonight (that would end up being a massive understatement). Matt and I decide to go back to my dorm to get Super Smash Brothers for N64 (the perfect tripping game) before I start hitting the proverbial floor.
11:30 pm We are back at M and M's dorm now and pop in the game, I begin to feel that wonderful DXM feeling of euphoria, dissociation, and the altered mental state we all know and love.
11:45 pm The DPH begins to hit me (I almost forgot I had taken so much). My vision blurs, I see 'fuzzies', and feel out of it. I'm very glad I didn't take the other 12 tabs and tell Mike not to let me have anymore.
12 am Playing Video games is too complex of a task for me to complete and decide to just try to enjoy my state. It was around this time that my trip went into overdrive. I would close my eyes and see green strips of colors streaming everywhere (I kept saying I was in the Matrix really loud). As I tried to enjoy the CEV's, I began to feel afraid as though If I closed my eyes too long I would slip into a coma or death, and I really dont know why I was thinking this. I began to feel paranoid and wondering If I should induce vomiting. Several friends begin to ask if I'm alright (by this time I was zoning out massively and looked really, really fucked up).
12:30 am Oh, boy. What have I got myself into. I began to feel the effects of the DPH overdose or the SSRI induced serotonin syndrome (probably a mix of both). My body began to tremor pretty badly, and I couldn't stop shaking. My heart rate had shot through the roof (around 170+ bpm). My breathing became heavy and erratic. I was in a pretty big state of delusion and dissociation (it was fucking weird tripping while going through an OD), and I distinctly remember looking into a mirror and thinking I was the person in the mirror. At this point, I have realized what every intelligent, informed tripper fears: I have really fucked up this time. I tell Mike I think I should puke to try and get this shit out of my system and proceed to puke a minimal amount of what looked like the cough syrup. At this point it was clearly too late to puke it out of my system.
Around 1 am My symptoms have progressed worse and worse and I yell out 'Somebody call 911'. Everyone in the room looks at me like they had just seen a ghost. Mike and Matt try to calm me down, asking if maybe I was just overreacting and freaking out (more or less having a 'bad trip'). I tell them that this was the worst it had ever gotten, not to mention I could hear my heart beating through my chest which really scared the shit out of me, and that I thought I was suffering from Serotonin Syndrome. [The ironic thing of this whole situation is that I KNEW the danger of DXM + SSRI and KNEW the danger of taking too much DPH, yet still did it. I had considered myself an 'Intelligent' drug experimenter: researching each psychoactive extensively before any use. Woops, good job on being 'Intelligent' this time around. I guess the only positive thing is that I knew what an OD would be like so I eventually went to the hospital before I passed out or seized.]
Eventually, I convinced Matt to call 911 and I met the police officer in the lobby of the Dorm Hall. At this point I was hyperventilating, tremoring uncontrollably, and experiencing some extreme tachycardia (increased heart rate). The officer asked what I ingested and why. I told him everything truthfully and didn't feel shame or fear because I was tripping so hard. The cop asked if I tried to commit suicide. Of course this wasn't the case, I merely told him I just wanted to 'trip some major balls.' I can't believe I told a cop that.
1:30 am Two medics bring in a stretcher and load me into the ambulance. People were watching and staring at me like I was some freakshow, under normal circumstances I would have felt embarrassed, but I was tripping balls so I might have even waved to everyone. In the ambulance, I remember asking the male medic If I was gonna die, If I would have died if I didn't call 911, and was very curious on what he was injecting me with (something that lowered my heart rate). Now, here is where things start to get REALLY trippy. On the way to the ER I remember seeing the windows on the van turn to Black and the view of outside seemed to be streaking and melting. As I felt the Van moving, I remember feeling like I was a video game character and was totally out of my mind: I almost felt psychotic. I remember telling a friend I felt as though my soul was being extracted from my body. I was tripping HARD.
1:45 am I am carted into the ER and remember various personnel asking me questions and all kinds of formal hospital shit. Around this time I lost any sense of and don't remember the time until I was released in the morning. I am still tremoring massively and breathing abnormally, however my heart rate began to descend (around 140 or so bpm at this time). The doctor eventually comes in and I distinctly remember him telling me I was a 'fucking idiot.' This was some old, white haired doc too, so I found it pretty humorous at the time. He tells me they are going to pump my stomach and I remember thinking it couldn't be that bad.
