Citation: I Am LeBron. "Psychotic Episode & Temporary Organ Failure: An Experience with 5-MeO-DiPT (exp27587)". Erowid.org. Oct 15, 2003. erowid.org/exp/27587
I recently spent four days in the hospital because of a disastrous 5-meo-dipt trip that included a psychotic episode, temporary failure of my kidneys, and suspicion of heart problems. Aside from deciding to seriously experiment with this drug in the first place, I don't believe that I made any bad decisions related to this trip, so this account could serve to warn you against taking foxy in general.
I am a 175 lb. male with high metabolism. Including this experience, I took 5-meo-dipt 27 times over a span of 16 months. My doses ranged from threshold (<3 mg) to 25-30 mg; my preferred dose was 15-20 mg. I estimate that the total amount I have consumed is between 400 and 450 mg. From this you should be able to tell that a) I was no stranger to the mental effects of this drug, b) I don't take stupid doses of this drug, and c) the use of nearly half a gram of this drug over time may have caused physiological changes that made me intolerant to further use of it. So what happened was,
A friend I had taken foxy with several times, who we'll call Mr. Bones, and I decided to do a good dose on a Thursday night in our apartment with goals of cleaning up to move out, having some novel and poetic interactions, and discussing practical matters with my lawyer, who we'll call Tex. I was in a pretty good mood the whole day leading up to the trip, though I had been experiencing ambivalence and some anxiety about major life decisions in the weeks leading up to this episode. In general, I was well rested, though I thought I might have been coming down with a virus that both Mr. Bones and Tex had during that week.
At around 10:30 p.m. we dropped doses that I 'eyeballed' to be between 20 and 30 mg each; the target was to be on the low side of 25 mg. I don't know exactly how much I took, but I've had a lot of experience measuring this substance with ultra-precise digital scales and my eyeballs, so at the very least I can tell you that I am confident that I didn't take an exceptionally high dose. I remember feeling and pointing out as it came on that it was indeed on the strong side with respect to my previous experiences; in retrospect, Mr. Bones agrees, although his trip was much more normal than mine. My memory of the first one and a half hours of the trip is typically vivid. There was some shuffling about the apartment, some half-ass attempts at cleaning, some continuation of conversations started earlier in the day, some new conversations, and a lot of bizarre noises and movements that we were making. Around midnight, I guess, I sat down on the floor and started some sort of nonverbal conversation with Mr. Bones, which is the point when my reality turned into an exceptionally lucid dream.
In my memory, I continued dreaming for a good period of time until the plot of my dream reached a definite point of completion. I awoke the next morning in what appeared to be a hospital. All four of my limbs were strapped to the bed with leather, and I had (and to this day continue to have) absolutely no recollection of how I had gotten there. It was like my most severe experiences with alcohol blackouts, except even with each of those there were always at least a handful of fragmented memories after the point when it all got out of hand. Partially because I remembered beginning the trip but couldn't remember how it had gone, I decided that I was dreaming I was at the hospital. But, then my Mom was there, and various friends filed in and out throughout the day. I had the same question for each person, 'Why am I here'?
After asking various questions related to that for several days, I think I have pieced it together, though as I said, I have no memory of any real events beyond the point when my dream started. Mr. Bones and I, at times with Tex, played a game that involved communicating things in various nonverbal ways, which eventually caused me to start saying 'yes' and 'no' a lot rather than communicating with words that I actually was thinking. In a period of ten minutes I became very loud, agitated, and unable or unwilling to recognize the situation I was in and the people who were around me. I continually 'chanted' a series of brief statements (such as 'can you even imagine the potential'? and 'I am LeBron James' and 'this is a conversation!') that seem to have been quite relevant to my lucid dream. My chanting was apparently too loud for the middle of a Thursday night, and various neighbors and friends began stopping by the apartment to see what was up. My agitation caused me to bang loudly on the floor, accidentally break a glass and some CDs, and hit a female friend of mine in the face with light to moderate force (I had no previous history of inflicting any violence on any other person, and yes I have apologized sincerely and profusely to her since this episode). I climbed on a crowded table to shake my precariously positioned computer monitor, kicked over a boombox, stepped blindly on the center of a bed covered in relatively delicate stereo components and wires, and grabbed people's necks and heads. During some or all of this time, I was having one of the most transcendental and seemingly profound dreams of my life, making the idea that I was upset, let alone violent, very difficult to reconcile now. Though I admit to some mental ambivalence at the time, I don't think I was projecting the life-decision-related anxiety either into my actions or into my lucid dream. Mr. Bones pinned me to the ground to try to keep me from doing other things, and though I wasn't writhing or fighting back very hard, I was still unable to acknowledge that I knew I had to settle down or even that I knew who these people were.
