By Stewart Perrie
Mike Tyson has opened up about the first time he tried toad venom to get a hallucinogenic high.
There are loads of substances out there that can warp your senses, twist your perspective and make your body feel all sorts of things.
Apparently, there is a species of toad with venom that, when administered correctly, can send a person on an incredible ride that really pushes them to the edge.
During an appearance at Wonderland, a Miami conference focusing on psychedelics, microdosing, and medicine, the former world boxing champion told the New York Post exactly what happened when he took toad venom.
"I 'died' during my first trip," he said. "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."
"I did it as a dare. I was doing heavy drugs like cocaine, so why not? It's another dimension," he continued.
"Before I did the toad, I was a wreck. The toughest opponent I ever faced was myself. I had low self-esteem. People with big egos often have low self-esteem. We use our ego to subsidise that. The toad strips the ego."
While Tyson wasn't specific when recalling how he 'died', he could be referring to what's known in the hallucinogenic world as an 'ego death'.
People who have tried magic mushrooms, ayahuasca and LSD have described it as the 'complete loss of subjective self-identity' and essentially strips any form of ego from your psyche.
Those who have experienced it say it's life-changing and grants them a perspective on themselves and the world that they hadn't had before.
Tyson revealed he's now taken toad venom more than 50 times and it's helped him get his life back on track.
He said it's made him more creative and focused, which translates, he says, into being a better 'businessman and entrepreneur'.
The toad he has used is the Bufo alvarius, which is also called the Sonoran Desert Toad.
While the Mexican amphibious animal spends more than half the year in hibernation, it produces a potent venom when it's awake.
People can harvest that venom and smoke it, which sounds absolutely awful.
The boxer revealed that he's so into this form of high that he's got a nursery for Sonoran Desert Toads at his ranch in Desert Hot Springs in Southern California.
He has now become a big advocate for psychedelics for medical use.
"I'm fighting for psychedelics to become medicine you can buy over the counter," he told The Post. "I'm not finished. I want to do more. I want to be the best I can be in this field."
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