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What Is DMT?
Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a natural Hallucinogenic chemical found in some plant species. After its discovery, it was synthesized in labs to be tested as a potential treatment. This artificial DMT, also called Dimitri, appears as a white powder. People native to the Amazon have long used the natural form in the form of Ayahuasca as a trigger for spiritual experiences. People will take this drug by:
- Taking pills, tablets, or liquids
- Snorting (in powder form)
Effects Of DMT
Obviously, as with any Hallucinogen, DMT can cause vivid hallucinations. People who have reported their experience with the drug have spoken of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and actual physical feelings, as if they have literally been pulled from where they were to somewhere entirely new. These hallucinations frequently involve altered environments and body and spatial distortions. Naturally, this can be an overwhelming, terrifying experience for some. That is what makes this drug so dangerous, especially when mixed with Stimulants like Cocaine or Methamphetamines that could turn someone violent. Other side effects that come with DMT are:
- Increased heart rate
What Does DMT Do?
DMT, like LSD and Psilocybin Mushrooms, is a Hallucinogen that produces its effects through the serotonin receptors. This is possible, much like how Opioids work, because the chemical structure of Dimethyltryptamine is similar to that of serotonin. There is speculation that the body actually releases traces of it in near-death experiences.
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What Is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is a tea made from plants that naturally contain DMT. It’s customarily made by indigenous South American peoples, mainly from the Amazon region, for traditional healing and religious purposes. Today, many people outside of South America have adopted the use of Ayahuasca for the same means, generally as a method of self-realization.
Does DMT Have Therapeutic Effects?
One study that sought to answer the question of whether or not DMT could provide therapeutic effects took a look at the way the substance affected the behavior of rats. According to the researchers, whose work was published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, “We find that while DMT elicits initial [anxiety-causing] responses… its long-lasting effects tend to reduce anxiety by facilitating the extinction of cued fear memory.”
The same study also found that DMT could have Antidepressant effects as well. The drug is currently being studied in humans, and some scientists hypothesize that DMT could treat depression in patients who have not seen success through conventional treatment methods. This has not been proven conclusively, however, and any use of DMT outside of a strictly scientific and clinical context could be fraught with complications for the user.
Even if DMT were definitively demonstrated to have Antidepressant properties in humans, it would likely not be a panacea. Proper psychosocial support, like the kind offered in counseling and in support groups, is a necessary complement to any kind of drug-assisted treatment in any event. The work centered around examining the therapeutic potential of DMT in humans is important, however, and future findings could hold promise for sufferers of anxiety and depression.
Though it is a Hallucinogen, and can have some dangerous effects, there hasn’t been any confirmation that DMT is an addictive substance. There does not seem to be any documented symptoms of withdrawal or craving it. That being said, addiction is an incredibly personal disease, and anyone can develop an addiction to just about anything. Often times, when there is no biological component to someone’s addiction, there is a psychological aspect that has someone looking for escape. This need is what drives someone to abuse a substance again and again, until they grow dependent on its effects to function normally.
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Recovering From DMT Addiction
There is help available if you or someone you love is addicted to DMT. While addiction is a scary thing, it is treatable. The most important step is finding treatment. If you don’t know what that is, where that is, or where to start, then you should try reaching out to a dedicated treatment provider. They’re available 24/7 to speak confidentially about whatever problem you may be going up against and help you plan out your next steps.
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