LSD Tripper Amputates, Flushes Monster-Containing Testicles – May 12, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

ARCATA – The use of the drug LSD, or commonly referred to as “acid,” appears to be increasing especially among young adults in Arcata, according to an Arcata Police Department press release issued yesterday.

On April 18, officers responded to a residence to assist the Arcata Mad River Ambulance with a 31-year-old male subject who had just castrated himself. Medical personnel and officers were unable to locate the subject’s testicles. He later told officers that he flushed them down the toilet as he feared they contained “monsters.”

The victim, who police say had a Tennessee address, was with several friends when he began to experience negative feelings. He was dropped off at the Jay Street residence, to which Arcata Police responded at 4:18 p.m. that day.

“We just thought it was an isolated incident,” said Police Chief Tom Chapman. He said calls to aid people having a bad experience with LSD or psilocybin mushrooms are “not uncommon.” But a flurry of subsequent incidents represent an unusual surge in LSD-related calls for service.

On May 8, a 21-year-old male subject took LSD and wandered away from his residence. He left his shoes, adequate clothing, and cell phone behind and did not tell anyone where he was going. He wandered around the forest for days while concerned friends and family looked for him. He eventually returned a couple days later.

On May 9, officers responded to the Mad River Hospital to assist with a combative 19-year-old male subject who was undergoing “flashbacks.” The subject had ingested LSD two weeks ago. Today, officers found him standing in the field being held by three friends who were attempting to get him into the emergency room. The friends were requesting police assistance and wanted their friend to get help. The officers detained the subject and held him for psychiatric evaluation by Humboldt County Mental Health.

Last night, officers responded to the 900 block of H Street where an 18-year-old male subject, who was under the influence of LSD, was throwing himself on the ground in the middle of the street. He was arrested and taken to jail.

Also last night, May 11,officers from APD assisted officers from UPD arrest a subject who was under the influence of LSD.

Officers from the Arcata Police Department also had two additional contacts with unrelated subjects undergoing “flashbacks.” Both were cared for by friends and family. One subject was taken out of the area and back home by his family.

The Arcata Police Department would like to remind you that the effects of LSD are extremely unpredictable. Many LSD users experience flashbacks long after initially using the drug. It is difficult to determine how long the effects of the LSD will last. The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.

Some LSD users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, fear of insanity and death, and despair while using LSD. Some fatal accidents have occurred during states of LSD intoxication.

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131 Responses to “LSD Tripper Amputates, Flushes Monster-Containing Testicles – May 12, 2010”

  1. Maddy Shernock

    For a more scientifically accurate representation of the effects of LSD, visit:

    Also, how bout the Arcata Eye writes an article on every screwed-up, dangerous, bizarre thing done by Arcata residents while under the influence of alcohol? Or would that take too long?

  2. Samuel Patterson

    thank you LSD for preventing this winner from reporducing. Consider it a win for the future human genome

  3. Maddy,

    The Police Log features the gripping adventures of cocktail fanciers every week.

    Next time a drunk castrates himself, we’ll do a story.


  4. Terrence McNally

    Yeah, you facebooked that statement, too, Maddy under the subject: the Arcata Eye FEARMONGERS. As you can see from the byline, this is a press release from APD, not an article. But, you grew up here. Doesn’t this seem like an unusually high number of bad LSD events in a relatively short period of time? C’mon, the guy cut his frickin’ balls off. That in itself is… like, wow.

  5. Nick

    Maddy, you can’t expect an unbiased assessment of the risks of LSD and mushrooms from an association whose mission is to make “psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines.” They clearly have an agenda. I would rather trust the people who deal with users of these drugs on a near-daily basis, that is, the police.

  6. Terrence McNally

    That and the advocacy for its use treating anxiety, which apparently didn’t help the guy worried about the monster in his testicles. Also, the stock photo of fake doctors staring at a computer monitor makes me anxious.

  7. Kamola

    Well, so there are bad drugs going around Arcata. Then please, would all of the crazy, drug-taking, 19-year-olds from Tennessee GET OUT OF TOWN! PLEASE! And take your friends with you!

