DMT, also known as dimethyltryptamine is an hallucinogenic drug that is naturally occurring in plants and some animals, including humans. It can also be synthesised artificially. It is taken by drug users for its psychedelic effects, which are reported to be similar to those of other drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms, causing hallucinations and a distorted view of reality for the user. Depending on dosage these can last for up to two or three hours and whilst they can be pleasurable, a “bad trip” can be an exceedingly traumatic experience for the user. The concept of “tripping” refers to visual and auditory experiences stemming from the subconscious, with users seeing and hearing things that aren’t really there.
It can be smoked, injected, snorted or taken orally, and has a long history of use particularly in South American cultures, and is still used in some places today for religious and traditional purposes. This along with the fact that it is naturally occurring and commonly found in plants, lead some users to assume that it is safe, when this is not necessarily the case. Recreational use of DMT is generally quite rare when compared to most other drugs. Whilst it is not considered chemically addictive, repeated use can lead to a user building up a tolerance to the drug, subsequently requiring larger doses.
DMT is one of the most restricted drugs available and is highly illegal in many countries, with use supposedly limited to medical use and scientific research. It is classified internationally as a Schedule I drug, the highest possible classification. Most people are unaware of the existence of DMT and little is generally known about it outside scientific and medical communities, and as such there is surprisingly little production and trafficking of the drug.
Its effects will vary from person to person, and psychedelic effects experienced will be largely based on the subconscious mind of the individual. To that end, DMT can be exceptionally dangerous to users with a history of mental health problems. It is not unheard of for users experiencing a bad trip to cause serious harm to themselves in their panicked state.
DMT is an abbreviation of dimethyltryptamine, and it has surprisingly few street names. This is most likely due to its scarcity, and the fact that many potential drug users are not even aware of its existence. It has not received nearly as much publicity as other psychedelic substances such as LSD and magic mushrooms, and is very difficult either to obtain or produce.
In the UK it is known informally as “Dmitri”, although most terminology pertaining to DMT refers to the effects experienced whilst on the drug rather than the drug itself. DMT produces a relatively short trip when compared to other hallucinogenic drugs, and is sometimes referred to as a “businessman’s trip”, the implication being that the trip lasts roughly as long as a business lunch break.
The effects of DMT will vary from person to person. As a psychedelic drug experiences will stem from an individual’s subconscious, and so what they see when they are tripping will almost certainly be a unique experience. To that end, much of what is known about what a DMT trip entails is largely anecdotal.
Users will experience visual and auditory hallucinations, possibly accompanied by a feeling of euphoria. It may alter the user’s perception of the passage of time with time either seeming to speed up or slow down. It may also alter their perception of colours and sounds. DMT may also slightly increase blood pressure and heart rate, and pupils will dilate. It is impossible to visually determine how potent a quantity of DMT is until it has been taken.
DMT can be very dangerous for users with a history of mental health problems, or for those who enter a trip in an anxious or nervous state. It could also trigger the onset of previously undetected or latent mental health problems in some users. Such feelings of anxiety and disquiet can be significantly amplified during a trip, resulting in what could well be a truly terrifying and harrowing experience accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Users experiencing a bad trip whilst on DMT have been known to cause harm to themselves and others, and in these cases there is a potential risk of suicide. Once a trip starts, there is no way of stopping it until the effects wear off.
There are few recorded side effects of DMT, although flashbacks to the trip have been reported by users even after the drug has worn off. In the case of a bad trip, this can be very unpleasant.
DMT is an exceptionally rare drug, and its distribution is strictly controlled by governments. It is generally only accessible to scientists and doctors for research or medicinal purposes, and even then it is extraordinarily difficult to obtain. As such, it is not produced in large quantities anywhere in the world, and it is rare for any amount to end up in the hands of drug dealers for distribution. As such, there is very little evidence at present of it being trafficked across borders or continents in any significant quantities.
It is traditionally used for cultural reasons in some South American indigenous tribes. It has also been used for religious reasons by some churches, although such occasions have invariably been subject to protracted legal battles and tight restrictions on its use.
