Citation: LoneBee. "Brainfood: An Experience with DOC (exp73492)". Erowid.org. Jun 3, 2009. erowid.org/exp/73492
||(powder / crystals)
I am writing this report on behalf of a friend, as he has little experience with psychedelic substances, and is also not the avid fan of this site that I am. He has consented to this being posted, as we both agree that it is best for anyone considering using this substance to know what they are getting into.
To begin, I feel it is necessary to explain a little about his mental state before dosing. I am/was more the amateur psychotherapist than I should be/have been, and had tried talking to him about anxiety problems and depression he had been experiencing. It all seemed to stem from an incident earlier in his adolescence which had perhaps caused the anxiety and depression problems he had been struggling with. This, along with several other issues, has continued to haunt him, with time healing no wounds, and perhaps simply leaving emotional abscesses. He's a very intelligent young man, a creative problem solver and the son of a renowned mathematics professor at a renowned college, a college where he himself was a student during this experience.
However, even at this renowned college, full of intelligent and interesting people his own age, he had great difficulties in building a social life. Most of all, he seemed to be held back by a sense of anxiety, depression, and an almost fatalistic view of himself in social environments. I made the incredibly foolish mistake of telling him that he could perhaps find some relief of these problems from a psychedelic experience. I had read as much as I could on all the latest research, and was convinced that he was a PTSD case if I had ever seen one. He certainly is now. But we'll get there.
In light of being unable to find mushrooms and having only two very weak hits of 'acid' I wanted to experiment with myself, I suggested to him that he try some DOC that a friend had. I myself had sampled it on numerous occasions, and while it certainly wasn't the easiest experience, I thought it had a great amount of therapeutic potential, being somewhat similar in structure and effect (I hypothesize) to ibogaine. I myself couldn't stop painfully analyzing every aspect of myself, to a ridiculous degree.
For some godforsaken reason, he trusted me. My friend that had it owned no scale capable of measuring the minute dose, but he had some experience with the substance, and felt comfortable eyeing it out. [Erowid Note:
Two samples of powder (even of the same chemical) with equivalent volumes won't necessarily weigh the same. For this reason, eyeballing is an inaccurate and potentially dangerous method of measuring, particularly for substances that are active in very small amounts.
See this article on The Importance of Measured Doses.]
He asked what kind of dose I was looking for, and, thinking that heavier is more therapeutic for some reason, I told him I wanted a larger one. That's definitely what I got.
I dosed on my 'acid' around 11, and went to give him his dose then. I figured I had a good 2 hours before he was going to really come up, and so I began a mission of finding some herb, riding around town on my bike to save gas and prevent a psychedelic-induced auto accident. It ended up taking a little more than two hours, including the act of smoking up a bit (I've read about how herb can induce later flashbacks, didn't want to do that to my friend, so yeah, I smoked without him). I was definitely coming up and enjoying myself when I met back up with him, and he seemed fairly agitated. We headed over to his dorm room to hang out, intending to chill, watch some goofy movies and cartoons, whatever. He then hit me with a verbal sledgehammer.
He told me he had been feeling suicidally depressed, and had been making light of it in our conversation. I was honestly shocked, and knew then that it was going to be a train wreck for him, though of course I couldn't let on that I had had this thought. At another point, another friend called me up and needed a favor, so I left briefly to help him out. Upon returning not a half hour later, I found my friend had left campus, and had gone to a mutual friend's house. I followed him there, wary, as I didn't believe this mutual friend's house, nor the mutual friends we would find there, would make for a good environment. But I could imagine the agitation he had felt alone in his dorm room.
He played Halo 3 over there with several people, online for hours. Around 8 hours after dosing, the show began. He was doing poorly in the game, and kept saying things like 'You're going to kick my ass, aren't you… yeah, you're going to be fucking brutal.' and everyone in the room obviously believed he was talking about his opponents in the game. Suddenly, as he put the controller down and stood up, still continuing this monologue, we realized he was actually talking to his trip itself. He eventually calmed down somewhat and sat down, seemingly resigned to a terrible trip.
Perhaps fifteen minutes later, he mentioned a tactile hallucination in his mouth. 'Guys, I've got this really weird feeling.. like, something is happening in my mouth.' Suddenly, he jumps up to a standing position, and yells out 'SOMEBODY TAKE ME TO A FUCKING HOSPITAL!', scaring the living hell out of everybody in the room, especially as our mutual friend's parents were still awake and quite possibly within earshot. He told us his tactile hallucinations had become enormously painful, that he was feeling like his throat was being ripped apart, that it felt like something was literally wedging itself between the two halves of his brain and slowly separating them. He kept insisting that he go to the hospital, and we kept trying to talk him down.
