Acidmath Digest

What It’s Like to Take LSD in High Security Prison
May 07, 2019

What It’s Like to Take LSD in High Security Prison

Prison involves many things associated with bad trips: enclosed spaces, law enforcement, and violent people who might fuck with your psychedelic-stuffed head. For prisoners, though, a hit of LSD can expand the mind, as well as the walls of their cells.

Inside the belly of the beast isn’t the ideal place to take a hit of acid. Prison involves most things people associate with bad trips: enclosed spaces, law enforcement, ugly rooms, and bleak environments—plus, violent people who might fuck with your psychedelic-stuffed head. For lack of a better comparison, it’s more Shawshank Redemption than Alice in Wonderland.

Prisoners like drugs, though. When you’re locked up, it’s easy to want to escape reality through any means possible, and drugs are an effective method to make that happen. Many will settle for weed, hooch, or synthetic shit, but name a substance and chances are there’s a way to smuggle it into your cell unit, regardless of where you’re incarcerated.

I was a nonviolent offender who got sentenced for an LSD conspiracy, and met a variety of psychedelic enthusiasts during my 20-plus years behind bars. I found a way to get my hands on some acid when I was in jail, and it was a severely fucked experience. For other people, though, taking a hit didn’t just expand the mind, it expanded the prison walls. It’s a far cry from a rave or a Grateful Dead show, but it can be a life-changing experience. Below are three stories about what it’s like to trip while living in a high security prison, starting with my own experience.

Seth Ferranti
44 Years Old
Served 21 Years for an LSD Conspiracy Charge

You could say I’m an acid veteran. Prior to spending over 20 years behind bars for an LSD conspiracy conviction , I had taken legitimately thousands of hits. After I ended up in prison, though, I didn’t really think about tripping much, likely because it was what got me locked up in the first place. Instead, I became a weed man. I would smuggle it in, sell it, smoke it; I didn’t let a 25-year sentence stop me from selling drugs in any of the seven prisons I lived in. Regardless of where I was locked up, I’d manage to smuggle in bud by swallowing balloons full of the stuff.

Fast forward a couple years, and I began thinking about changing my outlook on life in prison. A hit of acid sounded like the necessary remedy. Being in prison can feel like having blinders on reality, and sometimes you just have to open the doors of perception. It was time for me to expand my awareness outside of the bubble of incarceration that I found myself trapped in.

In 2005, I was at the Federal Correctional Institution Fairton, New Jersey, and my girl was supposed to bring some balloons of weed for me to swallow during a visit. I asked her in advance if she could bring me some acid, too.

When I hit the dance floor, what prisoners call the visiting room, my girl arrived with bad news. She couldn’t score any good pot to balloon up in time, but she did have a tab of “Blue Unicorn” LSD for me. She went to the vending machine, bought me a hamburger, put it in the microwave, and put the tab of acid in the mustard she spread on the snack. I greedily devoured the sandwich, expecting to be tripping in the visiting room with my girl very soon. But things turned out a bit differently.

It felt like a movie, but it would take a seriously twisted individual to imagine a more existentially fucked psychedelic experience.

I had been bringing a lot of weed in to Fairton, and this happened to be the day a compound snitch ratted me out to the correctional officers. Not even an hour into the visit, they pounced on me, made my girl leave (after searching her and coming up empty handed), and dragged my sorry ass to the hole. The spiked burger was likely settling in my big intestine by the time they made their move.

As my pupils began to dilate and my vision got funny, I was brought to what they call a dry cell in the Special Housing Unit: No running water, no mattress, no pillow, no toilet… nothing. They stripped me naked and checked my orifices to make sure I wasn’t concealing anything before giving me a bed sheet and a pair of underwear. They had a big window in the front of the cell so they could observe me, and there was a video camera set up to keep an extra eye on me, too. I’m not sure what the guards manning the camera were expecting to see, but the footage probably only showed a terrified inmate who happened to be tripping balls on the low. It felt like a movie, but it would take a seriously twisted individual to imagine a more existentially fucked psychedelic experience.

I splayed my sheet on the metal bed and laid down under the bright lights that were shining on me. I was familiar with the narc routine, even though I’d never been in a dry cell before. Over the next 48 hours—longer than the trip itself—the guards would make me defecate at least five times in a plastic bowl lined with a clear garbage bag so they could search through my shit and look for drugs.