On the rare occasions when DMT does end up on the street, it is sold in small quantities in wraps resembling white crystalline powder or solids. In these cases it is often sold in impure forms, which may be yellow, orange or pink in colour.
However, DMT is present in a huge number of commonly found plants, and can be extracted for use as a recreational drug. Instructions for the process involved and materials required can be easily found on the Internet, leading to some concern about the potential impact that DMT may have in the future as it existence becomes more widely known. With the advent of the Internet, popularity of DMT is slowly growing in the developed world. Some aspects of the production process involve using dangerous and volatile chemicals, which further increases the risks involved.
Production, distribution, possession and use of DMT are of course highly illegal, but this has not deterred some amateur chemists from attempting to extract and sell the drug. However such operations are invariably on a very small scale, and usually in conjunction with the production of other drugs. DMT production should only ever be attempted by people with knowledge of the chemical processes involved, and with access to the appropriate equipment.
DMT is not thought to be chemically addictive. However, repeated use can lead to a psychological addiction, whereby a user enjoys the effects of the drug so much that they feel they cannot cope without it. A DMT user who is tripping is relatively easy to identify, as they will be seeing and hearing things that aren’t there. As such, a sign that someone is under the influence of DMT could be irrational behaviour and inappropriate effect. Other symptoms of DMT include dilated pupils, as well as increased blood pressure and heart rate.
A bad trip may be particularly traumatising for a user, and it will be abundantly clear that they are in some distress, although they may not be able to articulate why. In users with a history of mental illness or susceptibility to it, as well as those who enter a trip in an anxious state, a DMT trip can be very damaging both whilst experiencing the effects of the drug and in the form of flashbacks to the trip for a long time afterwards. Users in such a state are at risk of causing harm to themselves and to others.
DMT is not considered a particularly social drug, and so a possible sign of abuse may be spending increasing amounts of time alone, and not responding to social interaction. The presence of chemistry equipment and hazardous chemicals may be evidence that a person is producing DMT either for their own use or to sell to others.
There is thought to be little addiction potential for DMT, and so what few cases there are will almost certainly be due to psychological cravings for the drug as opposed to physiological ones. As such, recovery from addiction to DMT will be largely down to willpower, and considering that it is not thought to be chemically addictive should in theory just be a case of breaking the habit. However as with any addiction psychological or physiological this can be easier said than done.
It is worth noting that DMT is highly illegal in most countries, and so an addiction to it is likely to eventually have negative consequences one way or another in the form of potential arrest and prison sentence. A criminal record for drugs offences will also severely damage future employment prospects, so any use of the drug whether habitual or occasional should be considered cause for concern. Another issue is the risk of having a bad trip, which is an experience that can stay with a user for the rest of their life.
There are no known withdrawal symptoms to coming off DMT; however it is thought that prolific use can result in the user building up a tolerance to its effects. A psychological reliance on anything can potentially cause cravings, and so a user may go to extreme lengths in their efforts to get another hit.
Replacing DMT with non-drug related activities, and avoiding opportunities in which it can be taken may be beneficial in attempts to give it up.
Anyone who feels the need to alter their mental state by taking drugs such as DMT on a regular basis may be doing so as a coping mechanism for stressful or traumatic life situations. In such cases it is important to deal with whatever underlying issues are causing a user to rely on DMT. These might include depression, stress or even boredom. It is also important to eliminate any potential contact that a recovering addict might have with DMT in order to reduce the risk of relapse. Whilst DMT is generally rare, avoiding associating with people who are known to use it might be beneficial. In cases where a user is manufacturing DMT for their own consumption, the equipment and ingredients used in the production process should be disposed of.
Whilst the effects of DMT are very extreme, it should in theory be relatively straightforward to give up. Even so, a habit developed over a long term can sometimes be difficult to break. Whilst recovering from addiction to DMT should not require too much in the way of medical intervention, it may still be advantageous to consult a doctor for helpful advice in how to deal with any potential psychological cravings that might occur.