Silhouette of a person, wondering, "What is DMT?"

What Is DMT?

Many people have heard of phenyl cyclohexyl piperidine (PCP), psilocybin, and acid and can readily identify them as hallucinogenic substances. But what is dimethyltryptamine (DMT)? It is another type of hallucinogen that naturally occurs in some plants. People who use the substance tend to do so by ingesting ayahuasca, a brew containing different plants with some DMT. In the United States, DMT is classified as a Schedule I drug. That means making, buying, possessing, or distributing it is illegal. If you or someone you know is struggling with a DMT-related problem, learn more about drug detox options at Recovery Ranch PA by calling 717.969.9126

What Is DMT? 

Dimethyltryptamine is a tryptamine drug, meaning it produces hallucinogenic effects in users. DMT is the primary ingredient in ayahuasca, a psychoactive brew from cultural practices in Central and South America. DMT affects people in different ways. Some users have positive experiences, while others experience a bad trip.  

One thing that differentiates DMT from similar substances, like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or magic mushrooms, is that the trip is much shorter. It is fact-acting and kicks in just a few minutes after ingesting. The trip lasts around 30 to 45 minutes. This contrasts acid or mushroom trips that can last for hours. DMT trips can be much longer than 45 minutes if a person uses a large amount at once.  

DMT is powerful and involves several side effects. First, there are, of course, the hallucinogenic effects of using DMT. These include euphoria, a floating feeling, vivid hallucinations, a distorted sense of time and space, and an out-of-body feeling. Other less positive side effects of DMT include: 

  • Rapid heart rate 
  • Dizziness 
  • Impaired coordination 
  • Paranoia 
  • Nausea and vomiting 

Does DMT Use Have Any Risks? 

The short answer is yes. DMT involves some risks both in the short term and in the long term. People with high blood pressure or a heart condition are at elevated risk for seizure, respiratory arrest, and coma from using DMT. 

In addition, the long-term risks from repeatedly using DMT are psychosis and hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder (HPPD). While both are rare, they are more likely to appear in people with a preexisting mental health disorder. HPPD is characterized by flashbacks and psychosis that involve constant paranoia, auditory and visual disturbances, and disordered mood.  

More research is necessary, but so far, it is believed that DMT is not addictive in the same way as hard drugs like meth or cocaine. It does not seem to affect the pleasure centers in the brain like other substances with a high predisposition for addiction. Nonetheless, it is possible to abuse DMT by using too much, too often, or a combination of too much and too often.  

Find Substance Abuse Treatment at Recovery Ranch PA 

Polysubstance use is widespread. It is simply when a person uses more than one drug at a time. Doing that is always dangerous. But the danger is heightened with DMT. Other substances like alcohol, opioids, and meth are addictive. Using these drugs alongside DMT may increase the risk of developing an addiction.  

The other risk is an adverse drug interaction between DMT and other substances. A range of prescription and illegal drugs should not be mixed with DMT. Some of the main ones to avoid mixing are alcohol, opioids, cocaine, antihistamines, and benzodiazepines.  

If your DMT use feels out of control, seek help. Recovery Ranch PA is a leading provider of drug treatment and recovery services. We offer judgment-free, compassionate care that is customized to your needs. Contact Recovery Ranch PA today at 717.969.9126 to speak with someone from our caring and compassionate team and learn more about how our programs in Pennsylvania can help. 

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