Citation: Entheogem. "Cough Medicine? More Like Soul Medicine: An Experience with Dextromethorphan (exp91242)". Erowid.org. Oct 27, 2012. erowid.org/exp/91242
All of these notes were made during the trip itself.
Physical Data: I'm a 22 year old white male who weighs about 170 pounds. I'm in fairly good physical shape. I run four miles every other day and do some pushups, pullups, and situps to keep my body fit.
Set: the house I'm renting in the middle of nowhere, Missouri. Cloudy and drizzly outside. There is a bed that I can lay on and a garden outside I can walk through.
Setting: feeling pretty good. Got all my grocery shopping done and decided to get some DXM instead of red wine to alter my mind. Just cleared out the rest of my day from work so that I can experience this chemical and take a “soma-holiday”.
1:20 pm – began drinking cough syrup that only contains DXM as an active ingredient. Today, I took some fish oil, gingko biloba, ginseng, and echinacea. And I drank some peppermint tea and black tea. So not really any major drugs in my system besides DXM.
I am excited to try DXM. In my psychoactive experimentation, I have done 2C-E once, mushrooms once, San Pedro cacti (mescaline-containing cacti) once, LSD 8 times, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds twice, opium tea ~10 times, nitrous oxide (~200 cartridges), amanita muscaria (one epic dose. Never again!), salvia 3 times, kratom ~10 times, alcohol dozens of times, marijuana dozens of times, and a bunch of other drugs and plants that I just can't remember.
I figure that with all this experience under my belt, I can handle a decent trip, so I am going to drink at least this bottle (which contains 354 mg of DXM) and then decide whether or not I want to drink more. It seems strange that I have never tried a drug that is powerful, profoundly psychoactive, and so easy to attain.
My purpose in this is to meditate, to develop a few short stories I'm working on, and to just enter an alternate internal reality. I haven't done any drug besides caffeine in a month and a half, and haven't altered my consciousness with anything but meditation and it is time to travel into the inner regions of my mind once more. To infinity and beyond!
1:40 pm – making some ginger/peppermint tea in order to combat any nausea that might occur.
1:50 pm – finished the first bottle, which I have been sipping slowly so that it can slowly trickle into my digestive system instead of just slamming into it in one thick, syrupy mass. Feeling a little out of it. A bit light-headed, but not too many effects so far.
Just did a set of push-ups to see how they felt. It was as if my mind was a bit disconnected from the usual strain of my muscles. I could still feel my muscles straining, but they hurt less and the strain felt lighter and less important as I did the push-ups.
2:00 pm – I am definitely feeling something. My stomach feels a little queasy. My body feels a bit disconnected, which seems to be the expected dissociative effects. My head feels a little warm, my brain feels a little full as if there is something in there, and all of my thoughts are cloudy and slower than usual. I am making some typing mistakes. When I walk around I feel a little drunk.
The cloudy thoughts may be beneficial to meditation, because the drug will be helping me quiet my thoughts by making the thoughts slower and less urgent. I am now leaving to try meditation and slipping into the wordless world of my own mind.
2:30 pm – Meditated for a half hour. The meditation was slightly worse than normal. The cloudiness in my mind prevented me from relaxing fully.
When I first laid down to meditate, I had a wild runaway thought. It started with me thinking about what it would be like if I ever got sent to prison for drug possession. Allow me to share this thought bubble with you:
I'm sitting in the prison library, reading books about history and philosophy. They don't have a very up to date collection, but at least they have books and there aren't any distractions. Then, I was playing poker at a table with a bunch of other inmates, and I won a bunch of money since I am generally analytical and quite good at poker (I used to play semi-professionally online).
In my mind, I was thinking thoughts like this:
Damn, it really sucks that I might go to prison someday just for experimenting with my own mind. At least people don't get executed for drug use in our society like they do in Saudi Arabia. The prison system is really complex. The legal system of the US is amazingly complex. What type of drugs can I get in prison? Would there be LSD? I dislike cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines and only would want to do psychedelics if I ever had to go into prison. The rest of the prison population would probably like hard drugs like meth and heroin. If there is no demand , then there wouldn't be much supply for psychedelics? Would there be any psychedelics? What would it be like to trip in prison? Where would be a good place? Would the guards know when I looked at them? Would they care? Can I do it in the prison yard?