As the prison lieutenant searched my shit bowl, I anxiously watched him as the acid toyed with my senses. I knew I was clean (for once), but the drugs triggered an inescapable paranoia that they’d find something. What if there were balloons in my shit? What if there was one baggie that somehow got stuck in my gut and was finally coming out now? I was fucking losing it. By the time I passed every possible inspection, my psyche felt like it had been put in a microwave alongside that burger. To say the experience was a living hell would be an understatement.

I chilled out a bit once the hallucinogen wore off, but it’s not like you can immediately snap out of something like that. For the remainder of my time in the hole, I mostly laid down on the cold, metal bed and tried not to melt into a puddle as the cameras continued to watch my every move and the fluorescent lights remained on.

I imagined my first psychedelic experience in prison to be an escape outside the barbed wire-lined walls, but it ended up bringing me deeper into the incarceration abyss. Needless to say, I have never taken a hit of acid since.

 

John ‘Judge’ Broman
35 Years Old
Serving 16 Years for a Bank Robbery Charge

I was a Deadhead while living on the outside—a yoga-loving, marijuana-smoking, LSD-tripping hippie fool. I also dabbled in heroin, and that’s how I ended up in federal prison with a 16-and-a-half-year bid for a bank robbery that was committed to feed my habit. I smoked tons of weed and drank massive quantities of hooch in jail, but I’d never come up on any acid until I was eight years into my sentence.

I believe that LSD is a sacrament. It should be used as a tool to “get you there,” but where you go is all a matter of perspective. I was locked up in United States Penitentiary Pollack when I had the chance to take that journey after my conviction. A Deadhead buddy of mine had already done time in the feds, and he knew how to get all sorts of contraband into a prison like the one I was in. When he sent me a healthy stash of LSD through the mail, though, it looked like the most obvious shit in the world: a Dr. Seuss card that said, “Oh the places you’ll go!” with a huge, noticeable splotch on it where he’d squirted the acid. He had tried masking the splotch by using markers to color around it, but that made it even less subtle. Regardless, it still made its way into the prison and into my hands.

Pollack was a pen where violence was common, and walking around during the day with a head full of acid was not a reality I wanted to experience. They say you can turn your back on a man, but never turn your back on a drug. In jail, I didn’t want to turn my back on either. So I schemed in advance and gathered a crew of trusted cellmates and planned where and when we’d eat the psychedelics. The gang included my celly, fresh in for drug trafficking with a couple life sentences under his paisley bandana, and a 20-something former tweaker who had never done acid but always wanted to. We planned to drop the LSD at night, after they locked us into our cell unit where it was safe and secure.

They say you can turn your back on a man, but never turn your back on a drug. In jail, I didn’t want to turn my back on either.

Around 9 PM, the drugs started kicking in. In our cell, we had two acoustic guitars, a bass, and a bumping sound system with an amp and stolen speakers we racked from the laundry room. With the acid coursing through our bodies, we needed something to vibe on.

We turned off the lights and lit homemade candles and incense throughout the cell. The three of us then started playing punk songs with the volume down low so we wouldn’t get caught, and we spent the next couple hours jamming quietly into the night. It felt like a séance with live music.

After a certain point, my celly fell into a depression as the fact that he was doing a life sentence started to seep into his brain. I, on the other hand, got back to “me,” and started thinking about the eight years of prison I had ahead of me. For the first time since being locked up, the idea that I’d eventually get out felt real. I was stuck in the penitentiary, but not forever. I had a date. My incarceration wouldn’t define the entirety of my life—an epiphany that was life-changing itself.

The rest of the trip was smooth, but the experience marked a checkpoint for me. The remainder of the time I had left to serve became shorter. When people would ask me how long I had left, I’d reply, “I’m going home soon.” They’d ask how long and I’d say eight years. They’d laugh and tell me not to hold my breath, or whatever. When you are doing multiple decades as a young man, the sentence seems endless. But thanks to that Dr. Seuss card, I knew “The places you’ll go!” line meant anywhere other than the pen.

Tim
47 Years Old
Serving a Life Sentence for an LSD Conspiracy Charge

In 1993, I was stuck in a county jail, waiting to be sent to the feds for a long time for an LSD conspiracy charge. I had been there six months and was spending my time sleeping 22 hours a day and eating Twinkies from the commissary nonstop to help me cope with the severe depression I was feeling about my impending sentence. In less than six months in the county jail, I gained 55 pounds.

