Dimethyltryptamine is hallucinogenic tryptamine drug also known more popularly as DMT. It derives from plants found in South America, Asia, and Mexico. This natural plant extract has been used for centuries as a means of healing people. In the past, taking the drug would involve guides to help you through the onset of symptoms after ingesting. DMT has been labeled in more modern times as the “spirit molecule”. This is due to its powerful ability to allow users to connect to a deeper aspect of themselves. The dark side are DMT risks commonly associated with the drug.
Like any drug, abuse can quickly lead to the disease of addiction. If you or someone you love is battling with substance abuse disorder, it’s important to seek help sooner than later. Contact AspenRidge Recovery for unwavering support (855) 281-5588.
History of DMT
In the 1960s, DMT had many nicknames, one of them being the “businessman’s trip”. It stemmed from DMT’s ability to offered a high much shorter than LSD or other psychedelics. For those who didn’t have time for the twelve-hour high from acid, DMT was identified to be a suitable alternative. It is also extremely intense.
Advocates state that taking DMT can be a life-changing event as you tap into your undiscovered potential. It is strongly believed that DMT can help in the recovery of drug or alcohol addiction. DMT has a strong effect on the serotonin receptors that are involved with depression. Depression is a major reason people will begin self-medicating with substances. However, this is merely a theory that has yet to be studied in full and DMT risks are still very real.
According to an article in Business Insider, the link between DMT and spiritualism has been around a long time. A common theory about why DMT is in the body is that we release a large dose of it when we die. When people come back from a near death experience, and report seeing a white light or divine beings, some say this is the result of a release of DMT, which gives the brain a final, all-encompassing hallucination.
DMT and Ritualistic Healing
The main use for DMT is for ritualistic healing. This can be dated back to the 16th century in South America. In the 1950s, there was hope that ayahuasca could be the cure for opiate addiction. Sadly, the 1970’s drug act making psychedelics illegal in the U.S. stopped further funding on studies. Only recently has the western world started to develop new religious groups that are using ayahuasca as a means for healing. They are connecting with Shamans from the Amazon rainforest in healing retreats. These retreats are said to cure mental and physical illness by giving people the ability to let go of past pains. It’s the neurotransmitter and tryptamine molecule in DMT that is responsible for the mind expansion. It is said to help users gain enlightenment, heal, and come up with new innovations. DMT can be smoked, snorted, or taken orally.
Methods of Taking DMT
DMT can be inhaled, ingested, or taken orally. How you take it and how much you take will dictate what your trip will be like. Inhaling or injecting it will allow you to feel its effects for 5-15 minutes. This method is said to give you lightning fast images with a fast-moving trip. If you take the traditional ayahuasca brew (MAIO), it can last for three hours or longer. This trip is much slower and allows the brain to take in all the messages it’s receiving.
Alone, DMT is usually not effective because of the MAO enzyme that breaks down chemicals. When MAO-inhibitors are added, it stops the breakdown of chemicals so you can feel high. These inhibitors need to be used by someone who is well informed of ratios in the doses. MAOI can cause food to become poisonous which can result in headaches, nausea, and potentially death. Traditionally, shamans will fast for one full day before using MAO-inhibitors. This is to prevent an interaction with food that’s been eaten. It can also prevent a person from vomiting during their trip. DMT risks may be different for everyone.
What You Can Expect When You Take DMT
It’s been said that there is no real way to prepare you for the trip that DMT will take you on. You will have a mystical experience that is out of this world. It will seem like reality and you may experience euphoria or terror. People that have tried ayahuasca have said they spoke with god-like entities, elves, and extra-terrestrials.
Some would describe it as much more powerful than LSD or mushrooms. Some people will feel as though they have died and entered the god’s realm. The high is difficult to explain but whatever you feel, it’s as though it has really happened. Reality changes and with that, you experience a change in perception afterward. Some said that it felt like forced lucid dreaming or an out-of-body experience.
DMT Risks: Impacts On The Brain
DMT with the MAO-inhibitors is an agonist on serotonin receptors in the brain. The chemical root structure in DMT is close to an anti-migraine drug. When you take DMT, it binds to your serotonin receptors. This causes neurons to react as though serotonin has been released when there is no serotonin present. This is what causes the hallucinations and separation from reality. The ritual of healing by use of DMT is being questioned by the medical field. Some believe it can help people with addiction and mental disorders.
