Author: John Carter

DMT: Side effects, facts, and health risks

dmt drug effects

However, tolerance can develop with frequent use, whereby a higher dose is required to achieve the same effect. Ask a trusted friend or family member to stay near you when you try the drug. In an emergency, your trip sitter needs to be able to call 911 or get you medical help. While DMT is a naturally occurring substance, neither the organic nor the lab-made versions are approved for any legal use in the U.S. The risk may be highest if you inject the drug directly into your veins.

This means it is illegal to buy, distribute, manufacture, or possess DMT in the United States. “In the first weeklong retreat, I was effectively paralyzed from the neck down while the DMT was active in my system. During that time, I was fully cognitively functional, but I could not move my body at all. However, the effects of DMT vary depending on many factors, such as the type, its strength, how a person ingests it, and the amount taken. Read more on DMT harm reduction in the harm reduction advice section. This information page will focus specifically on DMT rather than ayahuasca, for more information on ayahuasca please click here.

Brittany Tackett is a transformational life coach, writer, and speaker in the mental health field. She holds a Master’s in Psychology with specialization in Transformational Life Coaching and also has an International Certificate in Behavioral Studies. The pure compound is not active when taken orally, because a digestive enzyme in the gastrointestinal (GI) system called monoamine oxidase breaks it down before it can affect the brain. Based on the data available so far, DMT doesn’t appear to cause tolerance, physical dependence, or addiction. Increased heart rate and blood pressure can be particularly dangerous if you already have high blood pressure or any kind of heart condition.

dmt drug effects

But in rare cases, overuse of high doses of DMT can cause symptoms of addiction, such as withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it. If someone does not address serotonin syndrome, it can cause life threatening complications, including seizures, kidney or respiratory failure, or loss of muscle tissue. DMT users frequently claim that it has fewer side effects than other psychedelic drugs, but this is a difficult claim to measure and quantify.

How fast the body metabolizes DMT

DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a hallucinogenic tryptamine, otherwise known as a psychedelic drug. It is well known for inducing intense and short-lived psychedelic experiences. Medical News Today does not endorse using illegal substances, and we recognize abstaining from them is always the safest approach.

However, we believe in providing accessible and accurate information to reduce the harm that can occur when using. ‘Set’ refers to a person’s mind-set including their mood, thoughts and expectations. This can have a significant effect on the experience of the trip and therefore it is advised that DMT is only consumed when a person is in a positive and stable state of mind. ‘Setting’ refers to the environment and social situation in which the drug is consumed. DMT should be consumed in a safe and calm environment, due to the intensity of the trip and the potential motor impairments.

DMT – How Does it Work? What are Dimethyltryptamine Side Effects and Risks?

Although DMT occurs naturally in plants, it can also be synthesised chemically, producing DMT in its base or salt form. The term ‘freebase DMT’ refers to DMT in its pure alkaloidal form and is insoluble in water, whilst ‘DMT fumarate’ refers to the salt form and is water soluble. But several street drugs including DMT are often laced or mixed in with other dangerous substances such as fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, or morphine. People who sell them often lace DMT with additional substances as they can produce a stronger trip. DMT may increase the intensity of the effects of other psychedelics, such as LSD. Because it can change heart rate, perceptions, and emotional states, it may also change the way drugs that affect these functions work.

  1. Addiction Resource is not a healthcare provider, nor does it claim to offer sound medical advice to anyone.
  2. These symptoms are not all that different from the acute effects of a “DMT experience”, however during abuse or addiction they may be more pronounced and more frequent.
  3. During that time, I was fully cognitively functional, but I could not move my body at all.
  4. Dimethyltryptamine addiction treatment is based on a combination of actions that are aimed at achieving a drug-free life.
  5. The risk may be highest if you inject the drug directly into your veins.

By checking this box I consent to the use of my information provided for email marketing purposes. Reading, engaging with, and sharing our publications, papers and commentary gives evidence-based science and policy the audience it needs and deserves. You can build tolerance to DMT, especially if you use it in high doses and often.

Is it possible to overdose?

“As a result, I was forced to ask for help — something I struggled with doing in my life, having developed hyper-independence as a trauma response. This experience was initially terrifying for me but ultimately became comforting as I eventually learned to feel safe asking for help and trusting that it would be there for me. Some scientific studies speculate that DMT may contribute to neurodegenerative and neurorestorative processes. This means it could potentially treat neurodegenerative diseases in the future. DMT, along with other classical psychedelics, is not addictive.

More on Substance Abuse and Addiction

As with the physical effects, the psychological effects of DMT vary from person to person and depend on the same factors. Healthline does not endorse the use of any illegal substances, and we recognize abstaining from them is always the safest approach. Trace amounts have been detected in human blood and urine, supporting the idea of the endogenous production of DMT in the human body. Although a recent study detected DMT in the pineal gland of rats, there has been no evidence of this in the pineal gland of the human brain. Understanding endogenous DMT production in the human body and its potential roles in physiology remains an understudied area and extensive further studies are needed.

However, currently scientific evidence to support this theory remains very limited. The DMT molecule is structurally similar to other psychedelic tryptamines such as 4-AcO-DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, and psilocybin, allowing it to bind to serotonin receptors and induce psychedelic effects. If you have concerns about using DMT, tell your doctor about it. You can also reach out to addiction recovery centers that offer in-person or out-of-office treatment options to help you get your substance use disorder under control. Researchers can’t confirm whether DMT is addictive, like other psychedelics in its class. This means they’re not sure if you’ll develop a dependency on it.

DMT induces a particularly potent psychedelic experience consisting of intense visual alterations and hallucinations, alongside alterations in emotion and mood. The intensity of the trip can be emotionally challenging for some people, inducing states of panic, anxiety and paranoia. For some people DMT produces an out-of-body experience or depersonalisation, which can be an overwhelming experience.

Some people call it the “spirit molecule” due to the intense psychedelic experience. He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture. N,N-Dimethyltryptamine is an indolethylamine hallucinogen with a tryptamine core derived from the stepwise chemical modification of the amino acid tryptophan. It can be biosynthesized within various plants, animals, as well as humans, or it can be synthetically produced. Whether naturally or chemically synthesized, Dimethyltryptamine has the capability to produce profound alterations in cognition and perception through its actions on Serotonergic transmission. Historically, N,N-Dimethyltryptamine containing snuffs and teas, such as ayahuasca, were used for ceremonial purposes.

The latter contains DMT while the former contains MAOIs, which prevent certain enzymes in your body from breaking down DMT. Many South American cultures use ayahuasca in religious and spiritual ceremonies and have done so for centuries. Dr. Peter Grinspoon is an experienced physician with long-term clinical practice experience.