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Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) Support Forum
muzcore84

salvia induced hppd 20 years ago

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Hi all,

I tried to register with this forum around 4 years ago but every email address I used was never sent a confirmation email. So finally I am registered and hope that my experiences can help other and I can gain help from others experiences.

In the year 2000 when I had not long turned 16 I noticed that something called salvia divinorum was being advertised on the internet as a legal trip. I had only used solvents and smoked cannabis at this stage and was scared of chemicals like mdma and amphetamines but was interested in natural highs like mushrooms, dmt and acid.

I ordered a bag of the standard leaf and smoked a fairly small bong of the leaf and lay on my bed in the dark and started to notice neon cartoon patterns moving around and found the short experience very pleasurable so the next night I smoked a bong of hash first then two large bongs of salvia and lay on my bed with the light on. Almost staight away my bed looked like it was starting to spin off into infinity and my body was beginning to drift away on the rings, I was loving it at this point then I remembered that I was told it's normally better to take it in darkness so switched off my light and lay back on my bed, this was the biggest mistake I could ever have made as almost instantly the trip became overwhelming, serious and frightening, my bedroom furniture started morphing into letters that were marching around the room, then everything I knew as real started to disappear and I couldn't see my body and became surrounded in pixelated patterns that kept getting larger and larger while my heart beat got faster and faster, it reached a point of intensity that I had a sudden thought that if I don't get the light back on I'll be stuck here in this weird pixelated place with no body or my heart will keep getting faster until I die. As I couldn't see anything real I was panicking frantically feeling around for the light switch and finally got it on and thankfully things calmed down pretty quick after that but I was still in a state of distress and panic, I ran through to the kitchen and grabbed a handful of sweets from the cupboard and his under my duvet cover and tried to calm down, this was when I noticed for the first time I was having closed eye visuals and the flavours of the sweets were changing the colours and shapes of the visuals.

I was told that this stuff was supposed to last around 30 minutes and this was now more than 3 hours into the experience. The closed eye visuals have never stopped since then so now when I'm tired and want to relax if I lie down and close my eyes my eyes are always still open on the inside and depending on how I'm feeling or if I've had any sedative type of medication will depend on if it is possible for me to close my eyes and relax or if closing them throws me into a rollercoaster ride of fractal style patterns that I can feel my body move with as the patterns change, spin and move in waves. The exact same thing happens when it starts to get dark and if I'm in total darkness it makes no difference if my eyes are open or closed and often I can't tell. Thankfully during the day or when I'm in a well lit room I can see the patterns but they look more like a heat haze and as long as I keep my eyes focused only my peripheral vision moves but I still feel the movements of the patterns as movements of energy through my body and only in the last ten years have I really managed to be able to cope with it. Until I discovered diazepam in my 20s when I was sitting in a room with other people watching tv I suffered intense anxiety, I held my focus on the tv while everything around my point of vision moved leaving me feeling stuck to the seat as the movements of the patterns moved through my body.

It has also affected every drug I have taken since, when I used to smoke cannabis I would see 3d spider's web type patterns that would seem to go on into infinity, as if looking at a wall is looking into a cinema screen.

Around a year after taking the salvia and I was still wondering if it would ever go away was the first time I lost my fear of chemicals and decided to try ecstasy for my 17th birthday because of its connection to the rave music that is by far the most important thing in my life and the sound changed my life long before I knew what drugs were. Anyway, on the comedown I could see fantastic moving spiderweb patterns over the top of everything I could see as real, I asked everyone I was taking it with if they were tripping and they couldn't understand why I was. After that I kept it to myself, tried to just get on with life and force through the anxiety. 2 years later I met my first girlfriend and I told her about salvia, I had been keeping up to date with the salvia research centre online as they hadn't yet found what receptor it was binding to to cause it's effects, my girlfriend was studying neuroscience so when they found out that salvinorin A binds to the kappa opioid receptor this was really interesting to her, also it is the only psychoactive substance which doesn't contain nitrogen in its structure so she wrote a paper on it for one of her assignments only for it to be laughed as as the day before it was on a morning talk show as a new legal high and everyone thought she got her idea from that.

