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In Search of Hallucinogenic Toads

VICE Mexico went looking for Bufo alvarius, a toad species that contains a high dosage of the hallucinogen 5-MEO-DMT in its body.

The VICE Mexico team went to the Sonora desert in search of Bufo alvarius—also known as the Colorado River Toad and the Sonoma Desert Toad—a species that contains a very high dosage of the powerful hallucinogen 5-MEO-DMT in its body.

Octavio Rettig, a doctor who has studied the toad for more than eight years, served as their guide and brought them to Punta Chueca, Sonora, where they hung out with the indigenous community that has been taking 5-MEO-DMT since the pre-Columbian era. They met Grandpa Pancho—one of the town's elders—and traveled with him to the sacred place of Isla Tiburón, where they had a small ceremony and tried the substance for the first time.