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Mike Tyson says he 'died' during first trip on psychedelic toad venom, continues to use it

Business Insider US
Mike Tyson.
Getty/Ethan Miller
  • Mike Tyson told The New York Post that he "died" the first time he tried Sonoran Desert Toad venom.
  • Tyson was explaining how the venom changed his life at a psychedelic conference in Miami.
  • The toad venom, which Tyson says he has used 53 times, gives the user a psychoactive trip.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Mike Tyson told The New York Post that he "died" the first time he tried Sonoran Desert toad venom as a psychedelic.

The use of venom from the Bufo alvarius, a Mexico amphibian also known as the Sonoran Desert toad, is considered an illegal Schedule 1 drug in the US but legal in Mexico and Canada. The venom causes psychoactive trips when smoked.

Tyson told The New York Post at Wonderland, a psychedelic conference in Miami, that a friend suggested he should try the drug four years ago when he was unhappy and 45 kilograms overweight.

"I did it as a dare," The 55-year-old said. "I was doing heavy drugs like cocaine, so why not? It's another dimension. Before I did the toad, I was a wreck. The toughest opponent I ever faced was myself. I had low self-esteem. People with big egos often have low self-esteem. We use our ego to subsidise that. The toad strips the ego."

Tyson continued: "I 'died' during my first trip. In my trips, I've seen that death is beautiful. Life and death both have to be beautiful, but death has a bad rep. The toad has taught me that I'm not going to be here forever. There's an expiration date."

Mike and Amir Tyson.
Photo by Amir Tyson / Instagram

The former heavyweight champion boxer said he has now used toad venom 53 times. Tyson added that his life turned around after using the drug. He lost 45 kilograms in three months, started boxing again and reconnected with his wife and children.

"It has made me more creative and helps me focus," he said. "I'm more present as a businessman and entrepreneur. People see the difference [in me]. It speaks for itself. If you knew me in 1989 you knew a different person. My mind isn't sophisticated enough to fathom what happened, but life has improved. The toad's whole purpose is to reach your highest potential. I look at the world differently. We're all the same. Everything is love."

Earlier this month, Tyson told Yahoo Finance that smoking cannabis also helped turn his life around.

"After I retired, I started smoking," the heavyweight boxer said. "What a mistake that was — I should have smoked my whole career. I should have smoked when I was fighting because it put me in this different state of mind.

According to The New York Post, Tyson has a nursery of the Sonoran Desert toad at his ranch in Desert Hot Springs in South Carolina where he also grows cannabis. Tyson also partners with multiple cannabis companies and advocates for the use of psychedelics in medicine.

"I'm fighting for psychedelics to become medicine you can buy over the counter," he told The New York Post. "I'm not finished. I want to do more. I want to be the best I can be in this field."

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