DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a hallucinogenic drug that occurs naturally in both plants and animals. Although deaths involving the use of DMT are nearly non-existent, users commonly experience intense hallucination, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and chest tightness or pain.
It is believed that the greatest danger associated with DMT is serotonin syndrome. It is a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur, particularly if a person is using another serotonin-boosting substance (such as an antidepressant) in combination with DMT.
What Is DMT?
DMT is a powerful hallucinogen drug also commonly referred to as the “spirit molecule” due to its ability to induce a brief by a very intense psychedelic experience. The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies DMT as a schedule I substance. Despite this, it is still often used for spiritual purposes and is touted as having a wide variety of therapeutic effects on a person’s psyche following use.
DMT is often found as while powder is derived from certain plants found in Mexico, South America, and parts of Asia, such as the Mimosa hostilis shrub (jurema). It’s also commonly brewed as a tea and consumed, such as the case with ayahuasca. The powder can be smoked or vaped, and, rarely, may be snorted or injected.
Chemically, the structure of DMT is similar to the anti-migraine medication sumatriptan, and it acts as an agonist at most serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter closely associated with feelings of pleasure and reward, and it has a substantial effect on the majority of brain cells. There is also some evidence that DMT is produced naturally in the body, specifically in the brain’s pineal gland.
DMT’s use goes back for hundreds, if not thousands of years, and is often associated with spiritual practices or rituals. As noted, DMT is the active ingredient in ayahuasca, a traditionally brewed tea from South American.
DMT is used for its psychedelic, hallucinogenic effects, and “spiritual insight” is one of the most commonly reported positive effects of the drug. Most DMT users are already experienced with hallucinogenic drugs, and today, it can be easily purchased over the Internet.
Effects of DMT
The main effect of DMT is intense visual and auditory hallucinations that can dramatically transform the user’s perception of the world around them. Other effects include euphoria and an altered sense of body, space, and time. Many users report profound, life-changing experiences, such as visiting other worlds, talking with alien entities, and complete shifts in their perception of reality.
When used, DMT induces brief yet vivid visual and auditory hallucinations that are often described by users as an otherworldly or alternate reality or near-death experience.
Possible side effects of DMT include:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Chest pain or tightness
- Rapid eye movements
When consumed orally, DMT is strongly associated with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Depending on each individual user, the DMT experience can be intensely exciting or overwhelmingly frightening and everything in between. The experience can be so intense that users may find it challenging to process it integrate it into real life. Still, many report significant long-term benefits from DMT use, including reduced depression and anxiety and less desire to abuse other drugs or alcohol.
DMT is structurally similar to the neurotransmitter serotonin, and, for this reason, a condition known as serotonin syndrome may develop. This is a potentially lethal health risk, and people who use antidepressants are at the highest risk for this complication.
Serotonin syndrome occurs when an excessive amount of serotonin has accumulated in the body. The condition is most often caused by using a combination of different types of drugs that increase serotonin concentrations.
Serotonin syndrome can cause a range of unpleasant and dangerous symptoms, including the following:
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive sweating
- Extreme agitation
- Impaired muscle coordination
At very high doses, DMT can cause seizures, respiratory arrest, and coma. It could have severe consequences for users with pre-existing psychological problems or a mental health disorder, such as schizophrenia.
Getting Help for Drug Abuse
DMT is not believed to cause physical dependence or addiction, but relevant research is scarce. Also, frequent recreational users may encounter psychological cravings for the drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that, unlike most other hallucinogens, repeated DMT use does not appear to result in tolerance.
Although it is not thought to be an addictive substance, DMT use has been associated with several health risks and can produce terrifying hallucinations and other undesirable psychological effects. Frequent use of this drug may increase a person’s risk of experiencing adverse effects, including life-threatening complications like serotonin syndrome.
If you have been abusing DMT, other drugs, or alcohol, you are urged to contact us today to discuss treatment options. Recovery By The Sea offers comprehensive, customized programs designed to treat substance use disorders in addition to all aspects of a person’s mental and emotional well-being.
If you are ready to begin experiencing life on a whole new level, we are here to help you reclaim your sanity and break free from the vicious cycle of addiction one day at a time!