DMT abuse and even addiction is becoming more commonplace in the United States. This hallucinogenic drug has grown in popularity because of its psychotropic effects. Yet, many people are completely unaware of how dangerous using it can be.
People can become addicted to DMT. When this occurs, treatment may be needed to help them stop using it. Going to drug rehab can provide people with the support they need to recover.
People are more interested in the effects of DMT versus the negative side effects. We at Modern Recovery want to help by explaining some of the risks involved with DMT use. We also want to discuss the best ways for people to get help.
What is DMT?
DMT, or N, N-Dimethyltryptamine, is a hallucinogenic drug. It is also naturally found in small amounts in plants and animals. When it is used as a drug, it creates a psychedelic experience that is pleasant and euphoric. Drugs such as magic mushrooms and LSD are much more well-known than this one. However, its effects are relatively brief and very strong.
In the United States, DMT is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. That means it is illegal to have, buy, distribute or manufacture it. This drug has a high potential for abuse and there is currently no recognized medical use for it. It is available for research, but only after getting approval from the FDA and DEA.
For thousands of years, people have used DMT. Some cultures in the past used it in religious ceremonies. It was used to give deep spiritual insight.
Plants and animals naturally produce DMT, as we discussed earlier. Scientists have been studying this drug for a long time to find out what its purpose is. Psychologist David Luke works at Greenwich University. He spent a lot of time working to determine if there is a link between DMT and near-death experiences. Plants contain many natural psychedelic compounds, but this one occurs in humans. This is its uniqueness.
Researchers found that DMT gathers in large amounts in the cerebral spinal fluid. It can be found in the lungs and eyes too. There is a theory that DMT is made in the pineal gland. This gland handles producing serotonin during the day and melatonin at night.
Being on DMT is like having a near-death experience because of the experience people have. Dr. Luke says there are many similarities that people talk about which include:
- Having a sensation like they were leaving their bodies.
- Walking into a tunnel filled with light.
- Having flashbacks of their lives.
- Meeting angels or perhaps deceased relatives.
- Seeing other strange images that may not be explainable through words.
Dr Luke stated, “Research has suggested that there is an overlap between that experience and the experience people have when on DMT. In that there’s often encounters with beings, out of body experience, life changing experience, which is often said of near death experiences.”
Dr. Rick Strassman, in the 1990s, mentioned that the brain releases stores of DMT. This occurs when the human has a near-death experience.
A DMT trip can begin as soon as 45 seconds or so after it is used, depending on the method of delivery. If it is consumed as a drink or in food, it has to pass through the digestive system first. This adds some time before the effects kick in.
There are many websites that allow members to post about their trips on DMT and other drugs as well. Reddit is one of them. One user describes his DMT trip in vivid detail. He states that just some of the things he saw and experienced included:
- Strange shapes floating around the room.
- A being standing over him at his bedside.
- The loss of any sense of time.
- What seemed like the release of a fog or gas.
- A bright light in his eyes.
- A sense of panic.
- The transfer of ideas and knowledge between himself and other beings.
What are the Physical and Mental Side Effects of DMT?
The main effect that DMT has is psychological. It is known to produce strong and intense hallucinations. Users experience sensations of euphoria. This can change how they perceive body, space, and time.
Some of the other side effects people describe include:
- An increased heart rate
- An increased blood pressure
- Pain or tightness in the chest
- Feelings of agitation
- Dilated pupils
- Strange, rhythmic eye movements
- Feelings of dizziness
For those who take DMT, it can lead to diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting as well. Any of these effects can last as long as several days or weeks following the person’s DMT trip.
Are There Risks to Abusing DMT?
There are risks to abusing DMT, which most people are not aware of when they try it for the first time. People with heart conditions can experience side effects. These can include an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Some people might experience seizures, loss of muscle control, and experience confusion.
Using DMT may be an exciting trip for some people, but it is not without its dangers. Some experts have even said that it can cause people to fall into a coma or suffer from cardiac arrest. Continued use is likely to result in persistent psychosis.
Using DMT can cause an increase in the neurotransmitter, serotonin, in the brain. This can cause a life-threatening condition that is known as serotonin syndrome. This risk can also increase if you are using DMT and using an antidepressant such as an MAIO.
Serotonin syndrome can cause serious symptoms, including:
- Muscle spasms
- Dilated pupils
- Bouts of confusion
- Muscle rigidity
- Overactive reflexes
Serotonin syndrome is recoverable with proper treatment. If no treatment occurs, the muscle breaks down in the body, allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream and kidneys. This can cause irreversible damage, which can result in death in some cases.
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Is DMT Physically Addictive?
