What is DMT?- Side Effects and Health Risks - Detox Plus UK

DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) is a hallucinogenic drug found in thousands of plant species that can be smoked, snorted, injected in its crystal form or combined with ayahuasca.

It is a hallucinatory drug that increases serotonin in the human brain, which induces a fast-acting psychedelic experience.

When you think of DMT, the picture often painted is a glamorous trip using the powerful hallucinogen. DMT can be dangerous when used illegally and in an uncontrolled way. However, the ‘spirit molecule’ also shows great promise in controlled trials treating depression, anxiety, alcohol addiction and PTSD.


Everything You Need To Know About DMT

“DMT, whose scientific name is Dimethyltryptamine, is a natural substance found in many plants and animals.”

You may have heard people refer to it as ‘the spirit molecule’, and that is mostly in part because of the effect it has on those who consume the substance.

When you think of the hallucinogen, you’ll find it in the same grouping as other psychedelics, including mushrooms or LSD. However, the main difference between this hallucinogen and others is that the trip is shorter than other hallucinogens.

“Even though the trip might be shorter, that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful.”

The effects that are felt are things like auditory and visual hallucinations, amongst other things that we will discuss later on.

If you are found manufacturing, selling, in possession of, or buying it, you can expect some severe consequences primarily because it’s classified as a Class A drug. Although the drug isn’t legal, it doesn’t stop people from using it recreationally.

Does DMT Exist Naturally in the Brain?

There’s been much speculation about DMT and why it is naturally produced in the body by the brain. A small amount can be found in the human body’s spinal fluid and other tissues.

The strongest theory currently is that DMT is a hangover from our more primitive brain and helps early people’s sleep cycle change from light to deep sleep. There is some discussion about the relationship between dreaming and the extraordinary ability of the human brain to create entirely alien worlds within our own consciousness. 

Some theorize that the third eye of the body or the pineal gland is responsible for releasing the substance throughout the body. It allows us to have the vivid and sometimes crazy or frightening dreams we have at night by releasing this substance. 

Some scientists see the drug as DMT serotonin. In fact, some believe that DMT may be the predecessor of Serotonin, which also manages dreams, sleep and imagined worlds. Serotonin helps people to spend less time in REM and more time in deep sleep. When you’re in a deep sleep, some of your more vivid dreams occur.

Since a trip can cause you to have the same visualizations that dreams do, it would be no wonder that scientists may have found a link between the two substances.

Is this true? Until more research provides concrete evidence, that answer will continue to remain a mystery, frustrating even the most brilliant researchers as they continue to work furiously towards an answer.

DMT and its related drug, ayahuasca, are both illegal in the UK. There is no legal exemption of DMT in the UK for religious groups as there are in many other countries. The only legal use of DMT is for scientific research, which is extensive and ongoing in the Imperial College London. This study is hoping to look at using highly controlled doses of DMT to treat chronic depression and other widespread mental health issues. 

The UK finds itself fighting a war against drugs and alcohol, with overdose deaths climbing every day. The government has taken drastic steps to ensure that those finding it challenging to leave behind their addictions, especially during the pandemic, have the resources they need to get the proper help. 

In the UK according to the UK’s Misuse of Drugs Act, 1971, DMT is a (class A) drug similar to heroin and cocaine. It’s safe to say that the use, distribution, manufacturing, or anything else that has to do with DMT is illegal. 

While the dangers are less clear than other drugs, the risks of taking uncontrolled doses are the reason behind the banning of DMT in the UK and many other countries. 

How to Get DMT in the UK

Although you cannot buy DMT legally in the UK, you may soon be able to get the drug from UK pharmacies on prescription. Clinical trials are currently ongoing to test how effective DMT is in treating depression. It is part of a trial of several psychedelic drugs, which are considered possible treatments for mental health issues. Specialists in the UK trials at Imperial College London hope that alongside therapy, the drug could be beneficial to those with trauma-related mental health issues. However, the final medication form will be nothing like the street versions. Ways will have to be found to make the drug safe for consumption as a medicine. If a safe dosage and compound can be found, favourable results will mean you can get DMT in the UK on prescription. For the moment, however, unless you are participating in one of the trials, you will not be able to get DMT legally in the UK.

The appearance of DMT

  • In its purest form, it looks like a white crystalline powder or solid
  • The most common and less pure form is a yellow, orange or pink powder or solid
  • A brownish/green herbal mixture, when mixed with herbs
  • A brownish/red liquid when part of an ayahuasca brew

DMT Methods of Use 

Speaking of ways to ingest the hallucinogen, there are quite a few that you might not have even known about. The most common way to consume the substance is by smoking it. Many find themselves smoking the substance by using a glass bong or pipe.

This method is also known as vaporization and heats the substance to produce smoke that the user then inhales.

“The effects of smoking DMT while the short term, will take effect more quickly than other forms of taking the drug.”

Another way to get the DMT experience is by taking the substance orally. This would be by brewing the DMT plant into a tea or other herbal drink that heats it to release the psychoactive properties. DMT is a naturally occurring chemical that’s been used for centuries in religious ceremonies in some South American cultures.

Taking DMT sublingually may also fall under the oral category. Sublingually is when you take the substance and place it under your tongue in an oil or powdered form. Once there, the user waits until most of it is absorbed by the body and swallows the rest.

The last way that someone may abuse the drug is by snorting it. Snorting drugs is dangerous because prolonged abuse of the nasal cavity can cause a collapse. The collapse would then need to be repaired by a medical professional.

