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The 10 Craziest Ways People Have Tried to Get High

Licking toads? Drinking reindeer urine? Teenage desperation knows no bounds.
 
 
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1. Sea Bream Heads The idea that you can get high from eating the heads of sea bream might sound fishy, but it's true—just ask the two Frenchmen who  tripped out after a seafood dinner in 2006. One of them, aged 90, suffered auditory hallucinations and terrifying nightmares for the next two nights, while his 40-year-old companion saw horrible sights for 36 straight hours. The pair had been hit by a grave case of  icthyoallyeinotoxism—the technical term for getting high off fish. The ancient Romans, as you'd expect, used to do sarpa salpa heads recreationally. But don't plan your psychedelic fishing trip just yet. The effects come from  indole, a substance found in the algae and plankton in the sarpa salpa's diet, and which accumulates in its head. The levels of hallucinogens present vary greatly. Which means you could chew on fish heads for hours and still not see a single tiny winged devil .

2. Colorado River Toad Licking toads is one of those timeless urban legends that we've all heard—maybe you  saw it on The Simpsons. But as with many things Homer does, you probably shouldn't copy him. Firstly, it's gross. Secondly, all toads are toxic. Thirdly, only  one specific type of toad can get you high—and chances are the toad you just found isn't it. The whole “licking toads” rumor apparently began when someone saw some hippies chasing the warty amphibians through the woods. But the "proper" way to get high off them is hardly more appetizing: You have to hold your toad, gently massaging the soft venom sacks on the sides of its head and "milk" its viscous white venom onto a piece of glass. Dry, scrape and smoke—but not too often. Even though most of the poisonous bufotenin is burned off, the buildup from repeated toad-toking can kill you.

3. Nutmeg Suburban kids needn't look further than the spice rack for this high—yet the feds still haven't scheduled it. Perhaps that's because it keeps you high-but-nauseous for about 24 hours, leaves you with an incapacitating flu-like hangover for days and tastes absolutely awful—but even knowing that might not stop most enterprising teens. Almost all discussion about the over-the-kitchen-counter drug consists of strategies on how to make it taste less revolting, usually by mixing it into various liquids like milk or water a la  Malcolm X tea. Online searches also reveal futile tips on how to mitigate the dreaded cotton mouth and dry eyes that users suffer. Despite all this awfulness, nutmeg's sheer accessibility keeps it popular.

4. I-Dosing Gullible teenagers looking for a high are a ripe market, but substances tend to draw the ire of their elders. Enter "I-Dosing"—digital "drug" recordings that claim to use the power of sound to alter your state of mind. For a dollar or two a pop, you can close your eyes, put on your headphones and trip out on “marijuana” or “cocaine” with zero side effects. At one point, I-Dosing caused a moral panic: the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics even  put out a wire to parents about how their kids were getting twisted on MP3s. But reports from  tech bloggers and The Fix indicate that it is not, in fact, possible to get a chemical high from these sounds. It's really just unscientific binarual beat therapy repackaged to con kids out of a few bucks (but don't tell that to these true believers). Hey, at least it keeps them off the real stuff.

5. Smoking Twix No, this isn't teen slang for some nefarious new drug; we are actually talking about the candy bar. Twix-smoking is a trend that—thanks to  social media—just won't quite fizzle out. The Fix  was taught the simple technique by some young people last year: Bite off both ends, put one end in your mouth, hold a lighter at the other end (because it ain't gonna stay lit) and inhale. Reports of the ensuing "trip" range from “It tastes like s'mores” to “And now there's melted chocolate all over my lap.” It's fairly obvious that breathing burning chocolate through the porous biscuit inside a candy bar won't get you high. Somehow that doesn't seem to dampen the attraction.