April 13, 2024

Mum, 37, vomited and couldn’t breathe after trying ‘quick frog’ trend where tourists smoke ‘miracle’ frog poison

A mother has opened up about the dark side of the “fast frog” that left her vomiting and struggling to breathe.

Samantha Gonzalez, 37, expected to experience an “orgasm of light, love and beauty” – but was terrified.

Michigan therapist Samantha Gonzalez urged caution when using toad venomCredit: Provided
The tent in Tulum, Mexico where Samantha first smoked frog poisonCredit: Provided
Samantha said that the bond with her partner becomes ‘stronger’ after the experienceCredit: Provided

“Speed-toading” is a term used for smoking a potent drug made from toad venom through a pipe.

Although it has become a popular “cure” choice recently, the substance – also called bufo alvarius – has been known since the Middle Ages.

Celebrities like Mike Tyson and Chelsea Handler allegedly tasted the powerful substance.

And the practice has become immensely popular in Tulum, Mexico – where tourists flock to experience the thrill for around £200.

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It has been touted as a “miracle cure” for the ills of the modern world – but it is more powerful than other psychedelics and poses substantial risks.

Samantha, a therapist from Michigan, said her experience was “very scary” – and it is “terrifying” that toad venom is becoming more accessible.

The 37-year-old traveled to Mexico with her husband to try the drug after watching a documentary where it was said to cure trauma, addiction and anxiety.

But she had a very different experience.

Samantha told The Sun: “I took three rounds of the medicine. In the first round I immediately felt bars on my chest.

“I was terrified. A lot of times what happens is you become aware of your ego and therefore your judgment of yourself and other people. It was very, very scary.”

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Samantha expected a picturesque retreat – but it was located in Tulum’s bustling city center, in just one tent.

“They have big tents and there are two facilitators, a man and a woman,” she said.

“Immediately he does this cleaning with smoke, bee pollen and charcoal just to clean the negative energy this was before we even entered the tent.

“Inside was a bare fur rug, a pillow on a blanket, and a speaker to play calming sounds.

“There really wasn’t anything there. It was really dark.”

After taking the first dose of the medicine, Samantha started to feel unwell.

I immediately passed out… started vomiting

Samantha González

Despite feeling sick, she stated that the facilitator recommended that she smoke another round.

Samantha “passed out” and still felt “sick” – but her session ended and she was led out of the tent and told to wait while her husband experienced the “ceremony.”

“It was very rushed, and after the second round, which I don’t even remember, I remember feeling nauseous,” she said.

At this point Samantha said she was “freaking out” and worried that her husband would have an “amazing experience” and she would be “left behind.”

“I was lying outside and I was anxious about the whole thing and I was alone,” she explained.

What is ‘fast frog’?

SPEED-TOADING is a term used to describe the practice of smoking the smooth-altering poison of the Sonoran Desert toad through a pipe.

The venom contains a psychoactive compound that can be ingested to induce a powerful psychedelic experience.

The narcotic can be ingested by licking the back of the poisonous amphibian, but is now more commonly consumed in smokable “powder” form.

The liquid is extracted by milking the frog’s poison glands and then dehydrating it until it forms a dry, brittle paste.

She said the drug is so mind-altering that she was advised to only take it with her partner – or it could “ruin” her relationship as “you would both end up on another level”.

Not satisfied with the experience, Samantha went to another tent where she tried the drug again.

“I immediately knocked out the third round. I started vomiting,” she said.

“I also felt like I was purging, making these horrible noises. I think I was just purging things inside of me.

“Whether it was emotion or something real physical, I don’t know. When I woke up after about 20 minutes, I felt extremely weak.

“I felt like it was over – like I had the relief of ‘it worked, I can relax’.”

Samantha is a mother of twoCredit: Provided
Samantha managed to stop her medication after the experienceCredit: Provided

But the temporary relief was just the beginning of a long recovery process.

And the sensations from the experience can be “reactivated” much later, she said.

“You feel very fragile. You feel like a baby again and it’s scary. It was scary for me,” Samantha said.

Mom’s trip to Tulum in January comes amid disturbing reports of sexual abuse during poison frog ceremonies.

She said the potential for abuse from predators in this environment is “very concerning” — and the vulnerability of this state “opens you up to that.”

The third time she took the drug “there was no awareness of it,” she said.

Although the experience was “scary” for Samantha and she “still struggles,” she has noticed some positive changes – like a stronger bond with her partner.

Samantha has also managed to avoid antidepressants and says that although previously if she was depressed she would stay in bed, now she can pick up the guitar or do yoga.

She said, “If I were to recommend this to someone, I would recommend something where you could spend the whole day with a facilitator.”

What do doctors say about the ‘fast frog’?

MEDICAL experts warn that ingesting frog poison can be highly dangerous.

Some professionals “believe that in a controlled environment with a well-trained professional, venom may be useful in treating anxiety and depression,” according to the Addition Center.

Few studies have been carried out, but some trials on a synthetic version have indicated that it may be an effective medication for treatment-resistant depression.

But researchers do not support the recreational use of toad venom and it has no defined medical purposes and has a high potential for abuse.

Frog venom affects the brain by disrupting communication between the brain’s chemical systems and the spinal cord.

The drug’s effects usually only last about an hour, making the experience much shorter than with other psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms, which can last up to 8 hours.

This affects mood, sensory perception, body temperature, sexual behavior, sleep, hunger and intestinal muscle control.

Many people will see, hear and feel things that are not really there and may also experience nausea, increased heart rate and changes in feelings.

The use of any hallucinogenic drug can cause panic, excessive sweating, dry mouth, sleep problems and psychosis.

In some cases, users suffer from persistent psychosis, which consists of ongoing mental problems related to disorganized thinking, paranoia, and visual disturbances.

Mike Dow, a psychedelic psychotherapist at Field Trip Health, said people with a history of trauma or mental illness should be cautious when it comes to the drug.

He previously told The Sun: “I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to people who have never tried any psychedelics.

“I also think that people with a history of trauma should really use psychedelics with concurrent psychotherapy, as they allow repressed memories to surface.

“With a trauma-informed therapist like myself, it is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD. Without therapy, it can re-traumatize people in a frightening way.”

Alan K. Davis of the Psychedelic Research Unit at John Hopkins University in Baltimore said: “It is not a recreational drug. If people receive very high doses, they can ‘black out’ and dissociate from their mind and body.

“Anxiety can persist for days, and we’ve heard of people going to the emergency room.”

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