DMT Addiction

DMT, or the “spirit molecule,” has been ingrained in certain South American cultures’ spiritual rituals for centuries. And although research suggests that it is not as physically addictive as other drugs, it still carries serious risks, including the potential for psychological dependence.

DMT’s popularity has been on the rise in the United States, with individuals seeking enlightenment or a heightened state of consciousness. However, it is crucial to understand that DMT is illegal in the country.

It is important to acknowledge that DMT does not possess the properties of a magical drug, and it’s not a replacement for therapeutic interventions. Instead, it qualifies as a hallucinogenic substance capable of causing severe mental harm.

What Is DMT?

DMT is a psychedelic drug, but scientific examinations have revealed natural concentrations of DMT within humans, plants, and animals, prompting numerous researchers to speculate its origin in the pineal gland. This gland plays a pivotal role in releasing melatonin and regulating the circadian rhythm, which is responsible for our sleep-wake cycle.

Some people think that as a person nears death, the brain releases DMT to help ease the mind and body during their final moments. While this idea remains unproven, it fuels the belief that consuming large doses of DMT can feel like a near-death experience, potentially leading to a state of enlightenment.

In the United States, DMT is classified as a Schedule I drug. This demonstrates its likelihood for abuse and its prohibition for purchase, sale, or distribution under the law.

DMT Street Names

DMT is already a short form for the chemical compound N-dimethyltryptamine, but individuals use various slang terms or street names to refer to it.

Some common street names for DMT are:

  • The spirit molecule
  • Businessman’s trip
  • Dimitri
  • Fantasia
  • 45-minute psychosis

What Does DMT Look Like?

Typically, DMT is encountered as a white or off-white crystalline powder or as brown, dried plant material. People commonly smoke, snort, or brew DMT into tea for consumption; some users inject DMT, although it isn’t typical.

Consuming DMT by mouth postpones the commencement of its impact and may lead to nausea and loose stools. Smoking is the preferred method of administration for the majority of DMT users.

Is DMT Addictive?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicates that DMT does not typically lead to physical addiction or dependence but can result in psychological addiction and cravings. However, DMT addiction presents unique and complex challenges as they differ from traditional substance abuse in terms of side effects and symptoms.

Unlike recreational use, most individuals view DMT as a profoundly personal experience. They may become isolated and preoccupied with using DMT, often seeking high doses to achieve more intense trips. Regular and excessive use of DMT can escalate to addiction and the likelihood of mental and physical health issues.

Ayahuasca vs DMT

While some individuals use the terms DMT and ayahuasca interchangeably, they are different. Ayahuasca comprises not only DMT but also other chemical compounds.

People who use ayahuasca undergo a “purging” phase before the substance’s effects manifest. This phase typically involves the experience of vomiting and diarrhea after consuming the tea, which is uncomfortable yet anticipated before the desired effects emerge.

Although vomiting and diarrhea can be uncomfortable, they also carry the risk of dehydration, which can strain the body and lead to more severe complications. However, proponents of ayahuasca argue that purging helps empty the system, allowing them to feel the drug’s effects more intensely. Furthermore, the duration of ayahuasca’s effects surpasses the duration of the effects caused by inhaling or consuming DMT.

ayahuasca vs dmt

Dangers and Effects of DMT

People who use DMT may not be aware of the potential hazards and consequences linked to its consumption. Merely because a substance occurs naturally does not inherently render it safe for ingestion.

DMT engages with serotonin receptors in the brain and body, resulting in physiological and mental changes. The immediate physical reactions to DMT can be risky, and the mental effects can potentially cause impulsive and dangerous behavior, putting users at risk.

Individuals grappling with mental health disorders or co-occurring conditions are at higher risk of encountering intense and adverse experiences when using DMT, possibly leading to enduring psychological effects. Moreover, those with pre-existing physical conditions such as high blood pressure and heart problems face added health hazards, especially at higher doses of DMT.

Short-Term Effects

When individuals snort or smoke DMT, the short-term effects typically last 30 to 45 minutes. However, when DMT is consumed through brews like ayahuasca, the onset of effects is delayed, but the duration can extend from 4 to 6 hours.

The short-term effects of DMT include:

  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Altered perception of time
  • Overwhelming emotions
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Depersonalization or feeling disconnected from one’s physical body
  • Derealization or perceiving things and people around you as unreal
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Swift or rhythmic motion of the eyes
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Lack of coordination
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Intrusive or disturbing thoughts
  • Seizures

Long-Term Effects

Research on the long-term effects of DMT is limited, but insights can be drawn from studies on similar hallucinogenic drugs and interviews with chronic DMT users.

The long-term effects of DMT may include:

  • Disorganized or difficulty thinking
  • Reduced attention span
  • Cravings
  • Mood disorders
  • Twitching
  • Flashbacks
  • Paranoia
  • Heart damage
  • Chronic migraines
  • Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), or acute hallucinogen-induced psychosis

Acknowledging that the long-term effects attributed to DMT are not conclusively established is crucial. However, such effects have been observed concerning other hallucinogenic substances and reported by certain chronic DMT users. Thorough research is essential to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the enduring implications linked to DMT usage.

Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin syndrome stands as a dangerous condition with the potential for fatality. This disorder arises when there is an excessive level of serotonin in the body, which can occur due to the gradual buildup of serotonin or a sudden surge resulting from drug combinations or an exceedingly high dosage of a single drug.

DMT prompts the discharge of serotonin, so consuming high quantities of DMT or utilizing DMT in conjunction with specific antidepressant drugs can instigate serotonin syndrome.

The symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:

  • Twitching and tremors
  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stiff or rigid muscles
  • Respiratory failure
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dangerously high body temperature, known as hyperthermia
  • Seizures
  • Coma

One must be mindful that the symptoms of serotonin syndrome may exhibit similarities to other side effects of DMT. Hence, it is of utmost importance to comprehend the risks linked to DMT usage and remain vigilant for any indications of serotonin syndrome before partaking in its consumption.

serotonin syndrome

The continuous urge to evade reality might prompt DMT users to explore and experiment with other hallucinogenic drugs or indulge in polydrug abuse, which entails briefly mixing drugs or consuming several substances. Polysubstance abuse carries additional risks and dangers.

If a side effect proves life-threatening or if an individual poses a risk to themselves or others, it is vital to dial 911 or proceed promptly to the nearest emergency department without delay.

Every batch of DMT and every trip can vary; therefore, people who consume DMT should always be prepared for a potentially negative experience, known as a “bad trip,” or a medical crisis. Many users choose to have a sober chaperone or guide to monitor them for any signs of trouble.

In the event of enduring side effects potentially linked to DMT usage, it is crucial to be forthright with your healthcare team regarding your past drug use and the symptoms experienced. This honesty is essential to enable them to offer the most appropriate and effective treatment for your condition.

DMT Abuse and Addiction

Personalized treatment plans incorporating evidence-based approaches are most effective for those struggling with DMT use. Residential treatment programs are often highly beneficial as they remove individuals from their regular environments and provide a new setting with continuous support, fostering accountability and the development of healthy coping skills.

Treatment for DMT Addiction at Northridge Addiction Treatment Center

If you or a loved one is grappling with DMT addiction, rest assured that compassionate and evidence-based treatment options are available for assistance and guidance.

At Northridge Addiction Treatment Center, we understand the allure of exploring the human experience and how it can lead to DMT abuse and addiction. During your stay at our residential treatment center, we will support you in redirecting your drive for self-improvement and personal growth toward healthier, more constructive habits.

Reach out to us now to speak with our caring treatment specialists.

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