Understanding DMT Addiction

DMT in several forms

With substance use disorders at an all-time high in the United States and with new substances seemingly surfacing daily, it is critical to be as well-informed as possible to protect you and your loved ones from the ravages of substance misuse. One substance that has been on the rise in the past years may appear as a harmless trip, but there is much more to it than meets the eye.

What is DMT?

Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, is a naturally occurring hallucinogenic substance in plants that has been in existence for thousands of years. DMT was even used in South American shaman rituals, giving it its psychedelic nickname of the “spirit molecule”. The surreal hallucinations and psychedelic effects that go along with DMT come from the impact the substance has on the serotonin levels in the brain.

DMT is classified in the United States as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. A Schedule 1 substance is defined by the Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, as “drugs, substances, or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse“. This means that DMT puts its user at high risk for substance abuse.

Effects of DMT Use

DMT has a potentially massive impact on your mental and physical health in both the short-term and the long-term.  After ingestion, short-term effects can be seen in as little as twenty minutes and last up to twelve hours. DMT use can produce these effects and more:

  • Hallucinations: These hallucinations are known to involve the user being in an environment dramatically and drastically different than their reality. This could lend itself to the user believing they have experienced such intense experiences as a near-death moment or an encounter of the fourth kind.
  • Accelerated Heart Rate: The user’s heart rate when engaging in DMT use will increase as a response to the substance as well as a response to the intense hallucinations that follow.
  • Increased State of Agitation: The heightened tactile sensations and awareness that go along with DMT use increase the state of agitation in the user.

Woman appearing distressed.

Long-term effects of DMT use follow the standard for most hallucinogenic substances, including:

  • Persistent State of Psychosis: DMT use can cause the state of psychosis to persist within the user with or without the active presence of DMT. Disturbances to mood, vision and mental process (including paranoia) can become evident.
  • Hallucinogenic Persisting Perception Disorder: HPPD creates a state of hallucinating throughout everyday life for the user. In addition to hallucinating, the user can even develop symptoms that can mimic such severe medical states as a tumor in the brain or sustaining a stroke.

DMT use is not known to induce tolerance in the user. However, that does not mean that the dangers of DMT use are any less palpable.

If you are currently using DMT, do not hesitate to reach out to professionals for help. Nicknames for DMT like “spirit molecule” and “forty-five-minute psychosis” do not properly illustrate the physical and mental dangers DMT use can inflict. Contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield to access local rehab resources to help.

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