I knew if I could get some acid then I’d have a chance of living before going to the pen. My birthday came, and friends on the outside sent me 30 hits of acid through the mail—six of them under each postage stamp like how the Deadheads would send LSD across the country. I took three tabs later that night.

As I tripped, I imagined seeing a world stage with the Grateful Dead there, along with a man I’d identify as President Obama years later, believe it or not. This was before he was president and I didn’t know who he was at the time, but I believe I saw him, or someone who looked like him. I imagined walking on to the stage and shaking his hand. It was an eye-opening experience and it snapped me out of the malaise I was drowning in. The next day I started exercising and decided I wanted to live again, despite the time I was facing.

When I went to actual prison at USP Atlanta in 1994, a friend was sent an eight-and-a-half-by-eleven piece of paper that was covered with hits of acid. Somehow they missed it in the prison mailroom. There had to be over 1,000 hits on the sheet. After that, me and my prison friends were tripping all the time. It was like being on tour with the Dead.

For the most part, I only took LSD at night in prison so I could remember the band and appreciate the drug as a sacrament. One time, though, my friends talked me into taking some at 7 AM. As fate would have it, they called me into the Lieutenant’s office at nine. I’d taken three hits and was flying. I played it cool, but it was enough to make me think before taking it so casually in the pen again.

Several years after tripping in the county jail, I received a book filled with a dozen hits as another unreal birthday gift. When I took this acid, I saw the same stage with the president and the Dead I had imagined nearly two decades priors. I recognized Obama this time, and came to the conclusion that it must have been him I envisioned during that first trip in prison. Maybe it had to do with fantasies of being granted clemency from Obama—cause that’s the only way I’m getting out of my life sentence. If I didn’t eat those three hits hidden under the postage stamps so many years ago, I don’t think I would have survived this long.

Source https://www.vice.com

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95-year-old woman smoking marijuana for 85 years.
May 02, 2019

95-year-old woman smoking marijuana for 85 years.

95-year-old, Melita Gordon has been smoking marijuana for 85 years, now even her doctor is encouraging her not to quit.

 

She now lives Maroon Town, Jamaica, and is approaching her 100th birthday.
Melita Gordon, 95, has no intention of quitting a habit that has stayed with her for a major portion of her life, smoking marijuana. Even with the protestation of her children and other relatives, the senior citizen insists that her life is not going up in smoke.

The diminutive Gordon, who stands at four feet, eight inches, reinforced her point by relating the view of her medical practitioner that her journey to 100 would have been cut short had she thrown down her loyal pipe and marijuana long ago.
“When mi go a doctor him say him nah tell mi fi stop smoke marijuana, because if mi stop, him a go lose mi,” Gordon told 18 Karat Reggae.

 

Gordon, who is from Falmouth in Trelawny, became hooked on the habit of smoking marijuana when she was “baptized” in the practice by her parents, Michelle Jones and Richard Gordon, both of whom smoked marijuana.

She would serve as the designated lighter by the time she was approaching age 10.
But she was having her own smoking episodes, outside of the knowledge of her biological elders.

“A because mi start light the weed fi dem why mi start smoke,” Gordon explained.
All through elementary school she continued smoking marijuana and when she started having her nine children, seven of whom are still alive, there was no letting up.
Even while she sold wares outside Maldon Primary School and worked at times at the now closed Maroon Town banana boxing plant, she became known as the pipe lady who pulled no punches in defense of her habit.

 

Strangely, her husband of over 50 years, Manuel Gordon, was one who stayed far from marijuana.

“Him never smoke at all, the only thing him do was drink beer, but him never try force mi fi stop,” she told 18 Karat Reggae of the man who died eight years ago after making it to age 100 years, six months and 12 days.

There is no special reason for her being hooked on marijuana, although she will readily admit that smoking marijuana relaxes her and helps her to think more clearly.

With pressure mounting from family members, including her daughter with whom she lives, to quit, she has proposed a compromise by reducing her smoking to once a day, a far cry from when she would smoke marijuana all day long.

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Psychedelic therapy: The patients paying $2k to get high with their doctor
April 29, 2019

Psychedelic therapy: The patients paying $2k to get high with their doctor

 

Jesse Noakes had been battling his mental health for years when he stumbled across Carlo, a new breed of doctor who promised to change everything.

It’s about 3pm on a Tuesday and I’m in an apartment in Sydney with harbour views.

