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US: National Park Service Warns People To Stop Licking Toad That Causes Hallucinations

Indiatimes logo Indiatimes 08-11-2022 Basit Aijaz
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The US National Park Service is warning people to stop licking toads in the wild, due to their gland-secreted psychedelic substance that can create a hallucinogenic experience.  

National Park Service warns people against licking toad

In a Facebook post, the National Park Service (NPS) urged people to refrain from licking the Sonoran desert toad, also known as the Colorado river toad.

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The agency said the creature is far from harmless, as it contains a potent toxin that can make people sick if they touch it or get the poison in their mouth. 

“These toads have prominent parotoid glands that secrete a potent toxin. It can make you sick if you handle the frog or get the poison in your mouth,” the National Park Service advised. 

“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," they said. 

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“Licking or swallowing can lead to numbness of the mouth and throat as well as severe and life-threatening effects on the heart as a result of the digoxin-like compounds and catecholamines described above,” the agency warns.

Toad's toxic secretions contain a powerful hallucinogenic 

Despite the risks, some people have discovered that the toad's toxic secretions contain a powerful hallucinogenic known as 5-MeO-DMT.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration considers 5-MeO-DMT a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it is currently not accepted for medical use and has a high potential for abuse.  

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In recent years, smoking the amphibian's secretions has grown in popularity, and many celebrities, including boxer Mike Tyson and others, can’t get enough of tripping on toad venom.

The Colorado River toad, usually found in parts of California, Arizona, and New Mexico, is one of North America’s tallest at 7 inches. It’s also known to make a call described by the NPS as a "weak, low-pitched toot, lasting less than a second."

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