    God, I am just sick of this…
    They are like crows on carrion.

  8. C

    Speaking as someone who has used psychedelics… they are powerful drugs, and they are not toys to be fooled around with. A negative feeling or mindset can quickly get amplified to a terrifying degree. It sounds like many of these kids didn’t have a trusted friend looking after them while they were tripping, or else didn’t prepare a safe environment to be in. Psychedelics aren’t for everyone… people with diagnosed or underlying psychotic disorders (particularly schizophrenia) are particularly susceptible to having bad reactions to psychedelics, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case with one or more of the reported incidents here.

    With that said… their dangers are exaggerated in this press release. Psychedelic flashbacks are rare; within my own personal experience and the experiences of friends of mine (some of whom have used psychedelics literally hundreds of times), no one has ever experienced a flashback. Psychedelic flashbacks are not that different from flashbacks triggered by any other memorable or traumatic experience. Emphasizing the negative effects of psychedelics is understandable, particularly with a press release coming from the police, but there IS a reason people use psychedelics… and it’s not so that they can suffer “fear of insanity and death.”

    Nick… the best people to trust regarding the effects and consequences of psychedelic usage are the people who use them. Law enforcement officers see only a small subset of psychedelic users – the people who freak out and either call 911 or get themselves into a messy situation. This does not account for the great majority of psychedelic users who take appropriate precautions and treat psychedelics with the respect they deserve as powerful mind-altering substances, and thus don’t have run-ins with the cops. The people who responsibly use psychedelics are the people you never hear about, in the news or otherwise.

  9. C

    Also, I want to offer the suggestion that the drug in question may not have been LSD at all. Many questionable “research chemicals” are sold as LSD, although the duration and nature of their effects can differ greatly from real LSD. It is quite an unusual – and unlikely – coincidence to have this many bad reactions to LSD occurring in the same place and at the same time. These people could very well have taken something that they believed to be LSD, but was in fact something else entirely. Law enforcement officers usually don’t bother to test samples in cases like this – they will assume that the drug is whatever it was reported to be.

    I would love to see some more investigation on part of the police here, because this all just seems like a little too much to be a coincidence. I’d really like to see some samples tested or something like that. But I doubt that will happen.

    Oh… and Terrence… there’s a very big difference between taking LSD in a therapeutic setting, and taking it in a recreational setting. The general scientific community is understandably skeptical of MAPS’ work – but not dismissive. MAPS is performing research in a very controversial field, a field that has been clamped down by the federal government for decades. Those restrictions are finally being loosened, however, and the latest results are as promising as they were five decades ago. It will take many more careful studies and trials before we can say for sure whether psychedelics will have a use in therapy, but it’s foolish to dismiss the evidence that does exist – at least not without actually reading the studies for yourself first, rather than dismissing the field as a whole because the research is being led by MAPS. If it weren’t for an organization with an agenda, the field of psychedelic research would have never progressed from where it left off in the 50s and 60s, because the federal government certainly had an agenda to make sure that didn’t happen.

  10. hey now

    1) Very possibly the substance was NOT LSD-25. There just isn’t a lot of really good (pure) acid around anymore. There is a real lack of concern in the general partying population as to what they are sticking in their bodies. “Ecstacy” which may be MDMA combined with heroin or any of many analogues manufactured however by whoever. It’s a pharmy soup out there and these kids are mostly popping whatever-it’s-called.
    2)If it is real (pure) LSD-25 it can be extremely powerful. Stuff can get religious, beautiful, heavy and very confusing. It should be treated with the utmost respect, not like a social party drug. Set, setting, guides to help you-these are important. Seems like people have forgotten basic precautions to ensure safety and positive experiences. Leaving someone alone on a bad trip? Never!
    If people are this stupid they SHOULD be scared away from experimentation with LSD. They should perhaps read some old 60’s books about the stuff or get turned on by responsible experienced veterans. And NO-LSD is not for everybody! Borderline schizophrenics may experience psychological breaks. LSD is serious stuff. You can hurt your stomach from laughing too hard and your karma may run over your dogma(in the driveway)

  11. Dan W

    Sounds to me like this is some kind of research chemical that is being passed off as LSD. There’s no such thing as a ‘bad batch’ of acid – some people react badly to it, of course, but not in large numbers like this.