I can’t see much from where I am, though, lying on a couch with an eye mask covering my eyes and Handel’s Messiah playing through headphones.

A couple of hours earlier I’d been a bit nervous — around the time I swallowed a capsule of MDMA and two grams of powdered magic mushrooms. But I know the apartment’s owner, my therapist, is sitting on the floor across the room, with his dog curled up next to him, and it reassures me, so I lie back and allow the choral voices to swell until they fill my whole awareness, and I go somewhere else.

It wasn’t the first time I’d come to Sydney to spend an afternoon tripping. The first time, I drove across the Nullarbor from Perth to get there in an old ’93 Holden Barina — these days it is a short flight down from Byron. Not as far as Europe or New York, which is where my journey began.

In the middle of 2016 I went to a conference in Amsterdam dedicated to a field of research I’d only just heard about: psychedelic therapy. I told everyone I was attending as a journalist; in reality, I was on the hunt for a therapist of my own.

I flew halfway round the world in uncut desperation. After a decade of therapy and medications, I was as depressed as ever. One airless afternoon in January 2016, I rolled out of bed and pulled up an article I’d seen months earlier about American hospitals giving some patients magic mushrooms for depression and anxiety in clinical studies. Three-quarters showed significant improvements in their mental health.

UNEXPECTED RESEARCH

That wasn’t all. Six placebo-controlled trials using MDMA for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from war and sexual assault found 68 per cent were in complete remission a year after three all-day sessions. After a couple of regular therapy sessions to prepare them, participants would come to a comfortable office and lie down on a sofa with an eye mask and headphones on and take a trip while a pair of therapists sat by their side.

One participant, Ed Thompson, a firefighter from South Carolina, told me his life before the trial “was kind of like a waking nightmare where all of these memories were randomly hitting me”. “There was a part of my brain that was stuck in those moments,” he said. “It was basically a constant panic attack that I lived in, an almost unending panic attack.”

When he enrolled in the trial, he rated 30 points higher than the most severe threshold for PTSD — and after three MDMA sessions, he no longer had PTSD.

“I’m happy again, I’m not numb, I love life, I love my family. I’m able to absorb the good moments and feel the bad ones. I couldn’t be better,” he said.

It was like stepping through a doorway into a secret room. Until now, I’d always thought psychedelics, which are illegal Schedule 9 substances in Australia, like LSD and mushrooms sent you crazy. Suddenly, it sounded like, used responsibly with appropriate therapeutic support, they could be effective ways of regaining sanity.

Patients say they feel a sense of peace like never before. Picture: Supplied

Patients say they feel a sense of peace like never before. Picture: SuppliedSource:istock

HEADING UNDERGROUND

For several months, I investigated here in Australia. I quickly realised legal clinical trials were off limits. A small organisation called PRISM had been advocating psychedelic research here for years but appeared to have little support for their proposed studies.

At the Amsterdam conference, in between talks like “Brain imaging and depression research with psychedelics” and “MDMA for trauma integration”, I met a therapist I’ll call Carlo (all the names of underground therapists and their clients have been changed in this piece).

I explained how trapped I felt — dead to the world, unsure why it felt so unreal and distant all the time. “Come to New York,” he said. “I’ve got just the thing.”

Underground psychedelic therapy fills the gap left by limited trial spaces and a regular therapy paradigm that doesn’t do the job for many. A Vox article recently called it a “parallel mental health service” in the United States. “This stuff is exploding,” a therapist in California told me last year.

Dr Rick Doblin is the founder of the non-profit Multindisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) that has organised most of the research into MDMA therapy in the US. Although he’s spent decades establishing legal studies, he understands why so many people are turning to illegal alternatives.

“We’ve got people in regular therapy who are desperate and stuck. The laws make it impossible for them to access the help they need, so going to underground therapists is perfectly appropriate. However, I’m sad it’s the only option for some people — it means we’ve got to move quickly to legitimise it,” he said.

Ed Thompson is even more effusive. “People like the underground therapist you’re discussing have got to be some of the greatest heroes of our time because of the legal risks, because of the risks to their careers and knowing that it’s gotta be done regardless of stupid bureaucratic red tape.”

Professor Steve Kisley, Chair of the Psychiatrists Group of the Australian Medical Association, is more cautious.

