Questions April 17th 2001

I took a load of mushrooms (7 grams) recently and had the baddest trip ever. While I was alone I thought of things like God and death. Is this normal?

7 grams is a huge dose. Mushrooms are pretty powerful psychedelic substances and, like LSD, they can dissolve the filter or 'ego' between you and the outside world, leaving you open to a flood of new feelings, sensations and thoughts - both positive and negative. It's not unusual to have insights about yourself, the universe, God, and death in this state. Psilocybin (the active ingredient in mushrooms) was used by psychologists in the 1960s to induce a mystical religious experiences and help people over ruts in their lives.

A good book about this subject is High Priest by Timothy Leary. It's a bit over-written in places but there's solid info in there. You can also read other peoples' mushroom experiences here.

Is it true that if you do LSD once or more later when you are ready to have a child it could mess it up?

No. LSD does not damage your reproductive system. This is a myth. However, like all drugs, LSD should be avoided during pregnancy or when you are trying to conceive.

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Can you become perma-fried if you take LSD too much? And if so is there a limit to how many times you should take it?

There doesn't seem to be a set limit to the amount of LSD an individual can take, physically or psychologically. "Acid casualties" from the 60s and 70s do seem to suggest that repeated chronic use of LSD can have long term effects on your brain and your mental well being. At the same time, however, practitioners like Dr Timothy Leary took LSD over one thousand times in their lifetime with no long term physiological damage.

Perhaps what is important is less how much you take, but more how you take it. People like Leary were very careful about 'set' and 'setting' when taking LSD, ensuring their environment and people around them were relaxing to guarantee a pleasant trip and to lessen the chance of "freaking out".

If you take LSD a lot (like every weekend) you may find it increasingly difficult to come back to normality, or may become increasingly isolated from your friends who do not take it. As always, moderation is recommended. See our LSD guide for more details.

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Does cocaine have any long term effects on your face? Does it make your face fat?

Not that we're aware of. It does make your jaw clench though.

Can you show me different types of brand of Ecstasy?

Brands changes all the time but you can find some recent ones here.

Every time I've taken Ecstasy (twice now) I've experienced panic attacks. Is this normal?

It's quite unusual for people to experience anxiety on E, but it does happen. Like any mood-altering substance, your environment and how you feel mentally can affect the experience, or shift it abruptly from good to bad. The best way to proceed is to perhaps take it on in a calm, relaxed environment (your home, for example) during the day with somebody you like and trust. Drink plenty of orange juice and don't drink any alcohol. Practice deep breathing for relaxation and have lots of good music you like within arms length. If you still get panicky, it could be that E is just not for you.

How long is cannabis detectable in urine?

THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) is detectable in the urine up to two days (for one time use) to 6 weeks (chronic use). You can find a very detailed cannabis drug test FAQ here.