In the last few years I have spent short spells in prison and having the ability to self medicate taken away from me has been absolute torture.

I am doing my best to turn my life around so I never have to go through experiences like that again and without benzodiazepines I would be unable to fuction as a normal person and my anxiety would be so bad I would never leave the house or be able to interact with people without being uneasy shaky and paranoid.

This month is my 20 year anniversary and after the first 10 years I began to break down, now I have a full time support worker and when the covoid lock down is eased I will moving into supported housing so that my worker can come to appointments etc with me and make sure I get the benefits I'm entitled to as they have been back logged because of the corona virus.

Even with access to benzodiazepines because I can only take enough to calm my anxiety I never get any rest during the day and have to wait till night to take enough to relax and sleep.

I'm prison I started speaking to clinical psychologists for the first time and am waiting to continue treatment and hopefully be given an official diagnosis.

Thanks for taking the time to read my introduction. I hope this site will help me and allow me to help others.

Murray Anderson

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Hi and welcome. Sorry it took you so long to be able to register. I sent the site owner a message on Twitter (he's only active there these days) asking him to come here and check in on some things, hopefully he'll see this and sort out whatever caused that as well.

I'm so sorry that it is so severe for you. I remember when that whole Salvia legal-high craze was going on. It makes me really angry that they promoted that as some sort of weed-alternative when in reality it's one of the most intense hallucinogens out there and it typically gives nothing but bad trips, in fact, I can't think of a single positive experience from Salvia I've ever read.

The receptor binding is interesting and makes me wonder if a KOR antagonist like Naltrexone would have any relieving effects (Important: I have no medical training and this is not medical advice, it's just my curiosity).

What dosage of Diazepam do you take? It's worth noting that those of us who go the benzo route typically choose Clonazepam/Klonopin, though I'm returning here after a long absence, I'm not sure how others typically respond to Diazepam, it's worth doing a search.

Although this forum isn't as active as it once was I'm sure even by reading through existing threads and using the search function, you can find a lot of helpful information.

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@muzcore84  coming here to get help and to help others is what it's all about..  I suspect there are others out there who had a similar reaction to Salvia.  Your experiences may provide some insight into what they're dealing with.

When I first heard about Salvia I had been sober for quite some time, so I, thankfully, next tried it.  With its availability, I wonder if there are a lot of people struggling with hppd symptoms after using Salvia.  I heard at one time it was being sold in gas stations and convenience stores!

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9 hours ago, Swartz said:

Hi and welcome. Sorry it took you so long to be able to register. I sent the site owner a message on Twitter (he's only active there these days) asking him to come here and check in on some things, hopefully he'll see this and sort out whatever caused that as well.

I'm so sorry that it is so severe for you. I remember when that whole Salvia legal-high craze was going on. It makes me really angry that they promoted that as some sort of weed-alternative when in reality it's one of the most intense hallucinogens out there and it typically gives nothing but bad trips, in fact, I can't think of a single positive experience from Salvia I've ever read.

The receptor binding is interesting and makes me wonder if a KOR antagonist like Naltrexone would have any relieving effects (Important: I have no medical training and this is not medical advice, it's just my curiosity).

What dosage of Diazepam do you take? It's worth noting that those of us who go the benzo route typically choose Clonazepam/Klonopin, though I'm returning here after a long absence, I'm not sure how others typically respond to Diazepam, it's worth doing a search.

Although this forum isn't as active as it once was I'm sure even by reading through existing threads and using the search function, you can find a lot of helpful information.

Hi thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

If I never turned out the light I think I would have had an enjoyable experience as what I was seeing happening so quickly was fascinating rather than frightening.

I would love to be able to use clonazepam I have tried it on the past and that as well as nitrazepam for sleep are the most useful medications I've found but I have no sources at the moment it is extremely rare where I live. The street diazepam here in Scotland is very poor quality so I've managed to find another route to obtaining better quality tablets and yesterday I got some alprazolam with them for the first time. I think I will probably use the alprazolam during the day and the diazepam in the evening as I get much more drowsy from diazepam.