“There are some promising findings, but they are insufficient at this time to advocate general clinical use. While use remains unregulated, there are dangers in terms of side-effects and toxicity from incorrect dosing and impurities in illegal supplies, which could outweigh any clinical benefit. The same would apply to ‘underground therapists’.”

BREAKTHROUGH THERAPY

The clinical research so far has been so promising the US medicines regulator has declared both MDMA and mushrooms “breakthrough therapies”, giving them additional resources to bring to market. But it’ll still be a couple of years before the final phase of trials are completed and psychedelic drugs become a legal therapy option for the first time since the 1960s (when substantial research was conducted, and everyone from Cary Grant to the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous discussed the benefits of therapy with LSD).

The Beatles famously experimented with psychedelic drugs. Picture: John Downing/Getty Images

The Beatles famously experimented with psychedelic drugs. Picture: John Downing/Getty ImagesSource:Supplied

In the meantime, researchers and therapists I’ve spoken with across America reckon there are hundreds of facilitators guiding patients through psychedelic experiences. Training varies, and so do prices. I spoke to two therapists in California, both of whom have graduate degrees in psychology — one charges on a sliding scale that starts at $US500 ($A700), the other charges $US2000 ($A2800) per session.

Carlo, my guy in New York, charges up to $1500 for an overnight stay.

TAKING DRUGS TO KICK THE HABIT

Why would people want to fork over a fortnight’s pay to take drugs with their therapist? I asked another of Carlo’s clients, Alba, a New Yorker in his late 20s who has suffered from chronic social anxiety since his teens. Both his parents had abused him growing up — he remembers having his head bashed against heavy oak bed frames when he was just a toddler.

Before he had his first session with Carlo late last year, he was drinking a bottle of vodka every evening to control the crippling paranoia and discomfort he felt at work. Several years ago, after he attempted suicide twice within a week, he vowed he wouldn’t try again until he’d fully exhausted his options. Through a subreddit thread he contacted people who put him in touch with therapists, which led finally to Carlo’s loft.

At one point in his first session with MDMA, he suddenly felt a new sense of safety and love. He asked Carlo for a hug, which he’d never done with his own father. “I don’t like people touching me. I just get really, really tense. But with him, for some reason my guard was down.”

Brain imaging has shown MDMA profoundly deactivates the amygdala, the part of the brain that regulates our fear and anxiety responses and promotes production of oxytocin, known as the “trust hormone”.

After that first session, Alba quit drinking. He’s been sober for five months now, bar a brief relapse after Christmas. He lives in a much larger, lighter apartment, he’s turning up to work on rough days when previously he’d have stayed in bed with a bottle of vodka, and he feels optimistic about his future. “It allows me to look at all those horrible situations in a completely different light.”

Patients report the treatment as being like nothing they’ve ever experienced. Picture: iStock

Patients report the treatment as being like nothing they’ve ever experienced. Picture: iStockSource:Supplied

Dr Ben Sessa is a British psychiatrist leading a clinical trial in the UK using MDMA to treat alcoholism. All but one of the patients he’s treated so far have stayed sober after their therapy with the drug, Sessa reports. “They talk about ‘I can see the light, I can see the folly of alcohol, and I have no interest in returning to it’,” he said.

Sessa is cautious about therapists recreating his trial underground. “I have no doubt there are some excellent underground therapists who have really good results, but there are also plenty of scare stories of very poor ones. What the underground therapists tend to miss is the importance of the non-drug sessions.”

Post-drug therapy sessions, known as integration, is a crucial tenet of the psychedelic therapy movement. Some of the drug experiences people have are so far outside the realms of their usual experience they need help to make sense of them, says Dr Rick Doblin.

“The idea of a one-dose miracle cure is really dangerous. It requires a lot of work on an ongoing basis,” he said.

NOT A MAGIC BULLET

Of course, nothing works for everyone, all the time. The first two sessions I had using MDMA, with a European doctor I also met in Amsterdam, were underwhelming, and left me feeling disappointed and desperate.

I had some visions, but probably nothing more than you’d expect when you spend all day lying in a dark room with your eyes closed. It was nothing like the breakthrough I’d been hoping for, and after the first session I messaged a friend: “The drugs don’t work.”

I felt more like it was me that didn’t work.

For others, rather than finding nothing, their sessions revealed too much. A friend of mine in California found immediate relief from PTSD during his first MDMA session, but then suffered weeks of black depression afterwards.

