(Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun)
A recent article in Forbes confirms what fans of psychedelic toads have been hoping for – usage of the 5-MeO-DMT, the psychoactive ingredient in the skin glands of the Sonoran (Colorado river) toad (Bufo alvarius), is becoming more accepted as a potential treatment for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as a 20-minute trip to a mystical and therapeutic place with few side effects to counter the benefits of the drug.
“The toad facilitator that contacted me — who in her regular, non-facilitating life works a professional job, is in her 60’s and looks no different from one of your neighbors — said she preferred to go by the name Lee to protect her identity.”
David E. Carpenter, author of the Forbes article, was contacted by email by a self-described “a Facilitator of 5-MeO-DMT / Toad,” which indicates that, like ayahuasca, people with knowledge of the drug are offering their services and experience – albeit undercover, since the drug is still illegal in the U.S. – to facilitate first usages by interested parties. However, unlike ayahuasca, the 5-MeO-DMT experience appears to be much easier to control and regulate. Also, these facilitators are working to make sure this doesn’t send the Sonoran toad to extinction before a synthetic version of its psychedelic secretion can be perfected.
“There are three effective stages to the process of providing an optimal experience with 5-MeO- DMT (or any other entheogenic/psychedelic substance for that matter). We have defined these under the broad categories of: Preparation, Initiation & Integration. Responsible practitioners will strive to develop and fully incorporate these three stages into their sacred work.”
One such group of facilitators (not necessarily affiliated with “Lee”) is the Aware Project, an independently-run, Southern California-based psychedelic society which provides information on 5-MeO- DMT – a much better approach than just listening to user and former boxer Mike Tyson on Joe Rogan’s show, as Carpenter found. “Lee” told him she was trained by Silicon Valley tech people and attended a daylong introduction on 5-MeO-DMT. Carpenter points out that acceptance by the medical research community is growing quickly — Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins University helped create the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research which was featured in late 2019 on 60 Minutes and is known for using psilocybin mushrooms to help terminally ill patients in end-of-life therapy.
“Her typical recipient tends to be educated, ranging from 30 to 75 years old and with deep trauma or with a feeling of being weighed down by something they can’t overcome. She shares how some people under the substance can be totally quiet during their internal journey, while others are decidedly not — like the man she facilitated last summer who was yelling for almost the entire 20 minutes of his experience.”
Sound like anyone you know? Campbell says that “Lee” helps people find sources of 5-MeO-DMT, especially those who could benefit from it but may not be able to afford the cost. She also emphasizes that a good facilitator works with users long after the initial experience because “A lot of the really beneficial part happens in the weeks or months after taking toad, when you integrate what happened to you into your everyday life. That’s when the real payoff occurs.”
Kudos to Forbes – traditionally a conservative and business-oriented media provider – for introducing the benefits of 5-MeO-DMT and the use of facilitators to an audience that may not hear about its benefits and risks from their other media sources.
Finally, respect the Bufo alvarius for its gift to humanity – they want to help you to lick your problems, not their backs.