Citation: MisterT. "Set and Setting: An Experience with 2C-B (exp83479)". Erowid.org. Jul 13, 2010. erowid.org/exp/83479
Prelude: I've read a lot of trip reports with information about psychoactives. I've become well versed with all the proper ways to trip including set and setting. Prior to this experience, I had tripped about ten times on moderate to high doses of various substances (hell, the first drug I tried other than weed was 5-meo-DMT and I handled it like a champ. The day after that I handled about 20mg of 2c-e insufflated well too) so I considered myself pretty experienced. My friends considered me a go-to-guy for info about most drugs. I had frequently discussed 'bad trips' with people who had them and found myself wondering how anything could lead to such a state - tripping to me was such a pleasant experience I couldn't imagine it any other way.
Well, I found out recently exactly how one has a 'bad trip' and have decided to lay off psychadelics until I can get a few things set in my life.
I was home over the break. Stress was pretty high. Had a fight with my mom on the phone and a general feeling of dread about the next semester I was taking off to find some work, pay some debts, and generally 'get my life together' a bit.
It's night time. I go to my friend J's place to hang out. I consider him the end-all-be-all of drug knowledge and a good companion on any new drug as he was the one who had introduced me to it all. Knowing he had tripped before on 100+ hits of acid and 40mg of DOI, I figured I was in good hands. I give J and P a ride to the UPS store where J says he needs to pick up a package containing some 2c-b and some DOI. We get the package and decide hell, let's trip that night. I figure I can go trip on some 2c-b and then go home later before my parents wake up and I have to return the car.
I'm feeling a little agitated and ask J if he has any form of benzo on hand 'in case.' He says no and I decide I'll trip anyway seeing as most of the time when I have these on hand, I don't need them. In fact I've only once taken these for anxiety during a drug experience and that drug was MDMA, a lot of it, and the anxiety was minor, so I figured it was really unnecessary. Big mistake.
J measures out about 25mg for me and 25mg for P (it may have been more due to suspicion that the bass on J's subwoofer may have messed with the scale, though J dismissed this claim saying that I was just anxious). P goes first, snorting his bump. In a few minutes, he says he's tripping balls and seems to be enjoying himself. Fuck, I'll take it too. I snort my pile, feel the burn for a bit, and sit down waiting for it to kick in.
[t+00] I try to meditate right after snorting my dose to try and improve my mindset. This was a mistake, as the drug kicked in far sooner than I had time to prepare for it. Suddenly, in about three minutes, I feel hot all over. At the time I felt like I was legitimately overheating and something was very wrong, though in retrospect this was likely just a panic attack (more on this later). I had tripped on DXM about a week earlier and had a similar hot feeling and mildly 'bad' trip so I suspected that something was fucking with my serotonin in a bad way. I ask P if he feels hot too and he says yeah, 2c-b fucks with your temperature so I try and relax a bit but the agitation that something is very wrong doesn't go away.
A few more minutes pass and the drug comes on stronger and stronger. I look from my J's face to P's face and notice that they seem to meld together slightly and bizarre geometric patterns form on them. I realize this is going to be a very intense experience and start to become afraid that perhaps I should have prepared more. After all, I'd never snorted this much 2c-b (I usually take pills) and wasn't mentally prepared for this psychadelic 'freight train' to hit me in the face.
Then a terrible thought sets in: what if this wasn't the 2c-b and was in fact the DOI. My mind does the equivalent of shitting its pants as I start wondering if I just took about ten hefty doses that would leave me completely incoherently tripping for 20+ hours...an experience I was DEFINITELY not ready for with all I had to do and my current state of mine. I ask P how hard he's tripping and voice my concern, to which he responds (not very helpfully), 'Yeah, J, I'm tripping nuts. You sure you gave us the right stuff?' J says he's PRETTY sure it's 2c-b and goes on the computer to check which it is. The guy he got it from isn't responding about the contents of the package. J tells me 'Calm down, stronger doesn't necessarily mean bad. It just means it's different.'