Since then, his road has been rocky — while he’s done further sessions with other psychedelics and therapists, he still fights with panic and depression, and uses exercise, lifestyle choices and prescription medication to try to keep the wolf from the door.

Psilocybe cubensis is a species of psychedelic mushroom. Picture: Supplied

Psilocybe cubensis is a species of psychedelic mushroom. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

THE SCENE DOWN UNDER

Maria offers psychedelic therapy from what would normally be the dining room of her ordinary brick bungalow in the forest outside a major Australian city.

A rooster crows outside the window as we chat at her kitchen counter over green tea. She closes the dishwasher as I sit down.

Maria runs both group and individual sessions, with a range of “medicines” — MDMA, psilocybin, ayahuasca. She charges $270 for a group session and $550 for one-on-one — not bad for an intensive seven-hour treatment that carries serious legal risk.

“I try not to think about it,” she tells me when I ask about it.

I’ve spoken to two therapists overseas who’ve been prosecuted for treating patients with psychedelics. Both received suspended sentences, and both continue to work with clients — one now runs a legal psilocybin retreat in Jamaica.

Both Carlo and Maria operate by word of mouth, and besides knowing someone who’s already been, it’s not clear how you’d find one of them.

“I don’t really know,” Maria says. “At the moment it’s just referrals from people that I’ve treated. There’s definitely more interest in psychedelics in the past few years.”

Maria has a client list of more than 600 people — Carlo says he receives about three new inquiries a week, and when I spoke to him recently he’d just flown back to New York after treating four clients in LA.

A member of the team behind the recently announced trial of psilocybin for anxiety and depression in Melbourne said he was aware of perhaps a dozen underground therapists in this country. “But there are probably more, given that most try to keep a very low profile. Some of the therapists keep in touch and share information, but even that’s risky in the current legal climate.”

WHAT NEXT?

Dr Doblin founded MAPS in 1986 to legalise MDMA and has spent three decades of tireless advocacy to get to a point where it’s suddenly foreseeable. He says his quixotic mission is motivated by gratitude.

“I will never repay all the benefits I’ve got from psychedelics. All of this work has still not even paid back for the good I’ve received from these drugs,” he said.

I know how he feels. In Sydney, as the choir reached its rapturous peak, I saw the world as a big, blue blanket, each of us a stick poking into it, like a million tiny tent poles.

Movement from any one stick shifted the tautness and balance of the blanket, weighing down or buoying up every other stick in a contiguous wave. Seeing is believing, as they say, and this was more like a real-life VR experience of a different world. I felt a rapturous sense of connection and possibility.

Jesse Noakes is one of a growing number of people seeking relief in psychedelic therapy. Picture: Peta Roebuck

Jesse Noakes is one of a growing number of people seeking relief in psychedelic therapy. Picture: Peta RoebuckSource:Supplied

It didn’t go away when the drug wore off. For months afterwards, I felt more confident and socially connected than ever before. The world was a lot more fun. I spoke each week to my therapist on the phone. We spent much of those conversations discussing my work, trying to care for traumatised teenagers who had been removed from their families. I found them wildly intense and incredibly energising. “It’s the best therapy I’ve ever done,” I told him, “with the possible exception of coming to Sydney to take mushrooms and MDMA with you.”

Psychedelic therapy is currently illegal in Australia and unregulated use carries significant risks that may outweigh any benefits.

Source: News.com.au

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I Smoked DMT 600 Times in Three Years
April 29, 2019

I Smoked DMT 600 Times in Three Years

Or the equivalent of nearly once every other day.

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Childhood Trauma, Meth, and the road to recovery through psychedelics.
October 05, 2016

Childhood Trauma, Meth, and the road to recovery through psychedelics.

 Art: Radhika-Menon-Follow-·'The-unwanted-guest'-
Joshua:
I have the Most Experiences with Lucy, Mushies, Salvia, and have had positive experiences with all of them. I did a heroic Dose of San Pedro Cactus and saw the infinite and am still processing that one!  I also did a three day Bender on meth and have a different perspective on it that the mainstream of lumping it as as dangerous as heroin. I also have hallucinated on Marijuana multiple times and not because it was laced. 
I have done Fly Aragic Mushrooms, had a bad trip on MDMA, done 5-MEO-DMT incorrectly, did whippets on Salvia, did DXM once, and I have done most other drugs. 
 