So, my friends called 911, realizing that either they call for paramedics or the neighbors would call the cops. The EMS personnel were the first to arrive, and police and firemen were called subsequently by EMS to assist in taking me from the apartment after paramedics tried to talk to me unsuccessfully. Five men carried me out of the apartment on a flexible stretcher with light restraints. The police tried to get some information about me, apparently for a report of the incident and fortunately not for a criminal investigation, which I appreciate. While restrained I did a lot of thrashing and was subsequently handcuffed. It is clear that I didn't want to be taken to the emergency room because I struggled extensively with the handcuffs, as evidenced by deep cuts into both of my wrists and the fact that my hands were incredibly swollen for that whole weekend and continue to show signs of nerve damage. Tex pointed out that if they hadn't strapped me down and given me sedatives, I very well may have continued struggling until I had broken a wrist. In summary, this behavior is evidence of a psychotic episode or at least severe psychological detachment.
Physically, the reaction to this trip was gravely serious. It's probably a good thing the police decided to take me to a hospital, which at first seems odd considering that most psychedelic users who are admitted to an ER seem to end up sitting alone staring at unused medical equipment. I, on the other hand, had a heart rate so high that there were (thankfully refuted) rumors that I had or nearly had a heart attack. Usually, my heart rate on this substance seemed pretty normal, and if I was doing something physically intensive it usually seemed lower than it would sober rather than higher. After much evaluation, including a cardiac sonogram, which is an ultrasound for the heart, it was suggested that my heart had been only temporarily affected, probably because I was so riled up about my aversion to being taken to the hospital. The serious physical problem was that I suffered acute renal failure, which is when the kidneys go into 'operation shutdown.' Fortunately, when I awoke for the first time after one of my wrists had been freed I was still moderately sedated, because while inspecting my body to figure out why I was in the hospital I found a catheter coming out of my penis that was connected to a bag of blood, which was, yeah, kind of annoying in a traumatic sort of way. This was all related to an enzyme that had been release en masse in my system, which either caused muscle breakdown or is an indicator that it has occurred. The levels of this enzyme were extremely high, so even though my kidneys quickly resumed functioning correctly, I was required to stay in the hospital until the levels came down to a more reasonable level, which took three and a half days. It is my understanding that the muscle breakdown essentially caused the kidney failure, indicating that the kidney failure was not a result of me potentially taking a blow to the mid-section during my struggling, which also could cause one's kidneys to temporarily shut down.
There is no clear explanation for why this all happened. It appears that the drug mentally gave me the will to use my body beyond its capacity for safe physical activity, which allowed it to be overexerted to the point that muscle failure began. My guess is that if I had been able to settle down in the apartment that I wouldn't have gotten physically riled up about being taken to the hospital and, thus, muscle breakdown of that magnitude wouldn't have occurred. Regardless, I simply cannot explain how the psychosis occurred in the first place.
The first question that most people have asked me about this experience has been, 'Did you overdose'? My initial inclination has been to say 'absolutely not,' though in all honestly the answer is 'maybe.' I'm quick to point out that I had taken a dose this high at least twice before, and that I have taken doses that were nearly this high (about 5 mg less) around ten times without experiencing anything remotely like the negative effects brought on by this episode (e.g., psychological detachment, agitation, darker urination). Nonetheless, it was a high dose, and even though I, and others, have taken that much in the past, that alone could have caused the problems.
