Citation: Antapex. "Something Beyond Paranoia: An Experience with Quetiapine, Cannabis & Cannabis Hash (exp87500)". Erowid.org. Dec 25, 2013. erowid.org/exp/87500
Before I begin to recall one particular Saturday, it should be noted that for the past three days leading up to it I had been taking daily 25mg doses of Seroquel (quetiapine). I had been severely depressed for three weeks and was finding a vice in Seroquel, given to me by my friend who is prescribed it. Not only had it been providing me with some of the most restful, peaceful sleep I'd ever gotten, but it had been nullifying my recently chaotic emotions, leaving me neither exceptionally happy nor especially sad. On this night I'd learn that I had seriously underestimated the psychoactive effects of this drug, which is prescribed as treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I was fully aware of this fact, but I somehow tucked it away as an afterthought. I also convinced myself it was safe because of a sneaking, secret suspicion that I may have bipolar disorder. There is an history of it in the family, and I've had incidents resembling manic episodes, but I have had no such disorder diagnosed and certainly no prescription.
Saturday, around 4:30 PM, I took my 25mg tablet after feeling a twinge of unease and desiring a distraction. An hour later, I'm over at my friend's house shooting the shit and playing video games when the Seroquel kicks. It's a soft, calm feeling that stays in the back of my head, not the foreground. A party is supposed to happen, but our friend who deals and sells to us is absent. So after a phone call from my other friend, Eli, inviting me for a hash session, and offering to sell me a 20 sack, I decided to dip, weighing whether or not to return to the party later. I would not. I drove out to pick up Eli, and we met up with another friend, Ash. It's about 8:40 or so when we're all set to smoke.
We set up in the shower room of Ash's apartment complex, intending to go for a soak in the jacuzzi afterward. It's necessary for us to hide out in someplace concealed due to the butane torch used to heat the pin on Ash's hash pipe. I packed my regular glass pipe and smoked that with Ash, while Eli took the first hash hit. He started to cough uncontrollably and left the rest of the smoke in the pipe with some hash still left. I quickly took it from his hands and finished the hit. I soon felt very high. Ash's hash pipe has yielded the highest results in potency out of all smoking devices I have used. It's given me swirling visuals in the past, and in Eli's room where I had taken LSD before, brought back acid flashbacks. It was a familiar sensation and disorientation. I began to cough as well, feeling pressure on my chest and lungs. Eli and I took Ash's advice and caught our breath with some deep breathing exercises. Now it was time for my own hit. We load up the needle, torch the pin until it's red hot and I take my hit slowly and efficiently. I fill my lungs and have to exhale to take the second half of the hit. My cough gets much worse instantly. Ash and Eli had coughed till they puked off the hash pipe before, so I decided to go outside and get some fresh air.
I dry heaved for several minutes, but never actually vomited. Feeling healthy enough, but incredibly high, I went back to the shower room. At this point, it was a few minutes after 9:00, and this is where things first began to feel off. Like the altered perception of an LSD onset, no one thing had discernibly changed, but there was a subconsciously tactile feeling lingering in the back of my mind that something was different. The shower room had become stuffy with our breath and smoke, and I felt more nauseous being in the room. I told Ash and Eli that I'm going to the jacuzzi to have a cigarette and exited the shower room again.
You know that feeling of having a song stuck in your head? Well as I walked towards the gate for the pool area, I could just 'hear' a song like it was in the back of my mind. Only it was a song I'd never heard before. It was muffled, indecipherable. Vaguely electronic, but mostly sounded like a continuous tone that changed pitch. I was very high and chalked it up to hash. I reached the jacuzzi and sat down in one of the pool chairs. There was one man, in his mid-late twenties soaking in the tub. I offered him a cigarette and pulled one out for myself. He accepted and we start talking. Two things happened here: First, I told him that I'd been smoking with my friends, where they were, and what they had, without even intending to. It's like the words were just pouring out of my mouth without permission. Luckily this man was also a stoner and I hadn't just busted my friends. Second, the music I'd been hearing amplified. I could tell now it was music with an irregular beat and strange sampling. It still only sounded like a tone, from a synthesizer perhaps. I looked around the bushes in case it was coming from a nearby car. Unable to find the source of the music, I took off my shirt and moved to sit in the jacuzzi.