3 Day Heroin Bender
My three day Bender on meth came about when my roommate at the time had some Tweakers come through her register at Home Depot and drop an 8ball without realizing it. At the time I lived in Souther California's Inland Empire so Meth addicts were not uncommon. 
She brought home the bag as she had a past with the drug, we both tested it and she decided she didn't want anything to do with it, but didn't throw it away. I took the bag a few weeks later and consciously decided to do a 3 day bender and wasn't looking to get hooked, having boundaries with addictive substances is important. I really was just curious to see what it was like and what it was like to stay awake for three days straight and being unemployed at the time made me less worried about losing everything. I also had done a small amount of meth years earlier and stayed up all night talking with one of my best friends so I felt I knew what I was getting into. 
 
I started by snorting and then also smoke it. I basically spent most of my time on the Internet wasting time. Time passed strangely and I didn't really get a lot from it. I get why it's addictive, and it felt good up to a point, but I've never been into stimulants that much and didn't even finish the bag. 
 
The come down was awful and I was sick for three days. I don't think the withdrawals were shit and the sickness wasn't much worse than I imagine just staying up for three days straight would do to a person. 
 
I found Meth way less addictive that it is touted and makes me really think it is a crappy version of Aderall that is more potent. I had no adverse effects in wise of sores or tooth decay and have read that is more from the malnourishment and sleep deprivation of chronic users than a casual experience. 
 
You asked about heroin and I actually have never done Heroin. I have done pretty much all the pain meds and when you do a Fentynl or mix OxyContin with Methadone you pretty much have an idea of what it's like. One of my best friends Chris Died of Heroin and I just recently lost another friend. I remember my Friend Chris crying about not getting more pain pills back in the day before he ever did heroin. I also have seen pictures of him at his worst and it haunts me almost as much as his death. 
 
I really got lucky not having the most addictive personality and never really screwed over my whole life. I've never been homeless. I did spend way too much time and money on shitty drugs and Alcohol and messed up many opportunities in life. I should have left my small dead end town right out of high school but didn't take step towards that until after smoking Salvia and wanting to get away from the Wisconsin Drinking Culture and small town drugs. I moved to LA in 2008 after the stock Market crashed and really dodged the Heroin boom. Which was good since my body started getting angry when I took pain pills for some time and actually helped me stop using them even when someone had a medicine cabinet full of them. 
 
Interview
So was this about the time you turned to psychedelics? 
 
No I had two rounds, one in my Twenties where I just tried everything I could find. That's when I did Salvia a Bunch and it inadvertently helped me step towards the me I wanted to be. And now in my Thirties, at this point I don't think I will ever not use them at least once ever year or two. Still have some more journeys I want to do. I also feel I will always have improvements to make.  
 
 I think Tool got me into psychedelics. What did it for you?
 
To be honest, The Beatles and The Doors sparked my Interest and there was just a bunch of trippy culture when I was in high school in the late 90's. I'm a weirdo musician too so I was just naturally drawn to others that were open to similar interests. 
 
What were your first experiences like?
 
My First drug experience was Rubber Cement, definitely led to me respecting drugs as that shit made me sick and I took it to the limit of my lips turning blue. Thank god that only lasted a week when I was 14. 
 
Did you end up bonding with a particular plant or synthetic? 
 
I love Pot and Mushies and Coffee the most. The First time I did Mushies my friends and I camped on a farmers Pasture and spent all night picking them off the cow pies. 
 
Why do you think you were turning to drugs? 
 
Childhood Trauma, handicap brothers and sister, and miss diagnosis of mental illness. Also small town Wisconsin you get bored AF! 
 
Were you trying to put a bandaid on something you were repressing?
 
Yes, now it's more about spiritual transcendence and therapeutic for Depression and Anxiety. I had a lot of unintentional emotional neglect as my parents had to spend more time taking care of my siblings special needs. I had a lot thrown at me as a kid, but my parents are awesome and they did the best they could. 
  
Have you had any breakthroughs with them? 
 
I am in the Midst of one, I did a heroic Dose of San Pedro in September about a week after getting married and then two weeks later My wife almost lost her kidneys, if not worse! I also had a bad trip on MDMA in my early twenties that took 3 years to recover from. 
 
What kind of breakthroughs did you have? 
 
Both of those helped me Piece together my past and see where my past led to drug use, and who I am. They also help me make peace with my past and not fret over the future. 
 
So whats some things that you can take away from your experiences, what are some things that psychedelics have taught you about child hood trauma, about depression, about anxiety?
 
