Mike Tyson claims he almost died the first time he smoked toxic toad venom, a psychedelic drug that is illegal in the U.S.
Mike Tyson says he nearly died the first time he smoked toxic venom from the Sonoran Desert toad, also known as the Colorado River toad. This is a hallucinogenic drug which produces a 20-minute high. The drug was already gaining in popularity, but with Tyson’s announcement it’s use has grown significantly.
Tyson says he’s a devoted smoker of this drug, having used it 53 times over the last four years. While he was drinking and taking other drugs four years ago, he became an avid user of the drug known as 5-MeO-DMT after being introduced to it by a friend.
The 55-year-old former heavyweight fighter, told the New York Post, “In my trips I’ve seen that death is beautiful. Life and death both have to be beautiful, but death has a bad rep. The toad has taught me that I’m not going to be here forever. There’s an expiration date.” He added that it helps him focus and inspires creativity.
The toad’s venom has long been used in traditional healing rituals but it is now used by a number of the rich and famous. In addition to Hunter Biden and Christina Haack, other celebrities who have used the drug include Chelsea Handler, Nacho Vidal, and Diplo, among others.
5-MeO-DMT is not the only frog toxin that is used as a drug. Kambo is the secretion of Phyllomedusa bicolor, also known as the giant monkey frog, used in a traditional ritual by Indigenous people in Brazil and Peru to purify the body and treat various ailments. It’s a natural opioid that can be used to relieve pain is said to be 40 times stronger than morphine.
The drug 5-MeO-DMT does have supporters in the scientific community. Research conducted by Johns Hopkins, Maastricht University in The Netherlands, and other institutions has demonstrated that the drug, similar to other psychedelics, can be an effective treatment for a variety of psychological illnesses, including depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, PTSD, and end-of-life fear.
The Sonoran Desert toad lives underground for around seven months of the year to avoid the hot dry weather. At 7 to 8 inches long, it is one of the largest toads native to North America.The popularity of the toxin has not been good for the toad population. Conservationists worry that the species is being hurt and harassed to the point they could become extinct.