Is DMT Dangerous?

Is DMT Dangerous? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a hallucinogenic drug that occurs naturally in both plants and animals. Deaths involving the use of DMT are nearly non-existent. However, users commonly experience intense hallucination, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and chest tightness or pain.

Experts suggest the greatest danger with DMT use 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. A common nickname for DMT is 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. Many claim it has a wide variety of therapeutic effects on a person’s psyche following use.

DMT is often found as white powder. It occurs naturally in certain plants found in Mexico, South America, and parts of Asia, such as the Mimosa hostilis shrub (jurema). Native cultures brew the plants as a tea, such is 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 which creates feelings of pleasure and reward. It has a substantial effect on the majority of brain cells. There is also some evidence that DMT occurs 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’s psychedelic, hallucinogenic effects, and “spiritual insight” is one of the most common reasons people use the drug. Most DMT users are already familiar 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.

DMT induces brief yet vivid visual and auditory hallucinations that users often describe as otherworldly, an alternate reality or akin to a near-death experience.

Possible side effects of DMT include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Agitation
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Dizziness

When consumed orally, DMT can cause 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.

Is DMT Dangerous? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment


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
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme agitation
  • Confusion
  • Hypertension
  • Impaired muscle coordination
  • Headache

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 not necessarily an addictive substance, DMT use can cause several health risks. It can also 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, please contact us today. 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!

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Can You Overdose on Acid?

Can You Overdose on Acid? | Recovery By The Sea

LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide) is a hallucinogenic substance that alters the thoughts and perceptions of those who use it. When a person uses an excessive amount of LSD, he or she may experience terrifying hallucinations and feelings of panic.

But unlike alcohol or heroin, it does not appear to be possible to ingest a lethal amount. When a person experiences an “overdose” on acid, they are most likely suffering from what is generally known as a “bad trip.”

Signs and Symptoms of Acid Overdose

LSD, commonly known as Acid, is created in a lab, derived from a chemical in the ergot fungus. When consumed, Acid is usually swallowed or placed under the tongue using blotter paper. Less commonly, it can be found as tablets or gelatin squares.

Although it is less risky in comparison to many other substances, LSD is not without its hazards. Serious injury and death have befallen many people as an indirect result of LSD use. Indeed, accidents, self-mutilation, and even suicide have occurred during Acid trips, when users are often oblivious of their surroundings and what the consequences of their actions may be.

Common effects of LSD use include the following:

  • Distorted perception of time
  • Visual/auditory hallucinations
  • Synaesthesia, or mixed senses (e.g., “seeing” sounds)
  • Augmented senses of hearing and smell

Side effects of Acid may include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Blurred vision
  • Elevated body temperature

Repeated LSD use is particularly hazardous and can adversely affect a person’s emotions, thoughts, and behavior.

In contrast to some of these relatively minor symptoms, a bad trip experience may be extremely unpleasant. LSD users may encounter frightening alterations in their thoughts and moods, which places them at increased risk for a serious injury or death.

Some of the potentially adverse outcomes include:

  • Extreme anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depersonalization
  • Paranoia
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Aggression and violence
  • Self-mutilation
  • Dying in an accident
  • Suicide

In one unfortunate case, in 1953, American bacteriologist and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee Dr. Frank Olsen, took a fatal leap from a window of a 13th story hotel in New York. Nine days earlier, at a meeting in Maryland, he was allegedly given a dose of LSD without his knowledge by his CIA supervisor. He was only 43 years old.

Although the triggering of psychosis and or suicide is relatively rare under the influence of Acid, it is undoubtedly a risk. This event is especially likely for those who have a history of mental illness, such as bipolar disorder.

Can You Overdose on Acid? | Recovery By The Sea

Risk Factors

The effects of Acid can be unpredictable, and it can be challenging to determine when a user might suffer from an overdose or bad trip. People who have used LSD repeatedly without any prior problems may suddenly experience a bad trip.

One hazard associated with chronic LSD use is that users can rapidly develop a tolerance for the drug. When someone first experiments with LSD, they are likely to experience the hallucinogenic effects quickly and intensely. However, upon repeated use, the body begins to increase its tolerance to the drug’s effects, and the person will need to use the drug in increasing amounts to achieve the same effects they once experienced.

If a person uses LSD long-term, it can also build their tolerance to other hallucinogens, such as PCP (Angel Dust). Unfortunately, this increasing tolerance can compel the person to use more drugs in an attempt to have a “good” trip. This problem is further complicated by the fact that it is difficult to regulate the dose of an illicit drug such as LSD, which can provide effects in the microgram range.

Of note, LSD is not generally considered to be chemically addictive. Users of LSD do not usually have drug cravings, and discontinuing the use of LSD does not result in symptoms of physical withdrawal.

What to Do in Case of an Acid Overdose

If you or someone you know uses LSD and experiences the aforementioned symptoms of an overdose, seek emergency medical help as soon as possible. Although an LSD overdose is rarely life-threatening in and of itself, swift intervention can help prevent accidental harm to the user and others.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

Although LSD does not appear to have a high potential for addiction, it can certainly be abused, and its effects can lead to dangerous circumstances. Acid is frequently used in combination with other substances, including other illegal drugs and alcohol. Some users have also reported developing a psychological or emotional dependence on LSD.

Any person abusing LSD or another substance should seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Recovery By The Sea offers evidence-based approaches for the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, that include essential therapeutic services such as behavioral therapy, counseling, and group support.

We employ knowledgeable addiction professionals who provide our clients with the tools, skills, and long-term support they need to overcome addiction and reclaim normal, healthy lives.

We can help you restore your life to its potential and begin to enjoy the happiness you deserve! Call us today!

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