Drug Description of DMT
DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a chemical substance that occurs in many plants and animals. It can be consumed as a psychedelic drug and has historically been prepared by various cultures for ritual purposes as an entheogen
DMT has a rapid onset, intense effects, and a relatively short duration of action. For those reasons, this drug was known as the “business trip” during the 1960s in the United States, as a user could access the full depth of a psychedelic experience in considerably less time than with other substances such as LSD or magic mushrooms.
It can be inhaled, ingested, or injected and its effects depend on the dose, as well as its mode of administration. When inhaled or injected, the effects last a short period of time: about five to 15 minutes. Effects can last three hours or more when orally ingested. DMT can produce vivid “projections” of mystical experiences involving euphoria and dynamic hallucinations of geometric forms.
Side Effects of Use
The main effect of DMT is psychological, with intense visual and auditory hallucinations, euphoria, and an altered sense of space, body, and time.
Many users describe profound, life-changing experiences such as visiting other worlds, talking with alien entities known as “DMT elves” or “machine elves,” and total shifts in the perception of identity and reality.
When smoked, DMT produces brief yet intense visual and auditory hallucinations that have been described by users as an alternate reality, otherworldly, or a near-death experience.
In comparison to other psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, ketamine, and magic mushrooms, recreational users of DMT consider it to have the lowest side effect profile.
Possible side effects include:
- increased heart rate
- increased blood pressure
- chest pain or tightness
- dilated pupils
- rapid rhythmic movements of the eye
When taken orally, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Depending on the individual user, the DMT experience can range from intensely exciting to overwhelmingly frightening. The experience can be so powerful that users may have difficulty processing and integrating the “trip” into their real life.
DMT is structurally related to the neurotransmitter serotonin and, because of this, a condition called serotonin syndrome is a potentially lethal health risk associated with its use. Individuals taking antidepressants are at highest risk for this complication.
Serotonin syndrome occurs when the body accumulates an excessive amount of serotonin. The condition is often caused by taking a combination of different drugs.
At higher doses, DMT can cause seizures, respiratory arrest, and coma.
DMT is not known to cause physical dependence or addiction, although frequent recreational users may develop psychological cravings for the drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that, unlike other hallucinogens, DMT use does not seem to induce tolerance of the drug.
Although it is not considered an addictive substance, DMT has several health risks, can produce terrifying hallucinations, and might lead to psychological dependency.