Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a powerful psychedelic drug found in many plants worldwide. The substance also exists naturally in your body. It’s a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States. Legally, this means DMT has a high potential for abuse and no medical value. DMT drug effects become behaviorally addictive even though you don’t experience the withdrawal and cravings as other substances.
What Is DMT?
DMT (sometimes called Dimitri) is known as the businessman’s trip because its high is short compared to other psychedelic drugs. Depending on the dosage, a DMT trip can last 5 to 20 minutes. LSD, on the other hand, lasts around 12 hours. Indigenous cultures in South America have ritually used DMT for thousands of years in the form of ayahuasca. This is a brew made up of plants containing DMT and the bark of a tree with a chemical called MAOI, which allows the DMT to be orally active.
DMT can be extracted from this root bark and smoked as a crystal powder. When used this way, DMT drug effects occur without the need for an MAOI. Users may smoke DMT from a glass pipe or bong. DMT has become more popular in recent years. This is due to a number of factors:
- In 2000 the psychiatrist Rick Strassman published a popular book titled “DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences.” It detailed experiments he conducted with DMT. Participants took the drug in a clinical setting and reported strange and profound experiences.
- A Netflix documentary called “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” was released in 2010. It covered Strassman’s research and featured interviews with some of the research subjects
- Major media outlets have covered DMT.
- The drug featured in the cult film “Enter the Void” (2009)
Why People Use DMT
People use DMT for a variety of reasons. Like other psychedelic drugs, it can produce mystical experiences, so the substance may appeal to people who have an interest in spirituality. Other people may try or use DMT out of curiosity. DMT drug effects can cause:
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Altered sense of space, body, and time
- Intense shifts in perception of identity and reality
- Otherworldly experience
- Near-death experience
Negative DMT Drug Effects
DMT drug effects don’t always cause otherworldly experiences. A ‘bad trip can include disturbing effects, such as:
- Scary or frightening visions
- Intense fear, panic, dread, or anxiety
- Overwhelming hallucinations
- Negative thoughts
Common Side Effects
Common side effects include:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Chest tightness
- Dilated pupils
- Involuntary rapid eye movement
Even if a bad trip doesn’t occur, users may have a difficult time processing an intense experience and integrating it into their everyday lives. This can result in depersonalization or feeling disconnected from their body or thoughts. They may also begin feeling disconnected from their surrounding environment.
Many people claim DMT has positively improved their lives. Some people say it lifted them out of the fog of depression or helped them overcome other personal issues. But self-medicating with DMT is risky. DMT is a powerful substance. Using it can be destabilizing, particularly if you struggle with mental health issues.
Are DMT Drug Effects Addictive?
DMT is not physically addictive. Tolerance does not build with prolonged use. Chronic use doesn’t result in long-term changes in the brain. There are also no withdrawal symptoms associated with DMT. This means that if you chronically use DMT and then stop, you won’t experience unpleasant side effects. It is possible to develop a psychological addiction to DMT. You may find the drug so exciting that you want to use it all the time. Because DMT presents a way of escaping reality for some people, they can develop an abusive relationship with the drug. You may have psychological cravings to use DMT and continue to use it, despite adverse effects like:
- Missing work or other functions
- Neglecting personal relationships
- Not taking care of your responsibilities
Continuing to use DMT in spite of negative effects like these is a sign of psychological addiction. Long-term abuse of DMT can also make your mental health issues worse. It’s possible to develop an unhealthy relationship with DMT.
Can DMT Impact Mental Health?
DMT can cause short- and long-term changes in your mental health. These changes are more likely if you abuse the drug or have a history of mental health issues. Short-term changes in mental health caused by DMT can include anxiety, paranoia, or psychosis. Long-term changes in mental health caused by DMT can include:
- Persistent psychosis
- Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD)
If you have a history of mental health issues, you’re at an increased risk of developing long-term mental health problems from using DMT. You’re also at an increased risk of having a bad trip. If you have mental health issues, it’s important to get help from a professional.
Treatment for DMT Drug Effects
Washburn House treatment center in MA offers a multi-level, holistic approach to dealing with dependency issues and substance abuse. Any of the following drug addiction treatment programs can be tailored to meet you where you are in addiction or recovery:
- Inpatient drug rehab
- Intensive outpatient rehab in Worcester
- Men’s and women’s drug rehab in MA
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Addiction therapy programs in Boston
Get in touch with us today by calling 855.298.3104, so we can discuss your situation and help you add some calm and stability back into your life.