The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that over 1 million adults in the United States reported some type of hallucinogenic drug use in the past year.
The drug N-dimethyltryptamine or DMT is a potent hallucinogen that has been used for centuries all over the world for both recreational and religious practices, specifically in South America. The National Institute on Drug abuse states that hallucinogenic drugs produce extreme alterations in an individual’s perceptions of the environment and of their own states of being.
SMT is a naturally occurring substance in several plants. It can be synthetically produced and was originally done so by a British chaste named Richard Anshe in 1931. The substance became popular in the 1960s and was classified by the Drug Enforcement Administrations as a schedule I controlled substance in the 1970s. It was found the drug has a high potential for abuse, dangerous side effects, and psychological dependence. The drug currently has no known medical uses.
DMT began to rise in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, along with other hallucinogens such as LSD and Magic Mushrooms in recent years. The United States has seen a steady increase in the use of these drugs in young people.
DMT can produce several effects, feelings, and experiences with some as follows:
It is important to note that individuals that experience these symptoms without being under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be suffering from other neurological problems such as head injury, stroke, or psychotic disorder.
DMT usually comes in powder form. It can be smoked, vaporized, injected, or snorted. It can also be ingested in a tea called ayahuasca, a ceremonial tea made from the leaves of native South American plants. When snorted or smoked, the effects of DMT begin immediately and last up to one or two hours. When the drug is ingested by drinking, the effects take longer to begin but can last for four to six hours.
DMT is often used with the intention to expand the mind or grow one’s current state of consciousness. This does not change the use of the drug and comes with its own set of negative side effects and potential dangers. While many DMT users report pleasant feelings and experiences, the drug can also produce unpleasant and frightening experiences, psychological dependence, and death when combined with other types of drugs and risk factors.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, some of the side effects of DMT include:
DMT usage can have long-term negative effects on individuals diagnosed with a pre-existing mental health condition such as psychosis, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and suicidal ideation. It is also possible for those who become unconscious during the use of DMT t experience serious health complications such as
DMT produces its euphoric and hallucinogenic effects by altering serotonin receptors in the brain. When taken with other drugs that affect serotonin as well, the levels can cause a lethal condition known as serotonin syndrome.
Serotonin Syndrome occurs when the body accumulates an excessive amount of serotonin. The risk of developing his condition for those who are on psychiatric medications such as SSRI antidepressant are at high risk of developing this condition.
Symptoms of moderate serotonin syndrome include.
In severe cases of Serotonin syndrome, individuals can experience seizures, kidney failure, respiratory distress and failure, and in some cases, death.
Withdrawal symptoms vary in users of DMT depending on both internal and external factors such as environment, age, weight, preexisting health conditions, and quantity of usage. The APA reports that tolerance and dependence upon hallucinogenic drugs do exist. There are currently no formal withdrawal symptoms associated with the use of DMT, but physical and emotional dependence in chronic uses may result in symptoms of
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