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Sarah’s Worst Drug Experiences

worst drug experiences
Written by Sarah Friedman

Drugs can be fun, and useful, and mind expanding, when used in the right way. And they can also be harrowing, dangerous, and life-threatening when not. We all have our own experiences in life, and what created a great experience for some, created an awful experience for others. So, here are my very worst drug experiences over the course of my life; the the kind of experiences that taught me to be careful about what I put in my body.

Everyone has their own stories when it comes to worst drug experiences, and these stories vary among drugs used, and the reactions experienced. Here are some of my top bad times on drugs. This publication is all about the cannabis and psychedelics industries of today. Read along by signing up for the THC Weekly Newsletter, and also get yourself some cool product promotions, including on cannabinoid compounds like HHC-O, Delta-8, Delta-9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP, and HHC. You’ve got a lot of options in the world of weed, please only buy products you are comfortable using.

The very worst of my drug experiences

I’ve had plenty of bad experiences, but the ultimate of my worst drug experiences has remained for the past ten years, and I roundly hope I never experience anything like it again. This story centers around Tel Aviv, and the fake weed – some k2 type of thing – that was sold rampantly throughout the city about 10-12 years ago. Regardless of brand, it all resembled broken up foliage, down to actual twigs and regular tree leaves, with some kind of synthetic sprayed on it.

The main brand was Mr. Niceguy, and whereas some people had bad experiences with this one, the worst of my drug experiences came from an alternate brand (there were several) called Smart Joker. The product came complete with a picture of a joker on the sticker on the front of the little dimebag-style bag.

I don’t remember how I got the Smart Joker, but I do remember when I was buying Niceguy, I had to wait down on Allenby street for the goods to be dropped out of a window. It was pretty shady for being right in the middle of a major tourist section.

worst experiences

Anyway, I have no way of knowing what the reaction I had, was to. I always assume it was something else sprayed on. I don’t know where the foliage used was picked up, and it could have had any number of chemicals on it from fertilizer to pesticides to rat poison. Whatever it was, it started to increase my heart rate. Along with that, it started messing with my fine motor coordination, and I found myself over the course of several minutes, losing the ability to use my hands properly. As that got worse, my heart rate increased, and I started freaking out that I was going to have a heart attack.

I don’t necessarily promote my solution for other people, nor would everyone have the drug on hand that I used to calm my body down. But what I did worked, and it might have saved my life. I happened to have a type of benzodiazepine called oxazepam. Think Xanax, but a little less intense. I managed in my worsening state to get a bottle open, and some pills into me, and then laid on my bed while I lost more bodily function, waiting for it to kick in.

It did. My heart rate slowed, and my motor function returned to normal states within about a half hour. The truth is, we don’t always know in life when we actually had a near death experience. Maybe I would’ve been okay, but in all my life, and all the things that have happened in it, never have I felt such a crescendo toward something morbidly not good. Needless to say, I never smoked the stuff again, and stayed to the real plant thereafter. I don’t believe the issue had anything to do with whatever cannabis compound or synthetic was sprayed on the weed, but in a black market industry like that one, there was no way to know what else could have been there.

Second to worst of my drug experiences

The previous example is scary because I could feel myself losing control, and spiraling toward something very bad. The second of my worst drug experiences demonstrates a similar, but different, danger. It started because when I was younger, I used to get prescribed codeine cough syrup when I got sick, due to bad bouts of bronchitis. I was never told much about the stuff, and alternately had some really awesome drug experiences, nodding off in class in high school, or some horrible ones, when it made me sick, causing intense and severe headaches that often kept me glued to my bed.

When I had the syrup, I took it slowly, and if it felt like a negative reaction, I’d stop. When I was in college, I was given a pill at one point instead, and not much instruction. This also works as a classic example of how easily opiate and opioids are given out, and how the patient is often left ill-prepared on safe usage.

I don’t remember how many milligrams it was, but as a mainly inexperienced drug user, I wouldn’t have needed much. My experiences with opiates thus far were few and far between, and had come from cough syrup only. Whereas I probably only needed half the pill or less, I took the whole thing.

negative drug experience

Once again, I don’t know how much danger I was actually in. I can only describe that experience as the most intense headache I’ve ever had. The kind that makes you wish for death because even simply movements are so excruciating, and it lasted the entire day. What with the current opioid epidemic, its become painfully clear how easy it is to die from these drugs, so whether that headache denoted an overdose, or my own reaction (opiates are known for making people sick), I don’t know. But I know it was horrible. Since that time I have taken very few opiates or opioids.

Third to worst of my drug experiences

I am a strong believer in the healing properties of psychedelics. I am also a strong believer in the idea that people respond differently to different things, and that taking the correct amount of something is key to having a good experience, among other factors. This third story involves taking LSD for the first (and only) time. I cannot speak to the quality of the LSD, or the amount I took. I can only say that I knew it was lying around for a year+ when I took it.

I didn’t have the kind of freak out experience often spoken about with ‘bad trips’, but it stands out in my memory as a generally bad experience. I had none of the positives that go with acid, but a ton of the negative symptoms. I got extremely anxious, almost panicky, but not exactly.

It manifested in an inability to stay still, and I ended up walking all over my New York neighborhood, sort of aimlessly, but with an uncomfortable energy I couldn’t get away from. My boyfriend at the time, who didn’t really know what to do, trailed behind me to make sure I was alright.

I felt the need to pick up random things in my walk around the area. I don’t remember what all of them were, but I do remember picking up several playing cards which were scattered on a sidewalk. None of that made much sense to me later. Perhaps whatever compelled me to pick up those things, is the closest I came to a standard acid trip. I have done other psychedelics since that time, but not acid. I would like to try it again when in a more controlled environment, and still believe it can cause an immense amount of good when used correctly.

Honorable mention

When it comes to the worst drug experiences, sometimes its less about a single experience, and more about the conglomeration of many. Enter alcohol. To be honest, some of my best drug experiences involve alcohol, but alcohol has that fantastic ability to take a good experience, and end it with a horrible hangover, and I’ve had some pretty bad ones. One of the worst came from the first time I got really drunk in life.

worst alcohol experiences

I was about 19 and had only drank alcohol a handful of times. But then I ended up at a party, ready to learn the lesson of the importance of eating before drinking large quantities. I had not. In all honesty, I don’t remember much of the experience as I blacked out at some point, but I do remember a horrible feeling of sickness, weakness, and overall incapacitation. From what I’m told, I repeatedly puked all over someone’s bedroom, setting off a night of much vomiting by many people, which ended in the re-dubbing of the room as the ‘Vomitorium’.

A friend took me home that night and monitored me for a few hours. He said later that my breathing had gotten very shallow. I don’t know if that’s college kid dramatics, or if this was yet another example of a close call. Either way, it sure taught me some important lessons in life, not that those kept me from making further mistakes with alcohol in the future…as people tend to do. (As a note, I am not 100% against alcohol, but rarely drink anymore).


Everyone has what they consider their worst drug experiences in life. Sometimes it’s about the actual reaction to the drug, and sometimes, the situation that comes out of it. The one thing to remember: always take drugs carefully and responsibly, to avoid as many negative experiences as possible.

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About the author

Sarah Friedman

I look stuff up and and write stuff down, in order to make sense of the world around. And I travel a lot too.