  12. Terrence McNally

    Right-O, anonymous poster C – I hope there would be a big difference between dropping acid with lab techs and being ditched by your friends after you discover monsters in your balls. I’d assume the MAP docs direct one away from self-surgery.


    Huffin’ gas is SACRED to me brah. It comes from deep in the earth. It’s hard to find the pure stuff though, BLACK GOLD, the rawest crude oil from deep deep down. A little smear of that in your pipe and WOWZERS. Or put a little dab in your eye…but I digress. All that’s readily available is what I can siphon out of VW buses of LSD trippers when they’re busy roaming the forest and cutting off their nuts.

  14. grokable

    I largely agree w/ C poster. I’d bet that when/ if a sample is ever analysed, it will turn out to be something other than LSD. This is based on the reported effects in the story. They do not jibe with “normal” LSD effects. “Flashbacks” requiring hospitalization? Three-day long trips? This is most likely some other drug, or if it is LSD, it is in some dose 1000 or more times normal–esay to do if you’re a chuckle-head, considering that a good dose is just 100 MILLIONTHS of a gram.

  15. Terrence McNally

    Great… we’ve moved on to a debate between anon posters about how LSD would never hurt somebody like this. “In my experience tripping balls, I never considered removing them.” About par for the course.

  16. Bill Hicks

    “Always that same LSD story, you’ve all seen it. ‘Young man on acid, thought he could fly, jumped out of a building. What a tragedy.’ What a dick! Fuck him, he’s an idiot. If he thought he could fly, why didn’t he take off on the ground first? Check it out. You don’t see ducks lined up to catch elevators to fly south—they fly from the ground, ya moron, quit ruining it for everybody. He’s a moron, he’s dead—good, we lost a moron, fuckin’ celebrate. Wow, I just felt the world get lighter. We lost a moron! I don’t mean to sound cold, or cruel, or vicious, but I am, so that’s the way it comes out. Professional help is being sought. How about a positive LSD story? Wouldn’t that be news-worthy, just the once? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition and lies? I think it would be news-worthy. ‘Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we’re the imagination of ourselves’ . . . ‘Here’s Tom with the weather.'”

  17. Bill,

    “scare tactics and superstition and lies” I’m not seeing any of that in the coverage. We’re presenting the information that we have in a straightforward manner.

    People are taking a powerful drug and having some bad-to-terrible times around here, and the public safety people are having to clean up human tragedies. It’s extraordinary, and that makes it news.

    Perhaps the news of this trend will result in more caution and spare some folks some misery.

  18. I keep thinking, all that pain, and blood. You would have to be on acid…. oh wait.

  19. From an email: “These are your testicles. These are your testicles on drugs. Any questions?”

  20. Leonard Ritter

    A lot of psychotic incidents all occurring around the same time in the same area? Two possibilities: either some jackass is making up these stories to “protect” us [note the lack of cited sources], or some guy is selling a psychoactive substance that isn’t LSD… PCP perhaps?

  21. Oh, there are any number of wretched conspiracies we can assign this to. Or, far-fetched as this may seem, it could even be as reported.

  22. Terrence McNally

    I think Bill is correct that it’s nicer to have the news covering positive stories. There’s no need to have auto accidents in the paper because hundreds of Arcatans made it home happily and enjoyed listening to Bachman Turner Overdrive on the car radio. There were also lots of bank executives who did not embezzle cash today. And it’s a bummer to report that the real Bill Hicks died of cancer a long time ago, though he may have been just dreaming that. The positive LSD news is that only one person acid on April 18 castrated himself.