How Long Does DMT Last?

The DMT effects last for a very short amount of time. Depending on how you ingest it, you may be looking at a trip that lasts for a maximum of 45 minutes. But, if you’re brewing the drug into a tea or other herbal drink, you may find that you’re on a trip for much longer than 45 minutes.

“Consuming the tea could mean that you’re on a trip for a few hours rather than a couple of minutes.”

If you suspect that someone you love is abusing DMT, you must know the signs of substance abuse so that you can get them the help they desperately need.

Now that you’ve got a better understanding of the methods used to consume the drug, let’s get into some of the DMT’s long-term effects.

What Are The Side Effects of DMT?

There are a variety of side effects that someone may experience when using the drug. Many people can experience these side effects, no matter how they ingest the substance.

Altered Sense of Time

When it comes to drug side effects, one of the first effects that users experience is the lost or altered sense of time. This means that you may wake up from a  bad trip and think you were gone for days, but you might have only been in that state for a couple of minutes.

You will also feel an altered sense of space. When you think of an altered sense of space, it leads you to ask, is DMT dangerous? And the answer is yes.

When you’ve entered into an altered sense of space, you do not see your surroundings for what they are.

“Instead, where your window is, you might be imagining a swimming pool and decide to jump in.”

Accidents, including accidental overdoses, can cause most deaths that are drug-related. When you’re high on DMT and in an altered state of mind that causes you to see things differently, it may cause you to have an accident that you can’t come back from.

Out-of-Body Experiences

One of the reasons people state that using DMT is like a death experience is because of the out-of-body experience you go through. When you feel like you have an out-of-body experience, you may be watching something happen to yourself but not feeling like you’re there.

For example, when Scrooge is being taken through all the different scenarios by the ghosts of Christmas past, he can see himself having conversations with others, but he’s not in his own body. This would be an example of an out-of-body experience.

Again, this is why the hallucinogen is referred to as ‘the spirit molecule’, or at least that’s the name that it’s received because of the effects of the drug such as these below.

This can cause people to experience anxiety and fears later that they are not real and confusion about whether they really exist.

Visual and Auditory Hallucinations

Have you ever realized that you may begin to see things that aren’t there when you don’t get enough sleep? But, in the back of your mind, you understand that these hallucinations aren’t real? The experience is so dangerous that one of the most common DMT drug side effects is visual hallucinations.

These hallucinations will be so bold and realistic that it will be challenging to understand that they’re not real.

“Because of how realistic these hallucinations are, they can lead to a frightening or overwhelming effect for users during the trip.”

The user might also begin to hear things that aren’t there, along with visual hallucinations. This may include hearing distorted voices or hearing sounds that aren’t there. Is DMT dangerous?

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms

Physical effects of DMT can include:

  • rapid heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • paradoxical sleep
  • chest pain or tightness
  • anxiety
  • feeling dazed
  • dilated pupils
  • delusion
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea or vomiting

Is DMT Dangerous?

Dangers of DMT Use

  • Strain on your heart
  • Unpredictable, dangerous behaviour during hallucinations
  • Psychological problems worsening

The danger of DMT is in the lack of control it creates. Because DMT is mostly used illegally, the dosage you take is unknown, and this can cause mental and physical distress, especially in people who already have mental health or heart problems. There is also the risk of doing something dangerous while under the influence of DMT. You can be unaware of your surroundings, what you are doing and any danger you are facing when you are unsure about what is real and what is not.

There is also a small risk of overdosing on DMT, which can cause respiratory arrest, heart attacks and seizures. 

DMT Tolerance

At this point, there is no evidence to suggest that one’s body builds up a tolerance to the drug or that one could become addicted to it. Instead, some studies attempt to show that people become addicted to experiencing the otherworldly trips that the drug takes them on.

“If people feel that the drug allows them to connect with other beings such as aliens or spirits, or even God, they may attempt to continue using the drug as a means of continuing these connections.”

Therefore, they’ve become addicted to the experience rather than the drug itself. If it doesn’t build up a tolerance that’s been recorded to date, you may be wondering, is DMT safe? No, it’s not; as we mentioned before, a drug that makes you see things differently can lead to life-threatening and life-changing decisions that you can’t take back.

Here are some signs that you need to be on the lookout for.

DMT Flashbacks

Another common sign that someone is abusing the drug is having flashbacks. These flashbacks will occur when the user is not using the substance or in the middle of a trip. They may also find themselves experiencing other side effects when they’ve had none, such as auditory or visual hallucinations.

How DMT Interacts With Other Substances

If you are taking DMT, do not mix it with:

Mixing with other hallucinogens can make an already strong trip even more intense and cause increased fear and anxiety.

Taken with opioids, especially tramadol, can cause an increased risk of seizure.

When taken with antidepressants, taking a high dose of DMT can result in a condition called serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin syndrome warning

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • muscle spasms
  • muscle rigidity
  • tremors
  • shivering
  • overactive reflexes
  • dilated pupils

Serotonin syndrome is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical treatment.

DMT Overdose: Be safe

When it comes to DMT overdose, the last thing you want to do is add to the climbing number of drug-related deaths in the UK. To keep this from happening, you’ve got to get help. It is the best place to receive support from experts, and that’s why you need to contact Detox Plus UK.

We’ve got the programs you need to help you shake your addiction and move on to a healthier and happier life.






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