That was NOT what I needed to hear. In the next few minutes the hot feeling gets worse and I keep tripping harder and harder. All sorts of paranoia and nasty thoughts keep coming about how I just accidentally took DOI and will probably end up in a hospital by the end of the night thinking I'm a cactus. I try to meditate unsuccessfully and think how fucked I am for not practicing regularly as this could have really saved my ass.
[t+0.5] Some other people come over to chill. I notice them all doing bumps of the same stuff and don't mentally process at the time due to all the anxiety that they are in fact taking the same stuff I did.
I keep shifting positions on the couch to try and make myself chill out. P suggests we go out for a cigarette. I do. The cold air chills me out a little but as I notice my cigarette warping in all sorts of crazy figures and colors I can't help but think 'now I'm fucked. This is gonna keep building for a few hours and then you're going to peak for about ten after that.' I remembered the image of a guy at a festival a few months before - a fairly experienced acid head DESTROYED and blasted out of reality on about 10mg of DOI.
[t+1.0] I can't take it anymore. I'm becoming more and more agitated. I need something to chill me out. Unfortunately, the only place I know has benzos available is my mom - and we had a fight earlier. Thankfully, she knows about my drug habits (disapprovingly) but would likely not kill me if I called her fucked up. I call her and explain that I've taken too much of some psychadelic (not sure which one still at this point). She gets upset on two counts - that I'm fucked up and that I don't even know what I'm fucked up on. I tell her I'm coming over and I need some klonopin.
I go back inside. J says 'It's definitely 2c-b' (having just checked his email from the guy who mailed it) but at this point my mind is already fucked and I think he's just saying this to me to make me calm down. P says he can drive because he's not tripping that hard and is certainly a lot calmer than me. We decide he'll drive slow and take back roads because on thing I can really not afford in this state is to fuck up my dad's car while tripping. I normally would never let anyone touch the wheel while they were obviously tripping but this is no normal circumstance and I think my alternative is to go to the hospital or go crazy (or die - because the 'wrong' things going on felt very physical).
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
We're driving and it's like hell. Everything is leaving huge trails. I can't read the road signs. It's hard for me to even understand where I am. It's really really hard for me to form coherent sentences about where my mom's house is so P can drive me there. Thankfully, I was able to explain well enough that he got me there in one piece.
I talk to P for reassurance asking if he's been 'in my situation' before. He says no, not really. He had one sort of bad trip on shrooms when he ate an 8th of mycilium but that was just from a whopping dose. He's never really gotten the bad body effects I've been having. He asks me what it feels like and I say it's just like something unimaginably horrible is going on and I'm going to die. I feel like my body is going to catch fire etc etc.
[t+1.5] I run inside as fast as I can. My mom looks upset and sits disapprovingly on the couch as I scramble, grab about 4 2mg pills of klonopin (generic). I run into the bathroom and as fast as I can I crush one up and rail it. I feel almost nothing and this is very unnerving to me as normally 2mg will chill me out a lot (I'm pretty used to benzos but I was at least expecting SOMETHING to happen). I rail another 2mg and take one more pill. I start to calm down a bit and look in the mirror. I'm still tripping face but at least I don't think I'm going to die anymore.
I tell my mom I'll call her tomorrow. She says what will I do if I find out it was DOI. I tell her I'll go to the hospital if I find out it is. Get back into the car, still feeling pretty shitty, and tell P that maybe I should go to the hospital. He looks sort of horrified and just says 'man you've got your klonopin let's go back with J and he'll help you out.' Probably good advice - J knows a lot more than the hospital staff would about this kind of drug, and they'd probably just give me more benzos (and a lot of explaining to do afterwards).
[t+2.0] I get back to J's place and there are a bunch of people there chatting and hanging out. I plop down on the couch and pop the last klonopin. At this point the anxiety from the trip largely disappears and I feel highly sedated albeit anxious as I still move around a bit. Then a new anxiety sets in as I realize I've just taken an ass ton of klonopin. I tell J I'm worried I took too much klonopin and he just tells me that I need to stop being so high strung. I tell him I took 8mg and he responds with 'well GOOD, then you'll just be UNCONSCIOUS and wake up not tripping.' This wasn't helpful, again.
