What Is DMT?
DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a naturally occurring hallucinogenic drug found in some plant species of the Amazon. This psychoactive chemical is lesser known than other hallucinogens, such as LSD. DMT is often referred to as the “spirit molecule,” Ayahuasca, or Dimitri.
South Americans and people native to the Amazon have used plant-derived DMT to induce psychedelic experiences as a spiritual practice. The drug is used for the intense visual and auditory hallucinations it produces.
The synthetic form of DMT created in a laboratory comes in white powder form. Synthetic DMT may be taken as a powder, tablet, or liquid.
When extracted from natural sources, the drug is taken by drinking Ayahuasca tea, chewing, or smoking the drug.
How Is DMT Used?
DMT is extracted from plant materials and prepared as Ayahuasca in tea form. When DMT is taken orally, it must be combined with an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) medication to take effect.
DMT may also be smoked, snorted, or injected intravenously or intramuscularly. Injection is an especially dangerous method of abusing the drug.
DMT is not reported to be addictive or cause physical dependence, however, usage may cause limited tolerance to develop. Long-term users may experience cravings for the drug.
While DMT is not reported to be highly addictive, it may produce fatal side effects, especially when interacting with other drugs or prescription medications.
DMT may cause substance addiction patterns to develop, leading to psychological and behavioral dependency. Long-term users may actively seek out the psychedelic drug as a means to avoid negative thoughts and emotions, or because they enjoy the high.
Signs Of DMT Addiction
It may not be easy for friends or family members to recognize signs that a person is addicted to DMT. Addiction to DMT is not characterized by noticeable withdrawal symptoms.
After the physical and psychological effects of the drug cease after usage, there may be no clear physical indicators of drug addiction.
Addiction to DMT may be behavioral or psychological, which means that the addicted individual seeks out the drug for the enjoyment of the experience, as a means to maintain a false sense of well-being, or because drug use has become habitual.
If an individual experiences adverse reactions to DMT and continues to use the drug regularly, it may be a sign of addiction.
Signs of DMT addiction include:
- using to avoid negative thoughts or emotions
- using to cope with stress
- defensiveness of drug use
- difficulty controlling drug use
- continuing drug use after adverse side effects
- neglecting personal and professional responsibilities
Side Effects Of DMT Abuse
Intense hallucinogenic effects of DMT are a form of drug-induced psychosis characterized by an inability to control behavior, hallucinations, emotional distress, and paranoia.
Individuals suffering from mental illness, such as schizophrenia, are at high risk for experiencing adverse effects when taking the drug.
Because of these side effects, the drug places an individual at increased risk for potentially dangerous behaviors. The dangers extend to others who may directly or indirectly interact with an individual under the influence of DMT.
DMT is unsafe at any dose. The drug may cause serious adverse reactions when combined with other common prescription medications, including antidepressants, blood pressure medications, illegal drugs, certain foods, and other natural medicines.
At high doses, DMT can cause seizures, respiratory arrest, and coma.
DMT has a chemical structure similar to serotonin. The drug has chemical effects on the brain’s serotonin receptors and may lead to the life-threatening development of serotonin syndrome when interacting with other common prescription medications, such as antidepressants.
Serotonin syndrome occurs when the body is exposed to an excessive amount of serotonin. The condition is often caused when combining antidepressants with other drugs.
Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:
- high blood pressure
- loss of coordination
DMT Addiction Treatment
DMT use is not reported to produce chemical dependency like other addictive substances. However, the drug may lead to habitual substance abuse, psychological dependence, intense hallucinations, and dangerous adverse side effects. DMT is not safe for consumption at any dose.
Individuals who abuse DMT may have an underlying psychological illness or emotional patterns of escapism that play a role in the development of substance use disorders.
When an individual uses DMT as a means to avoid facing personal responsibilities and stress, they may become dependent on drug abuse.
If you or a loved one is addicted to DMT, substance abuse treatment options that provide medical and mental health services on an inpatient and outpatient basis are essential.
For any questions about DMT addiction or the rehab programs available to treat it, please connect with one of our treatment specialists today.
Published on December 18, 2020
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- National Center for Biotechnology Information — A Model for the Application of Target-Controlled Intravenous Infusion for a Prolonged Immersive DMT Psychedelic Experience
- National Center for Biotechnology Information — N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an Endogenous Hallucinogen: Past, Present, and Future Research to Determine Its Role and Function
- National Center for Biotechnology Information — Ayahuasca: Psychological and Physiologic Effects, Pharmacology and Potential Uses in Addiction and Mental Illness