One person’s experience with DMT

I found the following story intriguing. I picked up the book in New Zealand and read it over the interminable flight across the Pacific, twelve hours.

…listening to people describe their drug experiences tends to be tiresome. …But I have one story from my own misadventures that I feel is worth sharing.

Sitting on a beach in Devon in August, 2003, I contemplated grumpily the sprinkling reflection of the swirling ocean that I would return home in three days to Toronto. University, a relentless bar gig, newspaper job, and the usual routine of five hours sleep a night, massive endocrinology textbooks and painfully dry statistics modules. And the upcoming, demoralizing Canadian winter. I wasn’t excited.

“I think I have a solution to the way you feel”, said a friend. I’ve got some DMT: it’s pretty much the world’s strongest hallucinogen.

After pondering, I agreed to try it. Why not? Just this once.

I followed his instructions, smoked three tiny grains from a pipe , and fell to the round in a retching fit, vomiting profusely into the sweet English grass. I emptied the contents of my stomach unceasingly, internally cursing myself for my gullibility. (It felt like hours, but my friends all concurred: the wretching lasted no more than 20 seconds. Such is the nature of psychedelic delusion.)

Once the sickness subsided, I lay back with my eyes closed, gasping for breath, and tried to breathe deeply. Opening my eyes, I looked down at my prostrate body. Every inch of me was covered in grasshoppers. They waved their antennae at me casually, and looked at me with bright compound eyes.

I looked behind me at my friends, and though I had been rendered non-verbal, the look in my eyes clearly communicated what was on my mind … really? Surely this was the spectacular illusion of one of the world’s strongest drugs.

“You are NOT hallucinating,” said one friend. “You are actually covered in grasshoppers.”

“They love you!” another enthused.

Is Dr [Rick] Strassman right? Does DMT wind through all living things – from grass to grasshoppers, hippies, hippos and humans – and is it the key to all spiritual experience?

There’s no hard evidence to back up Dr. Strassman’s beliefs that DMT has some kind of magical property, binding all living things together – and I’m dubious about his claims.

All I can say is that I smoked three grains of his favourite chemical, and found myself covered with grasshoppers. Needless to say, I don’t have a peer-reviewed study to validate the experience with statistical significance. But I do have four friends who saw it with their own sober eyes.

I have been offered DMT many times since – and have never taken it. Once was enough.

Most stories about other people’s drug experiences are boring. I hope this wasn’t.

(Zoe Cormier, Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science, p182)

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