You're right in thinking opioid blockers reverse the effects of salvia, I read a study a few years ago and it was naltrexone in particular they were using and it stopped the effects of salvia in rats instantly.  However due to the crazy experiences I've had ever since the first one and that I also have HME (hereditary multiple existoses) I ended up becoming addicted to painkillers to help me sleep and deal with the pain of my condition which diazepam and methocarbimol seem to be helping most with that now, anyway one pain killer led to a stronger one and I eventually got addicted to heroin. I have been on methadone for the last 10 years and I can definitely notice opiate effects on my hppd symptoms particular during withdrawal so to take a blocker would cause me all sorts of problems.

When the next legal high craze took off around 6 years ago I had a short problem with ethyphenidate use then after they banned it I tried onecofcthe things they promoted to replace it and accidentally injected into my artery causing gangrene in all my left digits which they left to self amputate, a year later they were a rotten smelly mess so the finally cut them off. Unfortunately I received my first jail sentence of 3.5 months during the time I had black fingers and was cut off all the morphine, diazepam and temazepam I had been prescribed by my consultant and was left only on methadone, this amongst other things made me attempt to take my own life after having a serious breakdown but I've finally got some self determination in my life and am trying hard to turn my self around by using the gym and taking meds as meds rather than something to get out my face on.

I have to go to work but would be great to talk with you further.

Take care

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I'll address the rest of your post later, I just wanted to say that your idea of having Xanax in the morning and Valium in the evening is really not a good idea. Xanax has a short-half life, and generally won't be helpful. By taking Xanax all the time, and especially combining the two in the manner you're talking about, the likelihood of you ending up having some really bad withdrawals and side effects seems likely. Stick to the Diazepam, or Clonazepam preferably, but try and get a prescription rather than buying it on the street. I know you said Scotland and I have no idea what the laws are like there, but that idea you mentioned strikes me as dangerous.

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There is no chance of getting any benzodiazepines prescribed in the uk for more than 4 weeks, the last psychiatrist I spoke with said if we were in Italy I could prescribe clonazepam but here we have to stick to using anti psychotic drugs and prescribed me aripiprizole which made the patterns more colourful and Persian rug like. I have also been tried on olanzapine, quetiepine, buspirone and an anti depressant I can't remember the name of. For a while I was able to get proper pharmaceutical clonazepam from Pakistan and then India but with me being on license for good behaviour after being released from prison on the 31st of January I'm far too scared to try placing an order for these countries, maybe from Europe or America but I'm sure especially with the covoid situation an Asian parcel would be intercepted

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And now I've thought about your theory I disagree, if I was to present for help with alprazolam addiction they would convert the dose of alprazolam to the equipotent dose of diazepam and bring me down slowly off of diazepam so if I am using alprazolam during the day, because of its short half life using diazepam at night would prevent any withdrawal symptoms until the next dose of alprazolam

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16 hours ago, MadDoc said:

@muzcore84  coming here to get help and to help others is what it's all about..  I suspect there are others out there who had a similar reaction to Salvia.  Your experiences may provide some insight into what they're dealing with.

When I first heard about Salvia I had been sober for quite some time, so I, thankfully, next tried it.  With its availability, I wonder if there are a lot of people struggling with hppd symptoms after using Salvia.  I heard at one time it was being sold in gas stations and convenience stores!

The time when I tried it it was only just becoming available online that was in 2000, when I lost my fingers there were shops and market stalls all across Scotland selling legal cannibnoids, uppers mainly containing ethylphenidate, legal benzodiazepines and salvia. So many people ended up becoming seriously addicted, messed up their lives and their bodies, put enormous pressure on our precious nhs all so that a few people could make enormous profits before the new psychoactive substances laws came into place a few years ago