Then, there were fleshed out scenarios running in my mind whenever I had a thought. When I thought of the legal system of the United States, I would imagine the court room, the judge, the years of training, the piles of legal books, law reviews, and stuff like this. I imagined buying some LSD in prison and immediately I was buying some LSD in prison with the money I had (in my imagination) won a few weeks ago with the other inmates playing poker. I was planning when would be the best time to take it. I'd need about 12 hours.
All of these thoughts took place in a very short amount of time, maybe half a minute or so, and the thoughts didn't always occur in a linear fashion like I wrote them out. They all sort of arose at the same time and bobbed in and out of each other. Also, I felt these thoughts profoundly. My imagination was fully engaged and seemed to flesh out my thoughts to the extreme without me having to do anything consciously.
There was a strange optical illusion when I lay in bed. The blanket, which was right underneath my chin, registered in my peripheral vision as about eight feet away! It was like the image of the blanket folds was a flat shape that was then projected forward a few feet. This visual distortion was mind twisting and sort of shocking because it was so blatant and unexpected.
Needless to say, I am already very aware of the potential of this drug. Having read dozens of experience reports on it already, I'm not surprised, but it is comforting to know that there is (unless the government bans DXM) always going to be this drug on hand to trip with in the future if I lose my other psychedelic hook-ups. It isn't solely psychedelic, but there is certainly an aspect of it that allows me to peer at the world from a different angle and expand my mind.
2:50 pm – definitely feeling it physically. Light headed, difficulty walking, and some problems with typing.
3:20 pm – I am staring at my iPod, feeling all of the amazing technology and all of its glory that is inherent in this piece of technology. If humanity can make a piece of metal, glass, and electricity make music stream through a cord into my eardrums, then we can do anything. It just has blown my mind that this animal (humanity) that once upon a time hunted for food and drew on cave walls can within such a short time have such advanced technologies and accumulate so much knowledge!
Having just listened to Journey to the Center of the Earth by Rick Wakeman, which is a musical remake of the book by Jules Verne. The best way I can describe my thought process is that my imagination has been opened up immensely. While listening to the song, I imagined myself in every one of the scenes and beyond. Everything I thought about and especially whatever I imagined was imbued with profundity. It just felt as if it had more depth, more layers, more back story, more vivid colors, more feeling, more noise, deeper noise, more texture. Everything in my mind felt fuller.
Also, I felt and feel great! Just bursting with energy, all throughout my body, a tension and energy somewhat comparable to the energy that is within the body when you have taken LSD. Making typing mistakes but my control over my body is still adequate.
Once, when looking at my computer screen, I jumped up and realized “This isn't real!”. The letters aren't real! I can't touch them. But they are there. My mind is being mind-fucked, because I can see these letters but they aren't actually real, but we make the letters on a computer screen real because they make sense between human beings. An e-mail isn't real but it carries meaning between two real humans. Humanity is quickly becoming cybernetic beings. I am struck by all of the emotions that come along with this, as if I saw the first man struggle to walk upright and watched with pride as he began to think and slowly evolve and breed and on and on and sail ships and calculate trigonometry and women giving birth and men building bridges and a female student studying calculus and computer scientists all around the world working on programs and on and on and cell phones ringing and text messages flying and I am just realizing the immensity of the technological world we live in today in a very profound way, in a heartfelt way. The enormity of technology and the scope of it seems overpowering. All the splintered thoughts and tribes of humanity are coming together with technology to become one heart, one mind, one vast thought, one measureless soul. I am very emotional as I think about the entire evolution of humanity and where we are now, standing at the crossroads between environmental destruction and technological innovation, of reason and passion and intuition.
4:20 pm – Have been having whimsical ideas and have been writing them down. This appears to be a very good drug for science fiction brainstorming. I have imagined a currency that uses measurements of light and energy for transactions. I am imagining different planets using this currency and alien species trading in their bustling bazaars! Someone steals a bag of energy-coins and drops them as they run away and they release a shimmering rainbow as the light-crystals shatter and release the trapped energy, distorting the space-time continuum.
Notable euphoria. I feel glad to be alive on this spinning planet circling the sun in the void of outer space.
5:00 pm – just went outside and looked at my garden. Tried to do some work but very quickly realized I was not in a good mental and especially mental state to do regular stuff like tilling soil and planting seeds! Still feel quite happy with everything around me. Felt as if I could communicate with a bird I saw perched on a branch, and he/she looked at me.
