To the Editor:
Whoever wrote the "How to Kill Yourself" article is a moron. There are a number of very important factual inaccuracies with it. Firstly, before we even get to the fact-checking, were this article indeed true, the article author is advising people to take the LD50 of a given drug. This is utterly irresponsible on the author's part, and it boggles the mind as to why he'd advise people to do such a thing. Fortunately, for those intrepid psychonauts who wish to experience ego death still, you'll be relieved to know that virtually all of the statements in the actual article are completely, totally, and utterly wrong. Ego death is a not wholly-uncommon occurence for those who take high doses of psychedelics. How high, though? A casual perusal of Erowid seems to give a value of 2–10 hits of LSD as the dose required, where each hit is approximately 100 micrograms, for a maximum required dose for most people of 1000 micrograms, or 1 milligram. For psilocybin, Terence McKenna in a famous work of his gives the required amount of psilocybin as 5g. Now, let's take a look at the LD50 values for both. For LSD, various inconclusive reports exist, with a minimum value in the literature of 0.2mg/kg, and an average dose of 1mg/kg. For a 60kg human, this would require you to consume at minimum 20mg of LSD, which would amount to taking 200 blotters. At once. This is ludicrous, not only is it an absurd amount of LSD but it is far more than anyone other than process chemists and high-level distributors could possibly afford. For psilocybin, the LD50 given is approximately 280mg/kg—requiring 17g of pure psilocybin to be taken at once. Note that the 5g above is the weight of dried mushrooms, the 17g value in the LD50 calculation is that of pure pharmaceutical-grade psilocybin, implying that, similarly, an absolutely ludicrous amount of dried mushrooms would need to be consumed at once in order to ingest an amount around that of the LD50 for psilocybin. Furthermore, in case you're still not convinced, there have been absolutely no confirmed cases of deaths from either LSD ingestion or ingestion of psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. None. Yet a large amount of people write trip reports wherein they experience ego death. A simple application of probability theory will now yield the conclusion: you do not need anything even approaching the LD50 for a psychedelic drug in order to experience ego death. The dose required is high, but it is still 2–3 orders of magnitude before the assumed lethal dose, and the lethal dose in just about any case is so absurdly high that you are unlikely to ever be able to ingest enough of it at once—sometimes even acquiring enough of it at once is extremely difficult on its own. In short—don't worry, you are at no risk of death when trying drugs such as magic mushrooms, LSD or mescaline. This does not mean that they don't come with risks and side-effects, but when it comes to your physical health there is no reason to worry.
As an aside, one has to wonder why the article author recommended taking 2C-T-7. The 2C-* class of drugs is an abbreviation and classification system devised by Alexander Shulgin (of Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved fame, where these molecules, their synthesis and their effects are described, in great detail) to describe substituted phenethylamines with methoxy groups at the 2 and the 5 positions of the benzene ring. The term after the 2C-* prefix describes the substituent at the 4- position, in this case the "T" stands for "thiol" (and the substituent in this case is a propylthiol chain). This particular 2C- class drug has a largely unpredictable nature and very little use in humans, and is by no means recommended to take by anyone. It boggles the mind as to why the article author did not recommend taking 2C-E (where the E corresponds to an ethane chain at the 4-position) or 2C-I (where the I corresponds to an iodine atom in the same location), these are both commonly used and have a large amount of safety data in their favour, similarly to the (in)famous trio of LSD, psilocybin and mescaline, and unlike 2C-T-7. which has a notoriously poor safety record and very little history of use in humans.
I would also like to comment that the fact-checking on the part of the editors with respect to this current article is simply deplorable, and I trust that I will not see articles with this many factual inaccuracies appearing in The Chevron again.
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