Nov. 8, 2022 -- Please stop licking the psychedelic toads.

That’s the message from the National Park Service, which warned visitors this week to avoid licking the large Sonoran Desert toad – which, supposedly, some people do to get a hallucinogenic high from the toxin that the amphibians secrete.

“It can make you sick if you handle the frog or get the poison in your mouth,” the park service said. “As we say with most things you come across in a national park, whether it be a banana slug, unfamiliar mushroom, or a large toad with glowing eyes in the dead of night, please refrain from licking.”

The Washington Post reported that it’s “unclear how many people are wandering through national parks in search of toads, and there is no data to suggest it is widespread, the practice is well known in popular culture and among celebrities.”

Also known as Colorado River toads, the creatures secrete a white milky substance that’s a natural psychedelic. When snorted, inhaled, or smoked, it gives a short, intense psychedelic experience for about 30 minutes, Drug Science, an international scientific research group, said.

But it’s a “popular myth” that licking the toads can get you high, the group says. It can be dangerous and cause poisonings, even fatalities, the group said.

The toads reach about 7 inches long. They are found in parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and sometimes California, and live about 10 years.

The Post quoted British scientist James Rucker about people licking the creatures in Asia and elsewhere outside the United States.

“I imagine the vast majority of people are looking for a cheap psychedelic experience,” he said. “I would caution people against it.”




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Facebook: National Park Service, Oct. 31, 2022 

The Washington Post: “Please stop licking psychedelic toads, National Park Service warns”



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