Despite their well-known dangers, psychedelic drugs have remained popular in the United States since first achieving widespread recognition in the 1960’s with the counterculture movement.
For example, 2016 alone saw hallucinogens being reported as the 4th most popular drug of abuse in the United States by person’s aged 12 and over. (1)
Here we take a look at one of the effects and dangers of one of the most popular naturally occurring psychedelics: DMT.
What is DMT?
DMT acts as an incredibly powerful short acting hallucinogenic drug when ingested.
The ability of DMT to produce psychedelic effects was well known to various South American cultures, which brewed a DMT-containing tea known as ayahuasca for religious ceremonies for at least several hundred centuries. (2)
DMT is used recreationally by vaporizing or injecting extracts of the drug.
What are the effects of DMT?
The effects of DMT when vaporized or injected come on within seconds and last approximately 15-60 minutes. The effects of DMT vary depending on the route of administration and the individual, but typically include the following symptoms (3):
- Loss of physical coordination and control
- Intense visual hallucinations, such as shifting environment, bright colors, and patterns
- Intense emotions, ranging from fear to euphoria
- Perspective shift
- Auditory hallucinations
- Time distortion
- Memory loss
What makes psychedelics like DMT so dangerous?
The correlation between psychedelic abuse and mental health issues has been a source of much debate since psychedelic use became common in the Western world.
One study found that a significant portion of study subjects who had prior mental health problems or a family history of mental health problems presented psychotic issues after ingesting ayahuasca. (4)
Another study found that use of psychedelic drugs was directly correlated with an increased risk of mental health issues, with subjects having a three times higher odds of being admitted to a mental health hospital than those who had not abused psychedelic drugs. (5)
Finally, a study found that endogenous DMT was detected in the urine of 47% of test subjects who had schizophrenia. (6)
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.