5:20 pm – the peak seems as if it has passed. I feel elated, but not quite as elated as I earlier had felt. At some points I felt overwhelmingly blessed to enjoy this earth, this planet, this life, this body, and I felt the importance of everything deep within myself. I can certainly understand why the euphoria of DXM can cause addiction and habituation; this experience is immensely pleasurable!
5:40 pm – feeling a little confused, tired, and the euphoria continues to decline. I am going to meditate again.
6:00 pm – just laid in bed for a while and let thoughts drift in and out of my mind. I meditated but only for a minute or two. Each breath felt like I was breathing out immense achievements and major events in the history of the universe and humanity. There would the discovery of fire, the big bang as matter originated in a burst, galaxies would fuse together and fly apart, and then a Roman emperor would die and choke on his own blood. I would breathe in again and Christ would be crucified, man would be infused with God, a star would be born, and Mary would scream loudly during her birth pains. My imagination was still able to run quite quickly! Everything, no matter how small, seemed to be injected with enormous amounts of meaning, even when the thing that was happening was very small. Everything seemingly small that was happening around me contained everything large, enormous, and epic that ever occurred in the past, the present, and the future. I don't know why it felt this way but it did.
My visual perceptions also tied into this; with closed eyes I would see shapes on the back of my eyelid that were incredibly small but for some reason I felt an awe at the vastness of these images. They seemed to stretch for miles even though they were only tiny specks of dust or eye fluid on the back of my eye lid. I sometimes get this perception right before I go to sleep.
At one point my mind drifted to darker thoughts. Satan seemed to infect me, but where was he? Who was he? Who am I? Who is God? What is Satan's relationship to God? Which cult of Christianity or Satanism has the most true theology? How do you prove it? What does it mean to be human? Am I possessed?
(Note: I sometimes have a fear about being possessed while on drugs, likely from my fundamentalist evangelical Christian upbringing.)
Not so far as I can tell. But wouldn't the most sneaky type of possession be the type that you could never even recognize? How could you defend against being possessed if you couldn't even recognize the symptoms or take actions to prevent it, or even know what those actions should be? So I might be possessed by the devil but I have no way whatsoever of knowing. So why would I worry or even think about it?
Thoughts very much like this cascaded through my head.
I didn't have the answers to any of these questions. Instead I just felt these immense questions wash over me and I lay there in my bed, just like your bed, in a house, just like your house. I tried to pull back from the thoughts and relax. When I did this, I realized that all of my fears of being possessed by Satan were simply fears of my shadow. It was my anxiety about being taken over by parts of my imagination, or even allowing it into my consciousness. I was being too rational all the time and not giving enough of my mind to the irrational, chaotic, imaginative, hedonistic, and aesthetic sides of my soul. This realization has a lot personal value and it felt good to understand this deep in my being while I lay on my bed.
6:30 pm – I did another set of pushups, and this time I didn't feel the pain at all and could do far more pushups than usual. My body seemed to be much more independent of my mind, and this meant I didn't have to force myself to do the pushups. I just thought about doing the pushups and my body did it for me. Awesome! DXM could have some exercise related uses, except the clumsiness, distorted perceptions, and drunken sense of balance make it so that it will probably never become a popular drug for athletes.
7:30 pm – The effects are still there but they aren't too powerful. Definitely on the come down. I am having a bit of re-entry turbulence with some dark thoughts and mental tics, but for the most part I feel refreshed, healthy, and overall quite good. Now that the high has passed for the most part, I remember it fondly. I can definitely understand why some people can get addicted to DXM. The high is so divine and the drug is so easy to get that it seems almost absurd to go back to normal, waking life.
Just made myself some spaghetti even though I'm not very hungry and am eating it. The food tastes bland and my mouth feels somewhat hollow.
Overall, this was a fun, enlightening experience filled with a very wild imagination: my imagination. There was very little nausea. My thoughts would spin out of control in many directions and focus on both noble and evil topics. For much of the trip, everything felt like it had much more meaning behind it, and I felt very glad to be alive, happy, filled with energy, and overall pretty goofy. Pain perception was greatly diminished. There were some visual distortions especially related to distance, but not very many visuals or anything “psychedelic” or colorful.
8:00 pm – Will I do this again? Certainly. I plan to do a bit more research and up the dose to try to go further into the nether-world of my own mind. I think that this could have a legitimate use as a creativity boosting drug, to be used every once in a while. Plus, it just made me feel great.
8:30 pm – finished writing this experience report, and am submitting it to Erowid.
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.