There is no evidence that DMT is physically addictive. That means that people will not experience a strong physical desire to continue using it. But this drug can be psychologically addictive. In fact, many people come to believe that they need a regular dose of this drug in order to function properly.
What Type of Treatment is Needed for DMT Addiction Recovery?
There are no real withdrawal symptoms caused by repeated DMT use and quitting this drug. This is because of how quickly the body can metabolize it. In some drug tests, one hour after a person has used DMT, it is no longer detectable in their system.
Willpower alone might not work for people to recover by themselves. A person must want to stop using DMT. The biggest part of recovery is to discover the underlying reason for the use and abuse of DMT. When people go to drug rehab, they gain access to the tools to help them learn why they got addicted so the root cause can be addressed.
Drug rehab is a way of treating addiction by addressing the root cause of the problem. It involves various types of therapy. It helps a person understand their addictive behaviors so they can make changes.
Most people use DMT for the first time because they are curious. Some use this drug as a way of mentally escaping their situations. Keep in mind, using this drug is often a coping mechanism. It is not uncommon for DMT users to struggle with co-occurring disorders. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, says this is the case about 50% of the time for those who use this drug.
Getting Treatment for a Co-Occurring Disorder
A co-occurring disorder is a mental health condition that contributes to addiction. For example, a person who is addicted to DMT may be suffering because of undiagnosed:
Dual diagnosis treatment helps in finding the root cause of the addiction so it can be treated.
People who get this care have a better chance of recovery and will not relapse in the future.
What are the Options for Drug Addiction Treatment?
People with DMT addictions can benefit from several different types of rehab programs. For example, they may need to consider:
- Inpatient rehab or long-term treatment if they are addicted to other drugs or alcohol.
- Intensive outpatient treatment programs, or IOPs.
- Partial hospitalization programs, or PHPs.
- Traditional outpatient rehab and therapy.
Continuing Care for DMT Addiction
A lot of people assume that they can go to rehab, recover from addiction and move on with their lives. We wish we could say that was the case. But addiction recovery is ongoing, and it is something that people need to continue to work on for a long time.
When people leave rehab, they do so with follow-up instructions. They might include transitioning into a lower level of care, such as moving from a PHP into an IOP. Some people may also be recommended for Narcotics Anonymous. It is important to continue to get help because the people who do are the ones who are likely to remain in recovery.
Our alcohol recovery program allows you to keep work and family commitments while focusing on your sobriety.
Modern Recovery: Get Recovery Help Today for DMT Abuse and Addiction
At Modern Recovery, we have done a lot of research on DMT. We have extensive training in how to treat this addiction. We know how difficult it can be for people to reach out for help. At Modern Recovery, getting treatment can make a huge difference in their lives.
At Modern Recovery in Arizona, we offer outpatient rehabilitation services, and we specialize in intensive outpatient treatment, or IOP. Our program is among the best in the state. Clients enjoy it because of the flexibility it offers, and they can still go to work or school during the day, while getting the help they need during the evening hours. Clients who attend IOP generally come to appointments 3-5 times per week.
We also provide sober living services for people who need them. Sometimes people may live in an environment where they are not safe. They may be victims of an abusive relationship or live with other people who also use drugs and/or alcohol. When this is the case, moving is usually their best course of action.
At our sober living home, we offer residential support for people in addiction recovery. People are living there who are from our local communities as well as from out of state. It is not uncommon for people to travel to Arizona for rehab. Sober living ensures they have a place to stay where they will get the support they need.
Learn More About DMT and Treatment for Recovery
Struggling with an addiction can be very lonely. Many people have preconceived notions that drug rehab will not help them. They believe it will not be worth their time. Research shows there is a higher chance of success when the right support is given to an addict.
Is DMT addiction something you’ve been struggling with for quite some time? If so, maybe today is the day you make the decision to get help. Let us help you get back on track. Please contact us today.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens
- Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306889
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5048497/#:~:text=N%2CN%2DDimethyltryptamine%20(DMT,intense%20psychedelic%20effects%20when%20ingested.
- Caroline Christie: https://littleatoms.com/science/psychedelic-drug-could-explain-our-belief-life-after-death
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know
- Rick Strassman: https://www.rickstrassman.com/
- Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/jc97k/iama_person_that_smoked_a_large_amount_of_dmt_and/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/how-do-hallucinogens-lsd-psilocybin-peyote-dmt-ayahuasca-affect-brain-body
- Partnership to End Addiction: https://drugfree.org/drugs/dmt/
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- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3028383/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/comorbidity-substance-use-other-mental-disorders
- National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/
- National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/panic-disorder-when-fear-overwhelms/
- National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/
- National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/
- National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/
- National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10106610/