The second thing that most people say after I tell them I don't think it was an overdose is, 'Well, I guess you must have gotten a bad dose.' It's not at all like I bought this from some shady guy at a club or on the street. The fact is that with three exceptions, all of my trips with 5-meo-dipt have come from one of two batches purchased from the same temporary company. Furthermore, the batch from which this dose came had been thoroughly blended together after I received it. As well, Mr. Bones that night and others at other times have taken doses from this batch without any of the negative effects I experienced in this episode. For what it's worth, the batch had been obtained in the summer of 2002, had always been stored in darkness, and had been mostly refrigerated, though it had been exposed to a range of 'room' temperatures in the weeks before I took this dose. One possibility related to this hypothesis is that there was something crystallized or something in the batch that was too small to be broken up and mixed in with the rest but that I ingested whole with this dose, which itself more than the 5-meo-dipt mixture caused the problems. If you're looking to glean advice from this hypothesis, you could remind yourself that when you're dealing with a drug that isn't federally regulated or that you didn't competently grow yourself (and even then), you just don't know exactly what you have or what it could do to you.
Is it possible that this was caused by an adverse interaction with another drug or a food I had ingested prior to the trip? It seems highly unlikely, but for the record that day I had consumed one beer, had taken one Aleve and one Excedrin (at different times, both many hours before taking 5-meo-dipt), and had eaten a Big Mac extra value meal and some Fig Newmans. I think that can pretty much be crossed off the list.
Another potentially related factor was that I, indeed, was getting sick the night I took this substance. It ended up being a pretty run-of-the-mill cold, meaning it could definitely have weakened my body's ability to handle the dose but that since it wasn't a serious virus, it alone probably doesn't explain all the problems.
A viable possibility is that the reaction could have been the result of intolerance to the drug that I had built up over the period of previous use of it and/or other drugs. I am aware of people experiencing tolerances (i.e., needing more of a drug each time to get as high) and dependencies with various drugs, but I am not very familiar with the idea of intolerances built up over time other than, like with alcohol and the liver, when a drug significantly eats away at the ability of an organ to process it. It has been proposed that there may have been some neurological reaction relating to over-saturated receptors that caused the mental breakdown, if not the physical problems. This all seems possible, but I just don't know how to verify it. If you're looking to derive some meaning from this possible explanation, then perhaps you should avoid taking move than, say, 200 mg of this substance total in a year, or avoid using it more than 10 times in a lifetime, or something along those lines.
One inextricably related factor that complicates all of this analysis is the fact that I was given some pretty heavy sedatives upon arrival at the ER around 5 a.m. that night. If those were responsible for disrupting my memory of real events, then I suppose I may have been semi-consciously just being an asshole at the apartment rather than psychotic specifically on account of the drug. Also, sedatives were administered before the determination that I was suffering acute renal failure (they couldn't do much until I stopped thrashing), so it is possible that a reaction between a sedative and 5-meo-dipt resulted in at least some of my physical problems. Overall, I really just don't know what happened. In fact, the only thing I do know about the causality of this episode is that the only way the psychosis and acute physical problems could have been certainly avoided is if I had never taken the substance that night.
As you may imagine, the bottom line of my report is that while you may be experienced and feel relatively safe taking it, 5-meo-dipt can cause unexpected psychotic episodes that can lead to potentially serious muscular trauma, which can result in kidney dysfunction and may also result in problems with other muscles/organs, such as the heart. To say that I am surprised that this happened is an understatement. I thought my use of the drug was as safe as can be with a drug manufactured in a lab but not federally regulated. As you might imagine, I am giving up drugs (for now, at least), and I will certainly never take (or let my friends take) this substance again. As far as what this may mean for the community of 5-meo-dipt-takers, I don't know. If I had read a warning like this one at any time before or during my use of this drug, it probably would have convinced me to not take it. On the same token, I had many of my best drug experiences on foxy, including an impressively transcendental lucid dream during my last trip. If nothing else, I hope this account helps you better understand the risks you take every single time you take this or any 'research chemical.'
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