He began saying that his vision was fading into different colors, forgetting about the less pleasant symptoms momentarily. Then he began to cough, and feel around his throat area. He said he could feel something moving around in his throat, as well as in his head. He announced that there were insects in his head and throat, and that they were trying to get to his brain. We were powerless to convince him that he was just on drugs, and that he needed to calm down. He knew he needed to go to a hospital.
After hours of trying to pull bugs out of his mouth, squeezing and measuring his head, and feeling around his adam's apple, scaring me and everybody else into thinking that he was about to do something drastic, he began to say that his head was growing in different directions. He said he could feel the change with his hands, in his skull and detect changes in his hearing and vision. Being on acid myself, I was frankly in no state to tell him this was not true. As he told me his head was growing, I would realize that it did indeed appear to be doing so, as impossible as this would be. I was quieter after this, despite knowing far more about drugs in general and psychedelics specifically than any of the other individuals in the room.
Finally, our mutual friend's parents came in and announced they were going to bed. Somehow, the kid played it off, and they went into their bedroom without a hitch. Shortly thereafter, the kid was screaming about needing to go to a hospital again, and we realized that being in a bedroom across the hall from our friend's parents was not a good place for him. We all went outside, thinking that a change in environment could be good for him. Hah, if only solutions were that simple.
He was walking up and down the street at a brisk pace, screaming at the top of his lungs, 'Somebody take me to a fucking hospital!' all around the upper-class neighborhood our mutual friend lived in. We did not know what to do. A hospital visit did not sound like a good idea in the slightest. On the other hand, with none of us having a clue where to find a benzodiazepine or a tranquilizer, and only having some weed, I knew we had little chance of ending his bad trip. We smoked the weed with him anyway, just hoping it'd sedate him a bit, and that may have been one of the worst things we could have done. It certainly didn't help at the time, and now.. well, I'll get there.
He was begging us to knock him out, to just punch him as hard as we could. None of us felt that we could do that to a friend, so we continued more or less just watching him, racking our brains for a solution. And then he became violent. He demanded to look into each of our eyes, and at the sight of my enlarged pupils, as well as the eyes of another more or less sober individual, announced that several of us were obviously aliens. My pupils, specifically, he said had become like a cat’s or a reptile’s. He also explained later that all of our faces became virtually featureless, and that this helped to convince him that we were aliens.
The full extent of his delusions then became apparent. He thought that all of us, his friends, were aliens, or at least in on an alien conspiracy. We wanted to prevent him from going to a hospital, so that the insects in his head could finish devouring or taking control of his brain, leaving him impotent to stop some impending alien invasion.
Having read thousands of experience reports, I was blown away by all this. I admit, I avoid reading some of the more obvious psychedelic train wrecks, not wanting to give ammo to one of my own. I had never heard or read about any experience nearly this bad, especially as he began swinging at some of his best friends. We pacified him by telling him that we would get him to a hospital, and then the volunteer driver (I had decided long ago he needed to go to a hospital, but I had no car there) couldn't find his car keys. For half an hour, almost all of the party searched the house for them, while the people that had been declared aliens tried to keep him calm. This obviously didn't work, and he was once again roaming the streets, disbelieving that the car keys couldn't be found, screaming at the top of his voice, 'Somebody take me to a fucking hospital!'.
Sure that police would be on their way, finally another kid there volunteered to drive. I volunteered to ride with, to go into the hospital with the kid and explain everything, as I couldn't see anything good coming of this kid going alone. Probably the only really good thing I did for the kid the entire night. I got in the back seat of a hatchback, panicking, fearing the hospital like only someone on acid can, and we got the driver and the train wreck piled in. We drove all around town somewhat crazily for a while, the kid continuously complaining about painful tactile hallucinations, insects in his head, and growth of his head. Then the driver whispered his grand plan to me.
He intended to drive all around for a while, thinking the kid was going to forget his desire to go to a hospital, and then once calmed down, take him back to his college. I pointed out that he could still be tripping for another 6-8 hours, easily, and that the plan wasn't going to work. Of course, I had to whisper too, as we both knew that if the train wreck had overheard us, he would surely have become violent, in the front seat of a moving vehicle. He believed he was dying, and needed to get to the hospital to have a chance of living, and already thought that we were against him.
So after the driver learned that his plan was totally fucktarded, he drove us to the hospital. The train wreck got out and walked towards the main doors of the emergency room faster than some people can run, not stopping to move the seat to let me out of the little hatchback coup. I squeezed my way out, and ran behind him, getting inside in time to see him striding through an emergency room full past capacity, likely with very sick and some injured people eager for medical attention. He approached the little old lady at the desk, and hesitantly, haltingly, said 'There's something in my head. I need to see a doctor.' Her eyes widened quite a bit, but she nodded, smiled, and politely said, 'You need to fill out some paperwork first.'
