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Dimethyltryptamine, better known as DMT, is an incredibly powerful psychedelic drug found in certain plant life and elsewhere. It is the accepted abbreviation for Dimethyltryptamine.
- It is an illegal, psychedelic compound found in at least 60 species of plants worldwide. It is also produced naturally in certain animals and the human body. Dimethyltryptamine is a hallucinogenic drug.
Historically, this drug was consumed by indigenous cultures in the Americas in order to produce divinatory hallucinations as well as healing purposes. While neither the purported divinatory effects nor the healing benefits have been verified by science, the hallucinatory effects are quite well documented and have even been the subject of some past studies.
- It can also be produced naturally in the human body.
Hallucinogenic Spiritual Healing Medicine
For centuries, Amazonian tribes have been extracting the chemical from plants for use in shamanic rituals and ceremonies.However, this extremely powerful and potentially deadly hallucinogen has made its way into the modern drug scene.
The hallucinogenic properties of it are so intense that the drug has been coined the “god” or “spirit” molecule by users. More potent than other hallucinogens, such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, the psychedelic “trip” that users experience can last from a few minutes to just more than an hour, depending on the dosage.
While it is naturally occurring, it can also by synthesized in backstreet labs where purity and safety are, likely, held in low regard, making the drug even more hazardous. Coming in a white powder, this drug can be smoked, snorted, injected and taken orally.
One of the most common hallucinogenic experiences caused are hallucinations of humanoid like beings, characterized as seeing creatures from “other worlds”.
- Begins within seconds of ingesting the drug
- Short duration
- Causes a distorted sense of reality
- Produces powerful hallucinations
Users on a “bad trip” have been known to cause harm to themselves and others.
In the 60s, it was often referred to as a “businessman’s trip”, because of the rapid onset and short duration of the reaction. When it is inhaled the lasts generally between 20 minutes to 1 hour.
Like almost every other drug in existence, this drug produces negative side effects in most users, especially if the drug is used frequently. These side effects include:
- Stomach discomfort and possible nausea
- Overwhelming fear that is exacerbated by the visual hallucinations
- Lung irritation that may cause difficulty breathing
- Rapid increase in the heart rate of the user, also potentially exacerbated by fear
- Significant increase in body temperature
- Possibility of falling into an unconscious or into a coma-like state
- Concussion from falling
- Vomiting and choking
When used in small doses, as most users do who take the drug for religious purposes, these side effects are rare and minimized, and the user is usually protected by the presence of another individual that is not under the influence of the drug. However, when used frequently in higher doses, like the portrayal of drug use by Hunter S. Thompson in the movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” these symptoms become a significant threat.
Physical & Emotional Effects
- Increased heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Respiratory irritation
- Altered perception and intense visuals
- Panic attacks
Possible Long-Term Effects
There is not much data on the continued and long-term. Research does suggest, however, users can be traumatized by negative hallucinations, or “bad trips”. This is especially dangerous as it concerns people with preexisting mental conditions, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Much has recently been written about Ayahuasca. Huge celebrity stars such as Lindsay Lohan and Sting have used it to enhance their spiritual growth.
Ayahuasca (pronounced “I – Ah- Whas-Ka”) is a plant containing this drug. Interest in it as a “spiritual” experience has skyrocketed recently. Countries like Ecuador, Peru and Brazil have seen in an increase in tourism related to “ayahuasca retreats”.
- These events have also gained a foothold in the U.S.
In a fascinating article in the Scientific American, “Ayahuasca—a foul-tasting hallucinogenic tea that can induce violent nausea and terrifying visions—is becoming trendy. An article in the “Fashion & Style” section of The New York Times notes that many people—including celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Sting—have turned to ayahuasca as a “catalyst for inner growth.”
It is classified as a Schedule I drug under the UN 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. That means using it is supposed to be restricted to scientific research and medical use. It is supposed to be closely monitored. Natural materials containing it, including ayahuasca, are explicitly not regulated. Ayahuasca is being used by various religious groups and other organizations inside and outside the U.S. Even in the face of it being viewed as a sort of “holistic supplement,” the government has classified it as a Schedule I drug. Using it comes with substantial risks.
Hallucinogenic by Definition
According to Wikipedia, a ‘”hallucinogen is a psychoactive agent which can cause hallucinations, perceptual anomalies, and other substantial subjective changes in thoughts, emotion, and consciousness”.
The common types of hallucinogens are psychedelics, dissociative and deliriant.There are theories that it is active in the brain during REM sleep, the period in which we dream the most, as well as when we’re closer to death.
Scientists are not entirely sure, but there are theories that it is active in the brain during REM sleep, the period in which we dream the most, as well as when we’re closer to death. Though it doesn’t appear to be physically addicting, regular users can develop a psychological dependence on it, leading to a lack of pleasure in day-to-day life while not under the influence of it.
Debates about whether or not its use can be beneficial for people continue. Some researchers believe that with the proper research and study, the compound might have some medical use in the future. However, the idea that it is safe to use recreationally simply because it’s naturally occurring is dangerous.
Mixing this drug with alcohol, other drugs or medications can cause:
- Nerve damage
- Fatal asphyxiation from vomiting while unconscious
- Heart failure, coma or death, especially in individuals using antidepressants and opioid painkillers
How Psychedelics Work
Psychedelic drugs affect brain chemistry in users by agonising serotonin receptors. This action alters perceptions and cognition, which almost always causes specific effects depending on the type of psychedelic drug. For drugs in the tryptamine family, of which this drug is one, the change in brain chemistry usually produces hallucinations.
At lower doses of the drug, these hallucinations usually involve color variation, shape alteration, and geometric repetition of the normal visual field. Thus, a user can still see the car or tree near them, it just might waver, appear to be pixelated, or be a completely different color. At higher doses the hallucination is likely to affect more than the visual senses. Users may experience synesthesia (an effect where stimulation of one sense is identified by the brain as stimulation of a different sense), apparent time dilation, or sensory overload. With these types of hallucinations, the user is usually completely incapable of identifying their surroundings.
When taken, either though inhalation, injection, or ingestion, this drug is remarkably quick acting, usually producing psychedelic effects within seconds. These effects rarely have a long duration, usually lasting for no more than 15 minutes. Taking the drug in higher doses or ingesting it orally can obtain longer effects, but generally any chemical effects ends quickly compared to almost every other drug on the market.
Psychedelic drugs, as a rule, generally do not produce physical dependence and this drug is no exception to this rule. Studies show that users do not become physically addicted and do not have physical withdrawal symptoms. Overuse of the drug may produce a psychological addiction, however. This level of overuse tends to be very dangerous because it means the user is likely living a large portion of their life in a state where they have no cognizance of the real world via sensory input. Such addictions are best treated with psychiatric counseling to determine the root of why the user feels the need to escape the world and to prevent that need in the future.