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What are the signs and symptoms of DMT/Dimethyltryptamine abuse?

DMT (N-N Dimethyltryptamine) is a psychedelic drug which produces intense visual hallucinations, including geometric shapes, swirling or kaleidoscopic patterns, the perception ofentering a different dimension, and seeing what are often reported as “Ethereal Beings”, which some users identify as Angels, ghosts, spirits, elves or aliens. DMT occurs naturally in many botanical sources, including plants, tree barks, seed pods, and is also produced by our brains in small amounts.

What is DMT?

DMT is a clear, opaque, or solid crystalline cluster, which ranges from white, light gray, green, to orange, or a white powder. 

How DMT is used?

DMT is typically smoked, though it can also be injected, snorted, or taken orally. It is only effective when taken orally if it is ingested in relatively large quantities, or if is accompanied by an MOAI, (Mono-Amine Oxidase Inhibitor) which are a class of older antidepressants. It is described by users as very difficult to smoke, as it is very irritating and produces a burning sensation in the throat. If smoked, it is taken in successive hits, which users report produces increasingly intense effects. It is typically taken in 15 to 60mg doses.

What are the effects of DMT on the user? 

DMT produces euphoria, time dilation and most notably, very intense hallucinatory experiences. Some users interpret this experience as more than an internal distortion of reality, but an actual internal journey to another plane of existence. The user seems to retain ego awareness, in that they have insight that they have used a drug. 

How long DMT takes to work, and how long it lasts?

DMT works in less than a minute after administration by smoking. The duration of action of DMT is very brief, only about five to fifteen minutes. However, the user will experience time dilation which will make the experience feel much longer. 

Short-term and long-term risks of using DMT  

Even regular users and advocates of psychedelics caution against DMT use, as the experience can be so intense. It is recommended by experienced users that a novice intent on using DMT gain experience first with the effects of lesser psychedelics, such as LSD or psilocybin mushrooms. The primary concern seems to be the psychological distress which can persist after the acute drug experience concludes. Individuals may feel frightened or overwhelmed by what they experienced. There is no indication that DMT is addictive, as it does not produce sufficient reward and reinforcing characteristics such as heroin or cocaine, and the experience is so intense many people will not find it enjoyable. As with any psychedelic, the user can injure themselves if they attempt to move around while under the influence. Another consideration is that the user could purchase an adulterated or misidentified toxic substance. 


Before using any psychedelic substance, the user would be well advised to carefully examine and consider their reasons, and if the risks justify the perceived rewards, or if there are lower risk alternatives to gaining insight, or a shift in perspective.