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Frogs That Get You High: The Dangers of Toad Licking

Frogs that Get You High: The Dangers of Toad Licking

As a rehab in Pennsylvania, we know that people will use just about anything to get high.

From magic markers to whipped cream canisters, the possibilities are almost endless.

As if kissing a frog to see if it will turn into a prince wasn’t weird enough, there are actually cases of people licking frogs to get high. While this may be a weird way to get high that is almost comical, getting high off frogs, also referred to as toad licking, is dangerous and even life-threatening.

What Do People Get Out of Licking Toads?

Because of the psychotropic compounds on their skin, licking toads, especially specific species like the Colorado River toad (part of the Incilius Alvarius or Bufo alvarius families and also known as the Sonoran Desert toad), can have a variety of hallucinogenic effects. These toads secrete substances known as bufotoxins which, when consumed, can lead to psychedelic experiences. It's possible that those who lick toads are doing so to experience these psychedelic effects.

Licking toads can have different effects on different people. Some people claim to have vivid visual hallucinations, changed time and space awareness, and even spiritual or mystical experiences. These results are comparable to what other psychedelics produce. However, it's crucial to remember that licking toads can also be potentially hazardous and dangerous. The chemicals on their skin can cause unpleasant side effects. Additionally, the handling and harvesting of these toads can devastate their ecosystems and destroy their numbers.

Not All Amphibians Are Hallucinogenic Frogs

Before you decide to go about licking frogs from your local pond for fun, there are a few things you should know.

Have you ever heard, “Every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square”? A similar statement can be made about frogs and toads. Frogs are in the Anura family, and all toads are in the Bufonidae family, but while every toad is a frog, not every frog is a toad.

Not only that, but not every toad can get you high. Those that do will lead to drastically different results depending on the exact species. As mentioned already, several species of toads secrete toxins like bufotenine, and these toxins have hallucinogenic properties. Toads, which are frogs in the Bufonidae family, seem to be the most commonly used for this purpose.

Toad licking also doesn’t necessarily have to involve getting up close and personal with these slimy creatures. While some people will lick the back of the toad itself, others will collect the toxins that are secreted for later use. Either way, while toad licking may lead to the psychoactive effects that some desire, doing this can also be deadly.

The toad's skin contains toxins that have the potential to be highly toxic and harmful, causing serious health problems. It is strongly advised against participating in such activities without enough knowledge of safety procedures and an understanding of the risks involved. Investigating alternative and legal means of reaching altered states of consciousness is definitely a safer option, though even activities like these are not and should not be encouraged.

The Risks and Consequences of Toad Licking

Although people are using the toxins from these toads to get high, that is not the reason why toads discharge bufotenine. Toads will secrete these substances when they are scared or threatened to protect themselves from predators. These chemicals are poisonous, fast-acting, and meant to severely harm or even kill any creature that attacks. There have been plenty of stories of the average dog licking cane, bufo, marine, or giant toads and dying as a result.

While many animals have become aware of these toxic toads and do their best to avoid them, humans have taken this knowledge to a whole different level. If not fatal, licking toads can sometimes lead to desired effects, but there are a variety of health problems that can also arise as a result.

Some toad-licking effects may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Euphoria
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Seizures
  • Death

Because the levels of chemicals secreted at one time can vary from species to species and specific frog to specific frog, a toad licker can have no idea what to expect when they ingest these chemicals. Because of the unpredictability of toad licking, the results can be fatal.

Licking Frogs Is a Cause for Concern

When someone goes to such an extent as to lick a frog to get high, they probably need help. While the chemicals in these frogs do not tend to be addictive, if someone is willing to lick a toad to get high, they are likely willing to get high in other ways as well. With our experience, we have seen how these other methods of substance abuse are typically just as dangerous, if not more so, and may even be addictive.

If you or someone you care about is abusing psychoactive substances, get help before it is too late. Our partial hospitalization Philadelphia drug rehab helps people overcome these problems and get their lives back on track.

At Banyan Treatment Centers, we help people overcome various types of addiction through our Philadelphia substance abuse programs. To learn more or to get started on the road to recovery, call us today at 888-280-4763.

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Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Frogs That Get You High: The Dangers of Toad Licking
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