It can sometimes be difficult to find reliable facts about DMT and other hallucinogens. Some sources wildly exaggerate the dangers of using these substances, while others greatly overstate their safety or misrepresent their potential benefits. In today’s post, we answer some important questions about DMT, including how does it affect people, can you overdose on DMT, and what other risks are associated with using this drug?
What Is DMT?
DMT is a powerful, naturally occurring substance that can produce hallucinogenic effects. The full name of this drug is N,N-Dimethyltryptamine.
Common effects of DMT include the following:
- Intense visual and auditory hallucinations
- Synesthesia (sensation of being able to taste colors or see sounds)
- Distorted sense of time and space
- Dissociation (sense of being detached from your body, thoughts, feelings, and/or surroundings)
Compared to hallucinogens such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or psilocybin (the psychoactive ingredient in “magic mushrooms”), DMT’s effects are relatively brief.
A person who ingests LSD or psilocybin can expect to be under the influence of these substances for several hours. But if someone takes DMT, their psychedelic experience will often be over within about an hour.
Can You Overdose on DMT?
Overdose occurs when a person takes more of a drug than their body can safely metabolize.
When people think of drug overdoses, substances such as opioids and cocaine typically come to mind. But these aren’t the only drugs that can be extremely dangerous – or even deadly – when taken at unsafe dosage levels.
Which leads us to the question at the top of today’s post: Can you overdose on DMT?
The likelihood that someone will overdose on DMT is low. But that doesn’t mean that taking this drug is a risk-free endeavor.
First, there’s no guarantee that the effects a person experiences after taking DMT will be pleasant. A so-called “bad trip” on DMT can include the following:
- Overwhelming anxiety
- Terrifying hallucinations
- Profound confusion and disorientation
- Sense of having lost touch with reality
Also, since DMT production is neither legal nor regulated in the United States, a person can never be sure exactly what they’re ingesting when they take what they believe to be DMT. If a person unwittingly takes DMT that has been laced with heroin or fentanyl, they could experience an opioid overdose.
If someone exhibits the following symptoms after taking DMT, they may be in the midst of an opioid overdose:
- Constricted (pinpoint) pupils
- Dangerously low heart rate
- Slowed or shallow breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Inability to be awakened
- Bluish coloration near lips and fingertips
- Cool, clammy skin
Anyone who develops these symptoms after using DMT or any other drug may be in grave danger and should receive immediate medical attention. In such a circumstance, you should dial 911 or otherwise contact an emergency first responder in your area.
Is DMT Dangerous in Other Ways?
In addition to a bad trip or an adulterant-related overdose, people who use DMT may also be a risk for other negative effects, including the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Intense fear
- Racing heart rate
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
The impaired perceptions that are characteristic of DMT can cause people to act in unsafe ways, which can lead to slips, falls, or other sources of potentially serious injuries.
Also, if someone who has schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or certain other mental health concerns uses DMT, they may experience an intensification of their mental health symptoms.
Can You Get Addicted to DMT?
As with the answer to the question, “Can you overdose on DMT?” the response to the query “Can you get addicted to DMT?” is that this outcome is unlikely.
The way that DMT interacts with the brain and central nervous system does not produce the cravings that other drugs cause, which can push people into addiction or prevent them from ending their use of the drug.
Also, research indicates that people do not develop tolerance to DMT, which means they won’t need to use progressively larger amounts of the drug to experience the effects they are seeking. Powerful cravings and tolerance are common signs of addiction.
However, as we have previously cautioned, this doesn’t mean that DMT use poses no risk. If someone continues to use the drug in an attempt to self-medicate or escape from difficult emotions, this behavior can send them into a downward spiral.
Find Treatment for DMT Abuse in Worcester
If you have been compulsively abusing DMT or any other hallucinogens, Lake Avenue Recovery can help you end this dangerous behavior and regain control of your thoughts and actions.
Our addiction treatment center in Worcester, Massachusetts, offers personalized outpatient services in a safe and highly supportive environment. In addition to helping people escape the chains of active addiction, we also serve those whose struggles with substances are accompanied by anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and certain other mental health concerns.
With the help of our dedicated treatment professionals, you can explore the root causes of your behavioral health challenges, then develop the skills that will help you achieve a healthier, drug-free future. Your time with us may be relatively brief, but the care you receive here is designed to yield lifelong benefits.
To learn more about our programs and services, or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call us today.