The next hour or so... I sat in my bed shaking and tripping balls wondering what the fuck is going on. I motion toward a nurse for a urine container to piss into. Pissing took at least 10 minutes until I finally managed to urine. After that, I just laid in my bed, crying, hoping I was going to live through this. I refused to try to sleep or shut my eyes because I was afraid I would never wake up. I remember at one point forcing myself to shake so I wouldn't hear my heart beating and it took my mind off of the fact that I had fucking OD'd and was in the hospital. How fucked up is that? Convulsing basically calmed me down. At this point I started to have massive delusions, visual distortions, and auditory hallucinations. I kept hearing my friends from my dorm talking and I thought that they had all come to visit me, and I remember staring through the window of my room and just seeing things melt and distort with the feeling that I was a video game character once again.
About one more hour later... Now, they FINALLY come in to pump my stomach. Now, I was conscious throughout this whole ordeal and really had no idea what to expect. I'll spare you the details and just say that having a 2 inch in diameter tube stuck down your throat into your stomach is the worst experience I have ever had the pleasure to endure. As soon as the eventually got the tube all the way down and admitted enough of the Charcoal (this took SEVERAL agonizing attempts, and the amount I was puking up felt like I had been drowned in water for years...it was horrific and disgusting), I dramatically felt a change in consciousness. I basically stopped tripping altogether and just had a mild buzz. I didn't think that the deactivating charcoal would work that fast. Since I was in at least a stable state of consciousness now, I began to reflect on what had just happened. I felt like I had fucked up my entire life. I had my friends (M, M, and another friend came to visit me) call my dad, reluctantly, to tell him what happened. I remember thinking that he would be utterly confused about had just happened (he had only previously knew of my 'occasional' use of Mary Jane and alcohol).
The next two hours... I just sat around and waited for the nurse to help me clean up all the charcoal that was all over. It looked like the exorcist in the room, and I remember telling the Janitor I was sorry for making such a mess and he told me he had seen MUCH worse. I eventually got a clean bed to lay on and tried to get some sleep before my dad came to bitch me out. At this point my heart rate was down to about 120 and falling, I knew I was in the clear and would be alright.
Around 7 am or so (I truly dont remember)... My dad comes in the room and starts bawling his eyes out, and I had never seen my dad cry before this so it really made me feel like shit and I began to cry and bla bla we had a moment type shit. I felt so dirty and awkward sitting in the ER next to my dad and lamenting on my life and how I had never even drank any amount of alcohol until about 2 weeks before college.
Around 10 am... Heart rate is around 90 bpm and they come back with the drug screen results (I did not test positive for any illicit substances). The official diagnosis was that I had an 'Anticholinergic Overdose'...basically they concluded that the DPH is what did me in, although I think the DXM + Paxil had done the damage as well. I get released and hug my dad before I get into the car and tell him I'm never gonna do it again and all that heart-warming BS and sleep the 2 hour drive back home.
12 pm or so .... I go to my bed and sleep until like 8 pm that night, I was exhausted...all effects of the drug had worn off by now and my heart rate was back to normal.
The next month proceeded to be the worst month of my life for various reasons and I had basically lost all of what little respect I had from my parents and began to feel very alienated and pissed at myself from letting myself become a statistic. I haven't done DXM again yet but probably will do it again (I am now off of Paxil completely). I began using DPH again for a couple weeks (it felt good with weed) until I took 200 mg in one sitting one night after work and had an acute adverse reaction (high heart rate and mild tremors). I toughed it out that night and remained calm, I haven't done it since and plan to never use it more than as the simple sleep aide it was meant to be (I can't believe it almost took a 2nd trip to the ER for me to stop fuckin with this shit).
In conclusion, to all my fellow trippers out there, don't fuck with DXM while on an SSRI, and DPH is the ONLY drug I have done thus far that I would recommend against using in a 'trip dose' (maybe 150-500 mg or whatever). In my opinion, don't go over 6 25mg tabs of DPH, otherwise adverse reactions will probably occur (unless I'm just sensitive to it).
Trip Hard. Be Safe. Don't Become a Statistic.
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