Mushrooms - P. cubensis & Unknown
Citation: Delirium. "Dangerous Combination: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis & Unknown (exp64665)". Erowid.org. Jan 4, 2010. erowid.org/exp/64665
[Erowid Note: The authors report suspicions that their mushroom chocolate has been adulterated. While this is possible, readers should be aware that the authors may simply have had an idiosyncratic response. There is no way to know if the mushroom chocolate in the report below was adulterated or not. The authors assertion that the adulterant was ketamine is unlikely, since oral ketamine has a quicker onset and shorter duration than described here.]
Mushrooms are extremely scarce in my region, so after having gone shroom-free for over a year, I was eager when the opportunity came about to purchase some. I was told by the dealer (a generally well-reputed chemist) that what I was being sold was a chocolate containing a five-gram extract of psilocybe cubensis. I was assured that they contained nothing else.
My husband and I split the five-gram chocolate in half, and I took my half about an hour before he took his, just after consuming an 8-ounce cup of coffee. The trip took a bit longer to set in than I expected, so I went for a walk. At about 45 minutes after my dose, I suddenly felt very short of breath and got back to my house as quickly as I could, just after my husband had already eaten his half of the chocolate.
My mind began racing with types of confusion that I wasn't accustomed to having with mushrooms. I felt simultaneously panicked and apathetic. I knew that something had gone very wrong, but the thoughts racing through my mind were like fast-paced reassurances. I kept 'hearing' a voice saying in a tone that was comforting in its peculiar objectivity, 'I've fucked up my brain. I've fucked up my brain. I've fucked up my brain.' I chain-smoked tobacco (something I rarely do), trying to keep myself grounded, and told myself it would be over soon, but on some level I was disturbed by my lack of panic. I remember thinking that I may have unknowingly poisoned myself and my husband, but I felt so strangely detached that this didn't bother me.
Typical mushroom hallucinations began at about 1.25 hours after the dose, but they were superimposed with an atypical fogginess. Everything seemed broken, artificial, and toxic. The bright colors I generally associated with mushrooms were not reassuring, but frightening. I felt like I was looking at a reflection of an old psilocybin trip, but not at a trip in itself. I was continuing to fight off an overpowering sense of nausea and apathetic dispair. I could see that my husband was beginning to struggle, too, at about this time. I told him sadly that I thought I had made a mistake in taking the chocolates and that I should have warned him that they were bad.
All the while, the voices in my mind were expressing peculiarly disturbing tautologies. The wall is blue because it's a blue wall. My hair is brown because it's brown. My brain is destroyed because I took bad drugs. I took bad drugs because I'm a drug user. I was unsettled by these thoughts, but felt drained and empty. I continued to sit, curled in a fetal position near my husband, who was also looking drained and disturbed, waiting for the trip to be over.
At about 2.5 hours into my trip (1.5 hours into his), my husband's shortness of breath became much more severe. It occured to me that he may have been on the brink of a severe allergic reaction to whatever we took, but I was still feeling so alarmingly apathetic that I couldn't bring myself to be panicked about this. His face started turning blue, so I handed him a bottle of B vitamins and a glass of water to slow, or hopefully stop, the trip. I took several of the vitamins myself in an attempt to regain my sense of emotional and intellectual presence.
I still couldn't bring myself to be worried, so I just watched him take the vitamins and massage his throat in an attempt to clear his passages. I felt like a child watching an adult and not fully understanding the gravity of a dangerous situation. I took my husband's hand and asked him if I needed to call an ambulance, and he told me through difficult breaths that he thought he'd be okay and that I shouldn't call anyone unless he stopped breathing. I felt guilty and disgusted with myself because I still couldn't conjur any real worry, even though I was aware that my husband's life may have been in danger.
My husband is epileptic, and I don't normally see his seizures as a reason to panic, although I help him out as needed. However, I still felt so empty that I I felt no emotion at all when he began convulsing a few minutes later (about 3 hours into my trip, 2 hours into his). I watched him with curiosity and a strange morbid fascination, knowing that I should be upset. I'm normally so intuitively tied to him that I can't keep my emotional slate blank while watching him struggle, but I still felt no emotional reaction to his convulsions, or to anything else.
His eyes seemed to be bulging from their sockets like frog eyes, and I could tell that he was unable to see me. I remember thinking, still with no emotional reaction, that he could be dying. I forced myself to remember how to call 911 and kept my phone closeby. I sat quietly and pensively, still chain-smoking uncharacteristically, waiting for him to feel better and trying to remember how long his seizures usually lasted. I attempted to check his pulse at one point (something I almost always do when he has seizures), but my sense of time and counting were severely morphed. I tried to count beats: one, fourteen, nine, twenty-two, eighty...? I felt--or rather tried to feel-- like I had done something terribly wrong by taking whatever drug I had taken. I knew I should be worried.
Eventually, at about 3 hours into my husband's trip and 4 hours into mine, the convulsions and shortness of breath stopped and the B-vitamins caught up to both of us. Although I slowly regained my stability over the next several hours, I kept a lingering feeling of emotional apathy that I did not want to have. I felt numb and stupid for days following, and my husband and I both had body aches for weeks. Over the next several days, we talked to some people who had bought the same batch of chocolates, and found out that they contained an unknown amount of ketamine and likely other substances, as well. Everyone we spoke to about the chocolates had a terrible experience with them.
For me, the trip was unpleasant in its lack of meaning and emotion, but for my husband, it could have been lethal. I hope that chemists, shamans, and dealers can all learn from this incident.
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