The trip at this point begins to wind down a bit and I start realizing that damn, this could actually be fun, but the earlier anxiety is still too near for me to really enjoy myself. I ask the obvious, 'wait, is everyone in here tripping on this stuff and I'm the only one freaking out?' 'Yes.' Great, now I'm THAT kid. I feel quite cold and wrap myself in some blankets and try to chill out until the tripping stops so I can drive myself home.
[t+4.0] at this point, the trip has really wound down to almost baseline. I'm really pissed at myself for my poor performance that I thought I was 'above.' I realize that this could have been a wonderful, fun experience that I shat all over by being in a shitty mindset and not doing any mental prep or taking any precautions (I had valium available at home I could have gotten just in case of anxiety). I pick myself up and drive myself home. About half way home, the stimulant effect wears off and I'm left solely with the effects of 8mg of klonopin. It takes a massive effort to keep myself awake till I collapse in bed and fall asleep almost immediately.
The next night I decided I would go through a large quantity of the remaining 2c-b I had purchased from J to 'make myself a man' and compensate for my poor performance the night before. Rather uneventful, I pass most of my time taking small bumps and boosting myself on 2mg valium here and there for unease. In retrospect, this didn't really prove anything, just that I could trip uncomfortably if I had benzos on hand and a shitty mindset. I tried acid about a week later and had another uncomfortable trip that was not as bad as this one but still...unpleasant.
All in all, this experience was extremely disheartening to be as I figured that I knew enough about drugs to be above a 'bad trip.' Well, if I had been smarter, I would've put two and two together and realized that bad mindset, spur of the moment decision making without mental preparation (as in realizing that 25mg insufflated would blast me into outer space VERY fast), and generalized increases in anxiety (this had been going on for a few months after I stopped taking klonopin and didn't practice meditation enough to replace it) could combine to make a trip terrifying. Put on top of that all my knowledge about serotonin syndrome and I thought I was legitimately overheating. After doing a lot of reading about panic attacks, I now realize this was just my mind fucking with me (I've realized this later on occasions where I felt panicky coming up on acid and felt better after taking the tab out of my mouth - something which obviously didn't do anything).
I've continued to have not so severe panic attacks while sober since then (it's been about a month). Usually, meditating can bring me out of one of these though they are quite unpleasant. One time when J's girlfriend took some 2c-b in front of me and asked the question 'wait, is this the right stuff' I started feeling the hot tingling of an anxiety attack as I remembered my trip and the feeling of wondering whether I had just taken the wrong drug. When I smoke weed, I'll often get more severe panic reactions that usually require a benzo to calm down (though, ironically, the effect of these generally hits me as soon as I swallow the pill. Fuck my mind for fucking with me like this).
Moral of the story: Know what you're taking. Know exactly beyond a doubt how much. This way any paranoia about those two areas can be avoided (I always prided myself on not becoming one of those idiots who took 'some' of a drug and had a bad trip).
Just as importantly, be READY for what you're about to do. You don't feel right? Don't do it. Don't feel like you're going to miss out on all the 'fun' everyone else is gonna have. You're not going to be having any 'fun' when your trip becomes a one way ticket to hell. In fact, when a trip backfires like this, it can really ruin future trips for awhile. I've sworn off all psychadelics until I can get a hold on these panic reactions and start feeling better about myself or I know they're just going to be varying degrees of unpleasant. If you do feel a bit anxious, try some breathing and don't take anything TILL YOU CALM DOWN - trying to chill out after you drop (especially if you have about three minutes like my case) is a recipe for something going wrong. Make sure your preparation doesn't just include calming yourself down but also an expectation of what you're about to do - I probably could've handled an oral dose of 2c-b but I was caught off guard by the lightning come up.
Panic attacks suck. Don't make my mistakes and allow casual use of psychadelics to bring out existing problems like I did - it's just created more problems and also tarnished the 'pristine' image of tripping in my mind. These drugs only treat us with respect when we show them the same.
I didn't respect 2C-B and in return, it kicked my ass.
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