  23. C

    Terrence, the positive LSD news is the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people who have used psychedelics and suffered nothing like the bad reactions that are being reported here – who, dare I say, have even gained in terms of revelatory personal insights, resolution of conflicts, uplifting spiritual experiences, and so on. Obviously you will never hear about that in the news, but don’t pretend as if it doesn’t happen – like I said previously, there is a reason that people consume psychedelics. (I’m not a spiritual person myself and I still find benefit from the use of psychedelics, though I indulge rarely.)

    Like all powerful substances and tools, if they fall into the wrong hands, the end result can be disastrous. Guns… cars… drugs. Irresponsible, uneducated, careless people are the root of the problem. Psychedelics are just one more tool for the job of being an irresponsible ninny, like most things in the world.

    Like our friend who literally tripped his balls off… a very bad move on part of his friends to abandon him while he was tripping. Any sensible psychedelic user knows that it is always a good idea to have a sober friend around to keep your trip from going from bad to worse to… well, self-amputation, or some other equally messy situation.

  24. Terrence McNally

    All true, anon poster C. I remain confused by the purpose of taking to task the local paper for reporting something real bad that happened. What seems to be lacking for you and several other anonymous posters is the representation of positive LSD news. I guess I could write about the totally awesome trips I’ve had, but I don’t know what use that would be to readers.
    What’s funnier to me is how folks rally to protect their pet projects when something messed up happens. It wasn’t the pit bull that ate the baby. Pit bulls are wonderfully kind. It was bad training that ate the baby.
    The media is covering that blowed-up oil rig to discredit the petroleum industry. Where’s the positive resource extraction news?

  25. jmoney

    perhaps mescaline?

  26. jmoney

    or probably an alphabet soup like 2C-B or something

  27. C

    Terrence, I didn’t mean to imply that I think there has to be positive coverage of LSD use, nor was I trying to criticize The Arcata Eye for posting this press release. I was offering my own commentary and insights on the story, and a somewhat contrary viewpoint against the (understandably) exaggerated dangers of psychedelics as they are described in this press release.

    And anyways… and this goes for you too, “Bill Hicks”, and everyone else who is complaining about biased reporting on psychedelics… there HAS been positive coverage of psychedelics in the news – check out this article which was published on the front page of the New York Times:

    So no one really has any room to complain anymore :)

  28. Terrence McNally


  29. This has got to be a Datura extract or something being passed off as LSD. Most users report extremely negative experiences, delirium (different from hallucination) , and self mutilation is not unheard of.

    check it

  30. Bill Hicks


    RE:People are taking a powerful drug and having some bad-to-terrible times around here, and the public safety people are having to clean up human tragedies. It’s extraordinary, and that makes it news.

    The fact is there was no pharmacological or forensic testing of the actual substance at the cause of those psychotic outbreaks. To accept the word or opinion of the police or the victim that the substance was LSD is shoddy journalism. Confirm the sources.

    The effects stated in the report sound to me more like a PCP (as stated by another) or perhaps datura intoxication, but could have been any number of psychedelic phenethylamines (research chems) or tryptamines. Probably not mescaline (a phenethylamine) or LSD or psilocybin (both tryptamines)
    Until a sample is surrendered or confiscated and analysed properly, the substance is a mystery.

    As always, “you buy the ticked and take the ride.” Psychedelics are amazing, powerful tools, but they are not for everybody. It can be like playing Russian Roulette (but that’s life isn’t it?)
    Reduce the risks…know your source. Set & setting! If you insist on swimming in the deep end (as I often did) remember the buddy system. And above all have someone HIDE THE KNIVES!


  31. “To accept the word or opinion of the police or the victim that the substance was LSD is shoddy journalism. Confirm the sources.”

    How, pray, does one verify the nature of the drug that was in these people’s bloodstreams?

  32. James

    “Dude, those weren’t pokeballs. . .”

  33. gg

    Flash backs have been debunked as a myth. There is a rare condition called HPPD that seems to be legitimate. But cannot be said to be the same thing as a flash back. Find out more at

  34. jimmyzATL

    Kevpod… I think you are missing a serious point here.