That was certainly not what he wanted to hear. He began a monologue that, were I not so terrified, would have been quite funny, announcing that he had an emergency, and was in an emergency room, and that paperwork wasn't going to help anyone. Absolutely everyone in the emergency room waiting area was glaring daggers at us, as he was obviously on drugs, and in their mind, surely had done it to himself. He yelled, demanding to see a doctor immediately. Security was called, and arrived shortly after I had calmed the kid down. He still looked agitated, so they simply walked up to him and asked if he had a problem. The kid panicked, understandably, as they were both wearing badges and although they were old, they had a very apparent police look to them. In fact, one looked shockingly like Don Knotts.
He asked if they were going to arrest him, and they said 'You won't be in any trouble unless you get in trouble.' He didn't seem to be able to understand this, and pointed to the doors we had entered from, asking if police were going to come through them and arrest us. The Don Knotts looking guy did exactly the wrong thing there, pulling out a wallet with an actual police badge in it, and saying 'I am a cop, son.' Somehow, my friend didn't freak out at that, more or less just saying 'Oh.' but then Don Knotts tried calming him down, making a peaceful hand gesture, and smiling. That did set my friend off, and he raised his hands like he was going to start boxing the guy, and said 'Oh, so that's how it is?!' He told me later that it was because the cop’s eyes also started to resemble cat-like or reptilian eyes at that moment, and he was convinced he just discovered that the cops were aliens, too.
I stepped in between the train wreck and the cop, saying, 'You don't want to do that, dude!', and somehow he seemed to understand, and lowered his hands. Don Knotts responded by posturing, telling the other guard 'That's right he doesn't want to do that!' and smiling smugly. Either way, he was the next person into the emergency room, paperwork be damned. I'm sure daggers were again stared into our backs.
Somehow, I managed to keep him calm enough and the doctors from worrying enough that they didn't put him in restraints, though I was assured that it was practically standard procedure to do so. I explained to the doctors what he was on, and stayed a while to make sure he stayed calm. They gave him an I.V., telling him it was something to bring him down, after I suggested a benzo or tranquilizer to a doctor, notifying him that the kid still had a while to go before he was going to come down. Of course they asked who gave him the drug, and if I was on it too. I told them no, though I'm sure my pupils were just as large as his, and they believed me, as I wasn't a big enough problem for them to doubt. They asked him, and it took him a moment to mull over the answer. I sat silently, feeling a mixture of terror and guilt, knowing I could be arrested if he blamed me in the least, or even still thought I was an alien out to get him, and at the same time feeling that I deserved whatever happened for my carelessness and arrogance. Finally, he said he didn't want to say, and I relaxed a little, terror having faded, but not the guilt in the slightest.
The doctors explained to me, as I was asking many questions and providing many details, that he had undergone an 'anticholinergic drug crisis', that the drug had blocked the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in his brain, more or less causing mucous membranes to dry up severely and crack like dry mud. That caused the tactile 'hallucinations' and the pain. They told me he actually could have fallen into a coma or even died without medical care, but would be fine now. Still, the kid demanded a CT scan be done, to check for insects or other abnormalities. They performed it, though they never showed him the results. They told him there were no bugs, and somehow he trusted them, though he didn't trust any of his friends. He called his mom, and I got out of there before she arrived. He was still up all night, even with whatever they had in the I.V.
Now over 5 months after this most terrifying drug experience, the kid has flashbacks or panic attacks almost every day. He simply cannot smoke weed anymore, as the little we had him smoke that night obviously became psychologically linked with the hallucinations. Weed instantly provokes a panic reaction and intense flashbacks now. This episode may have forced him to get the psychological/psychiatric help he needed before this, and he says that honestly, he believes it may have been for the best. Still, I feel incredibly guilty for the ignorance that possessed me to try to help him in the reckless way that I did.
There are many morals that I'd like to impress upon the reader, as well as that I still believe in psychedelic therapy in principle, as it has worked wonders for me personally. In the end, I guess I should say that harm reduction strategies are always worth it. Smaller doses first, and use a fucking scale for Christ's sake! Also, I learned it is a bad idea to think marijuana can help bring somebody down from a bad trip. My friend has massive anxiety problems, with insomnia, and of course depression caused by the chaos in his mind and life now. The bottom line is that I shouldn't have given drugs to anybody. The best of intentions, the worst results. Irony can be fucking brutal.
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