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Also bear in mind that I am already seriously addicted to diazepam, when I got released from prison all I could get was street valium and was taking 50 tablets a day every day until last month my brother got in contact with me for the first time in 5 years, saw my situation and set me up with a supplier of real diazepam and within a few days I went from 50 tablets to about 15 to 20 that I'm currently taking, having alprazolam for the past 2 days has allowed me to drop my diazepam intake to 10 to 15 tablets so so far it seems to be taking me in the right direction. I used to abuse every drug I could get apart from alcohol as a way of coping with what I was dealing with and either not being able to talk to anyone about it or not be believed if I tried to talk about it. I will never get the help I need from medical services in the uk so as with the rest of my life I used the last five months I spent in jail to motivate myself to get back to being able to live life properly again. I have had a good upbringing and have a list for life and knowledge, what has been holding me back is that to self medicate I've had to associate with people who have no interest in anything other than getting high, now I've been able to break free from buying street valium I have more time to think about how I want to live, I exercise and eat better, I am starting to find support and encouragement from people who can see I am serious about changing and I'm gaining the trust of my large family again, slowly but more genuinely than before when I was only really talking about changing and not putting any effort into it. I don't take any recreational drugs anymore and I am determined to show the psychologists and psychiatrists that my problem is so overwhelming and intense that if they won't help me the way I know works best that I have the will power and determination to start treating myself without falling back into the same old cycle of addiction and not caring for my body, my life or those who want the best for me

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Sorry to mention this again but it's common practice to provide short and long acting benzodiazepines together, some practitioners prefer using temazepam for sleep then diazepam during the day for anxiety while others prefer to prescribe nitrazepam because it's longer half life than temazepam removes the need to prescribe diazepam during the day. Anyway it's something I'm trying rather than committing to, I am already committed to life long benzodiazepine use and now I've stopped recreational drug use I'm focusing on making sure I have a constant well stocked supply while always keeping at the front of my mind what has happened before and will happen again if I don't keep on top of my intake as I see this in many ways as my last chance to get things right so I can function properly and productively, step by step of course

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Sorry, because I had to leave for work when replying to you I never got to answer your question about diazepam dosage. Now that I'm taking pharmaceutical diazepam my dose has dropped considerably but I take at least 100mg a day but sometimes up to 150mg, mainly in the evening, I was taking 2 or 3 10mg tablets before work then another 2 or 3 when I got home then before bed I take at least 4 or 5  and I tend to wake up every couple of hours for the toilet which is extremely annoying but lots of tests including a camera into the bladder and nothing wrong has been found so sometimes when I'm trying to get back to sleep and I'm unable to relax my eyes I end up taking up to another 5 10mg tablets it just depends.

Because of the lock down in Scotland all the gyms are closed so I try to keep as active as I can during the day but I find it hard to motivate myself and am dying for the gyms to reopen as this was what really saved me while I was in prison, having access to cardio equipment on the wing I used the x trainer and exercise bike half an hour each every day and was allowed 3 days during the week at the big gym where I started training with long term prisoners and this tired me out, combined with the amitriptyline dose which was the only painkiller they would give me, enough to manage to get enough sleep to get by although without access to benzodiazepines my eye muscles were always strained and sore and although my anxiety levels were better than when I started the sentence I avoided speaking to anyone if possible and kept myself to myself, constantly doing laps of the wing to pass time and to further exhaust myself. The only person who I was able to have any real conversation with rather than the shit prisoners tend to speak about was with the clinical psychologist who has been the best person I've worked with in trying to explain my symptoms and I have been out of prison since the 31st of January and I'm still waiting to get to see another psychologist. I am basically self isolating at the moment as my neighbours are crazy, they smoke crack and take valium for fun which was why I ended up taking so many dodgy street valium tablets after getting out. But after my brother got me set up with proper diazepam and now also alprazolam I've politely told them that I cant keep hanging around with them as I really want to make the most of my life and make sure I never end up in jail again which would only be a matter of time if I was to continue keeping myself in the company of my neighbours. I am praying that the lock down will ease of enough soon so that I can move into supported housing, I already see a support worker once a week but she has no idea how long I'm stuck here for but when she comes we are making a step by step plan to make sure my needs are best met when I can eventually move to one of their secure units. Also they will be able to come to doctor, psychology and psychiatrists appointments with me so I will feel less intimidated by the person I'm seeing and from previous experience of having support workers at appointments I know I will be listened to more and taken more seriously.  Things are starting to move in the right direction for once but I really only have myself to blame for being so reckless and not putting in the effort needed for my life to start getting better.

The biggest challenge will always be managing my benzo use and I'm taking it far more seriously than I ever have as I know that nothing else eases the different symptoms in the same way so if I abuse them again I know what's going to happen again.

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