    Yes the reports from the police are accurate in that a bunch of folks are having bad experiences with what they believe to be LSD. Yet the piece you are selectively omitting from the discussion here is that it is incredibly odd and rare for this many people to be having bad experiences with LSD.

    There is something afoot here, and its more than simply an increased use of LSD in the area… that really needs to be investigated. Keep in mind that law enforcement has a comical history of not understanding the “norms” associated with those who take drugs frequently. And that’s a logical outcome… however in this situation they need to be able to look a bit deeper because there may very well still be a greater menace to be found.

  35. Terrence McNally

    So the dude, his friends and emergency personnel who all thought he was having flashbacks at MRCH was actually A-OK. Sounds like he should have consulted Wikipedia.

  36. Just to respond, “selectively omitting” makes it sound like a conscious decision. It was not. Note that the piece we ran was simply an APD press release with a few extra quotes by the police chief. We needed to get the word out quickly that something is afoot so folks could exercise caution.

    Indeed, it is very rare to have this many extreme incidents with LSD (that, in part, is what made it news). I’m with you too that there may be a contaminant or alternate drug involved. One thing that ameliorates that suspicion somewhat is that some of these victims’ associates were also tripping but didn’t wig out to any significant extent.

    Further, we don’t know what other drugs these folks may have ingested along with the supposed LSD, nor the potency of the dosages.

  37. Buzz

    Flush your balls and your mind will follow.

  38. Tulochen

    While working at Sempervirens, I saw many people come in who were under the influence of Datura (jimson weed). This fits the M.O. of the plant pretty well. God bless these poor doofs, and may their fates serve as a warning to people who are thinking about experimenting with their delicate psyches.

  39. Drew

    Notice, the editorial slant here (intended or not) is towards the inherent dangers and supposed increase in psychedelic drug use, rather than to address the untreated mental illness which often precipitates these types of incidents (i.e the REAL story.)

    Humboldt county has seen an increase in psychotic episodes related to drug use, and local media outlets have treated the situation as fodder for outdated moral-panic pieces about the dangers of teenagers dropping acid; the tone of this one sounds like something right out of the 1968 LA Times. The implied message is that the increase in drug-related psychosis owes to a recent spike in the use of psychedelic drugs by young people, when (according to DOJ stats) the use of LSD, psilocybin, and other psychedelics has remained relatively stable since decreasing significantly in the 90s. While methamphetamine might not have the widespread and visible counterculture that psychedelics have enjoyed, its use has silently skyrocketed in northern California while the overall rate of psychedelic drugs produced and used nationwide has remained the same.

    What HAS changed recently, since California’s latest budget crunch, is that the state’s allotment of funds for mental health and social services to rural areas has been reduced. Of course it wouldn’t make much of a gruesome headline: “State Budget Cuts Mean Less Services to the Sick,” but it would at least speak to the underlying cause of a problem facing this area, rather than just some of the unfortunate effects. The local media here delights in igniting the Drugsville vs Anytown USA debate anywhere it can, even when there’s a bigger story to tell.

  40. More blaming the messenger. Drew, you have some good points. But you’re off base with all your extrapolations about our alleged attempts to create a wider narrative. I can tell you for a fact that you have no idea what our opinions are about either the recreational use of psychedelic drugs, the drug subculture or for that matter, society’s treatment of persons with mental illness.

    Speaking of which, yes, we ought to do more for the mentally ill and unstable. Are you saying that this is a job for us at the newspaper? We don’t have training and aren’t qualified to treat people with mental impairments.

    What we can do, and are, is publicizing the demonstrated dangers of taking powerful mind-altering drugs, especially if you have a pre-existing mental issue.

    Drew, your alternative headline is preposterously desultory, overreaching and politicized, at least for a news story. It would work for an editorial opinion, but we’re passing along a police press release, not an thumbsucking opinion column. Our “gruesome” headline gets right to the point of the APD press release.

  41. Terrence McNally

    Who knew the psychedelic community was so sensitive. Must be cuz they see sounds and hear colors.