As soon as I'm submerged up to my collarbone, only my head and my hand holding the cigarette exposed, the music amplifies much louder. Loud enough to be playing off a speaker somewhere right by my head. The synthesized tones became high tension strings and I heard robotic beeps and boops. The idea suddenly sunk in that the music might be in my head. I scrambled and searched my mind for any reason why this would happening. This wasn't an acid flashback, I had never experienced anything like this before. Then I realized I had been taking an unprescribed psychoactive pharmaceutical for four days now, medication for serious mental illnesses. The moment I consider that fact, evil laughter interrupts the song. A deep, demonic chuckle exactly like you would hear in halloween specials, reverberating around the walls of the jacuzzi. The song changed back to off-beat electronic music. I started to think of the old lady who loses her mind on uppers and downers in Requiem For A Dream
, and how maybe I've really pushed myself over the deep end this time. Maybe this music will never go away and I've done irreversible damage to my psyche.
At this point I began to have intense visuals as well. The fences and bushes were dancing and swaying, almost looming over me. The illuminated water, white foam and bubbles from the jacuzzi are exceptionally bright. I look at my damp arm and see long faces without eyes, noses or any defined features in the water on my skin. Over the music I start to hear voices talking to each other. The voices are human, and loud as though they were yelling some distance to one another. I couldn't understand them, though they were speaking what sounded like English.
All of this leaves me extremely frightened, but I remained calm and didn't express any of this to the man sitting with me. I made small talk with him about the security guard walking around instead, not really paying attention to our conversation. As far as I could tell, my behavior was not irregular, though in retrospect, I probably looked suspicious as my eyes were darting about, inspecting everything. After a few minutes, when my cigarette is about finished, I tell the man I'm going back to the room. As I exit the jacuzzi, the music returns to it's initial inconsistent tone, though the volume of it is still up. I grab my shirt and my towel, part ways with the other man and head back to the shower room. I feel very disoriented and uncoordinated as I walk.
I knocked on the door and announced immediately that I was in a bad place. I sat down and explained what just happened, all the while I saw shapes all over the walls moving upwards. It looked like a swarm of tiny creatures burrowed under the wall were all escaping out of the ceiling. The music was still playing. I finished my monologue and Eli paused before speaking. He turned to me and said, 'maybe you just need to look at it a different way. You've been taking drugs and you're having a reaction to the combination of those drugs. Once they're out of your system, it'll stop. Just ride it out. Try to treat it like just another trip.' This turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear. Hearing those words and repeating mantras of 'It's gonna go away, this too shall pass,' got me to seriously calm down. The music and visuals persisted but I took less notice of them. After sitting and continuing to talk for about ten minutes, that random guy from the jacuzzi came and joined us. We properly introduced ourselves, and the man locked the door behind him and sat down. Ash sparked up the fresh blunt he just rolled, and feeling calmer now, I decided I would smoke it. The music and visuals subsided and were replaced with a sleepy, familiar indica high.
It was about 11:00 when we moved from there to my car, and while I would have refused to drive earlier, I was good and buzzed now and felt confident in my driving capabilities. The only remaining feeling unique to the Seroquel was the altered perception sensation I'd felt right before the music started. This was not something that was impairing my cognitive or motor capabilities, so I felt safe to drive.
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
We cruised over to AM/PM to buy energy drinks and snacks. The outgoing and 420 friendly cashier came out while we were smoking cigarettes by the car and told us to sneak around back. This turned into a very unexpected hash session in the back bathroom of AM/PM while the employee was 'cleaning up.' I took another hash hit against my better judgement. Luckily it seemed the Seroquel had indeed passed, as no music and no visuals returned.
Ash parted ways from us and we left the extremely stoned employee to what I'm sure was an enjoyable graveyard shift. Eli and I have a joyful ride home, blasting dubstep music the entire ride. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a typical hash high. I dropped him off, returned home and passed out on my bed. The next day was groggy, and I felt emotionally cold. I went about my quiet Sunday doing homework without a hitch.
Ultimately, I don't see any way Seroquel could be used as a recreational drug. It seemed like a possible solution to me, as a depressed and desperate but not diagnosed psychologically ill person. Quetiapine may be an answer for some, but not for me. I'm not crazy. I don't need medication to not be crazy. I don't need to become crazy.
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