DMT Risks With Previous Conditions
While some people have reported that DMT is a healing tool, it may put certain people at risk. Most users are already used to taking psychedelic drugs and have a spiritual background. While spiritual insight is a common occurrence, some people with certain conditions will experience a negative trip. This is especially true for anyone with a pre-existing psychological problem. Someone with schizophrenia, psychosis, anxiety, or clinical depression should not take DMT. The bad trip can cause problems past the initial high, worsening conditions.
If someone has a pre-existing heart condition, a DMT trip could cause heart failure. There are also a variety of drugs that can cause nerve damage, coma, or death when mixed with DMT. These include opioids painkillers and antidepressants.
DMT is Not FDA Approved
Since the 1970s, DMT has been illegal. This means that users will often get the drug through the internet. Using the drug without the proper guidance can prove to be dangerous. If you’re not in a controlled setting and you lose all control, you could harm yourself in the middle of the trip. You also have to use the right amount of ingredients or you risk death. While it has been deemed safe by the religious groups that use it, there’s nothing to govern users from taking it by themselves. Regardless of the theory that it’s helpful for problems like recovery from addiction, it is still illegal and not enough is known about DMT. The limited research makes it difficult to determine if it can cause dependence or addiction.
DMT has been a Schedule I controlled substance since 1971. The United States government considers DMT to have no legitimate medical purpose and imposes heavy fines and imprisonment as punishment for the possession, manufacture, and sale of DMT.
DMT Risks & Associated Effects
When someone takes a DMT dose that is too high, it can cause dangerous side effects. This includes seizures, heart attacks, or a coma. It isn‘t quite known if DMT is toxic to the human body. It has been found that death connected to DMT is usually due to an existing health condition or mixing DMT with other drugs. If you don’t have a guide who remains conscious, you could potentially die by asphyxiation.
DMT can cause vomiting which can be lethal when you’re unconscious during a trip. This is also part of the reason shamans insist you don’t eat for a day before. When you’re outside of the ritual environment, this is where you have greater risk. Again, research is limited when it comes to DMT so far. Science hasn’t found an indication of physical dependence or addiction on the drug. It has been found that recreational users might develop a psychological craving for the drug. Using it as a type of therapy can create the user to rely on it in a way that others rely on seeing a therapist.
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. Too much serotonin in the body can lead to a range of symptoms, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Loss of muscle coordination
Side Effects of DMT
During a DMT trip, people will experience hallucinations that are more intense than any other psychedelic drug. This can expand awareness when the person is open to the extreme alternate world they become a part of. One of the worst side effects during the trip is that a person can become terrified. There is no way to get someone out of a bad trip so they must ride it out. The trip of DMT can come with powerful messages, good or bad. It might not be easy to integrate their experience into real life afterward.
Other DMT risks may also include the following:
- Increase in blood pressure or heart rate
- Chest may tighten
- The user can become agitated
- Rapid eye movement
- Dizziness may occur
MAOI Overdose & DMT Risks
MAO-inhibitors are what allows DMT to release its active compounds that create the high. MAOI can release poisons from many natural ingredients which can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure. It negatively influences amphetamines, anesthetics, sedatives, antihistamines, alcohol, and antidepressant agents. Shamans are aware of the dangers of MAIO and are careful with the doses they add when creating an ayahuasca brew. An overdose of MAIO is possible with side effects such as hyperreflexia or convulsions. Even within the Supreme Court of the U.S., they are allowing the Beneficent Spiritist Center União do Vegetal to continue using ayahuasca in their spiritual practices. It seems that there is little proof found that DMT is dangerous when taken maturely and responsibly. The problems seem to arise when people abuse the drug. When a trip isn’t guided by an experienced spiritual representative, higher doses cause greater risks.
Mixing DMT with other drugs or alcohol can also be dangerous. When the rituals take place, there are many precautions that taken to ensure spiritual support and safety. Recreational use is more likely to cause overdose, terrifying trips, death byasphyxiation, heart problems, and possibly further psychosis. Some have found benefits of taking DMT for their chronic emotional problems. This doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a potent psychedelic that alters the mind.
AspenRidge Recovery: Addiction Help
DMT misuse can have a serious impact on both the person using DMT and their loved ones. Treatment approaches can include outpatient or residential approaches that may incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), individual counseling, family therapy, and group therapy. AspenRidge Recovery has a treatment center and recovery residences available in Fort Collins and for individuals living in the Denver area, we also have locations in Lakewood and Colorado Springs. Contact us directly to learn more about our tailored drug treatment programs at 855-281-5588.