  42. Drew

    The FIRST sentence of your piece:

    “…use of the drug LSD, or commonly referred to as “acid,” appears to be increasing especially among young adults in Arcata, according to an Arcata Police Department press release issued yesterday.”

    shows a direct attempt to “create a wider narrative” and indeed one which is not corroborated by APD. According to the Times-Standard article, more subtly titled “Arcata Police report rash of bad LSD trips,” John Driscoll reports:

    “Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman said the department has not recovered any samples of acid in relation to the incidents, and could not say whether the recent events are due to contaminated LSD or a sharply increased usage of the drug.” Chief Chapman “could not say,” but you did. When you forfeit your right to claim straight journalism at the get-go, your opinions and your intentions are game for speculation.

  43. day tripper

    I feel it is hugely irresponsible for this site to allege LSD as the perpetrator of this ‘freakout’ when you have absolutely no scientific fact to base this on.

    Is there any evidence the drug in question was LSD or is the PD just looking to scapegoat one of the typical victims of goverment fear-mongering when it comes to expanding your mind?

  44. Terrence McNally

    In the future, let’s defer to the T-S’s subtle explication of drug-induced self-castrations. Duly noted.

    Seriously, do not report on people’s psychedelics of choice. They’ll expose wider narratives on a Friday night.

  45. For a sampling of what a larger narrative really looks like, check the online comments at any site running this story. They variously blame the victims, the police, the news media, the town’s culture and various bad actors in government for this flurry of people flipping out on drugs.

    Speaking of meddlesome narrative, how about the suggestion that this story of drug freakouts be headlined as, “State Budget Cuts Mean Less Services to the Sick?”

    APD experienced a flurry of people variously mutilating themselves and flopping around in the street, wandering off into the wilderness and showing up at the ER. The told the cops they’d taken LSD.

    From the officers’ field reports, the chief compiled a summary and released it. We fixed the punctuation and ran it with attribution to APD. What you call “your piece” is quite plainly labeled as an APD press release.

    You’ll note that the press release states numerous times that the victims had ingested LSD. Hence the headline.

  46. Drew

    As far as the other comments, I don’t doubt there’s some nutjobs out there who are waaaay into drugs, and get butt-hurt at any mention of negative consequences. If there weren’t crazies into dope, that dude would still have balls… We get it.

    But the introduction to the article (before the summary), the line that sets the context of the press release, began with a statement which was inferred rather than reported. Your inference does not square with the Chief’s statements. Aside from that sentence, yes the article is just as you described, a plain restatement of facts.

    How bout a press release about a rash of shootings that begins “The rate of gun use appears to be increasing…”

  47. Unfortunately for your construct of inappropriate interference, the lead sentence is also part of the APD release. When I write a story about this, I will put my name on it.

    I wouldn’t talk about “rates” in a lead about people being shot. But that’s just me. These days, you can always shop around and find a news source that suits your political tastes.

    Drew, you have a lot of strongly held ideas abut reporting, and I hope that one day you have the opportunity to implement them in a real-world news environment.

  48. Drew

    Good luck

    P.S. Your “lead sentence” needs a period.

  49. Gurt

    See now, the problem with the Arcata Police Department is that they fail to see the humor in someone cutting their balls off, also another problem is that they fail to discover how easy it would be to solve this problem. The so called “LSD” which is probably some other chemical/poison these kids are taking, is probably easily found on the plaza, seriously, any time anyone i knew wanted acid they would just go to the plaza if they couldn’t get a hold of a friend, and that shit was everywhere, I mean everywhere.
    Actually you know what, I don’t believe they would even need to travel that far, as it would be just as easy to just look around a little more, I was pretty much able to find any drug i wanted at any given time from anyone in that town. It’s strange that the cops are having a harder time finding drugs than most high school students are, and they don’t even half to walk 3 blocks to find it.
    Occasionally people on LSD will react in a “BAD TRIP” kinda way, but not as bad and frequent as described above. My guess is that they are probably being sold rat poison.


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