Im still working on the anxiety and depression is still a bit of a struggle but is no longer compounded by my past weather it is a week ago or when I was three. The biggest thing is being able to let go and see how those thing are a part of me but are no longer actively effecting me. 
 
What your advice be to someone who wants to use psychedelics as tools for treating depression and ptsd for example. 
 
Read, read all you can. Erowid is a great resource. 
 Also ALWAYS rely on others! That's in all aspects of life, not just having a trip sitter. 
 Lastly use a Psychologist, they help you process past hurt and current problems.  There is great power in having someone to talk to that is confidential and removed from your situation. Most of them would not look down on psychedelic use either. 

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ACIDMATHER INVTERVIEW | Overcoming self harm through travelling and psychedelics with Sara
July 23, 2016

ACIDMATHER INVTERVIEW | Overcoming self harm through travelling and psychedelics with Sara

Where did your depression come from? What do you think caused it?

My depression definitely came from feeling extremely alone when I was younger. My dad was in and out of prison, my mom left me at my grandma's house one weekend and never came back. My family were all pretty fucked up, we all loved each other though, and sadly I didn't realize that until I got older. It was caused fr just feeling all too alone, and not getting enough love at a young age and even after that.

 

Did self harm become your way to escape? What did it mean to you?

It did. It didn't really mean anything at first. It was kind of like, oh, people say I'll get addicted but I won't. I just kind of did it and never really though about it. Then after a while I realized I needed it. It never made me feel better, per say, but it would take mind off of everything else. I would just think about how it hurt, and I would clean myself up, and just sit there and think about it instead of everything else I had on my mind.

 

What advice would you give to a female struggling with self harm?

I would say, it's never going to get any better if you continue to do that. It doesn't help, even if you think it does. It is an addiction, and I understand that, but it isn't healthy, and it's just a distraction. It is adding more and more pain to the pain and hurt you're already feeling without mutilating yourself. Once you stop, you'll have slip ups, but only then do things actually start to get better.

 

Why do you think you stopped hurting yourself?

People. Not necessarily myself. It was really hard. I saw how it hurt everyone that I cared about most though and it would break my heart. Watching them cry, beg me to stop. It never was that big of a deal to me, but I realized it was to everyone else. I had gone so many years not being loved and cared for, and realized these people actually cared and so I had to show them the appreciation they deserved. That's how I decided to quit. Also, I got out of a city that I was trapped in almost. Got away from toxic people and bad memories. I also had started to travel when I quit, so that had a big impact as well. Something in the wandering footsteps, man.

 

What were the big things that psychedelics showed you?

They showed me that everything is not as it seems. They taught me endless love, such deep love, so passionate. They seriously taught me not to be afraid, that every bad "trip" or experience is actually just a lesson that I needed to learn. They showed me things that I never even knew existed, and I don't  exactly mean hallucinations (Those too.) but more so lifestyles. Crystal healing. Energy. Vibrations. They helped me open my mind to a while new world of possibilities.

 

Was there a particular psychedelic that really helped with this?

LSD was definitely the psychedelic that showed me and taught me the most. It was the first psychedelic I ever did, and it was definitely the one that I always have and always will prefer.

 

What were some valuable life lessons that travelling has shown you?

Traveling is beautiful. It is an equal combination of both good and bad. There are nights where the rain promises me until 4 a.m., and I feel as if I'll never be dry again. There are nights that I spend with people I've met and now call family all cuddled together, all of us feeling so safe and happy. I've gone to Rainbow gatherings in the middle of national forests for weeks at a time with thousands of other travellers, and those taught me that you don't need society. People weren't always living the way we do now, they were barbaric and wild at one point. Those gatherings take me back to that. We all cook for each other, set up water lines, literally just one big, happy, loving family that all take care of one another. Hitchhiking taught me so much patience, and to be positive, which are two things I always lacked. Travelling all in all has taught me the powers of being positive and also the power of manifestation. If you think something will be, that is how it will be. It taught me that people really do care. It taught me the values of having a family, how to care for other people and love properly since I never learned that when I was little. Hopping trains taught me that things are hard and dangerous, but there are always beautiful rewards in store. It's hard for me to put into words the way that traveling has made me feel and all its taught me, I wish I could explain it better. Just know that it has been the most beautiful thing I have ever decided to do with my life and I don't regret even one second of it.

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