Dangers of DMT Addiction and Serotonin Syndrome. Signs Of DMT Abuse and Treatment.
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What is DMT?
DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug that occurs naturally in the brain and many plants. It is also known as the “spirit molecule” due to the intense psychedelic experience. DMT typically takes the form of white powder. To experience its effects, people may brew it into drinks or smoke this drug.
This substance causes intense changes to the senses, leading to auditory and visual hallucinations. The “trip” lasts around 30 minutes in total. Its street names are Fantasia, Dmitri, Businessman’s Special, and Ayahuasca.
DMT is a Schedule I substance which means it has no currently accepted medical use in the United States. Also, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse. It is illegal to buy, make, or possess this substance, under state and federal law. This is according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) . Like LSD and psilocybin, this drug produces its effects through action at serotonin (5-HT) receptors in the brain. The changes to processing and serotonin levels in the brain cause visual hallucinations, or distortions.
DMT is considered a serotonin agonist. Serotonin agonist increases the availability of serotonin at various receptors in the brain. It is one of the strongest psychedelic drugs and is sometimes referred to as an “entheogen,” a word that means “god-generated-within.” The main effect of DMT is psychological. In high doses, this drug can cause seizures, respiratory arrest, and coma.
- Rapid heart rate
- Chest pain or a feeling of tightness
- Raised blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid rhythmic eye movements
- Nausea and vomiting
- Serotinin Syndrome
Dangers Of Serotonin Syndrome
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, people who take a large amount of DMT or combining it with antidepressants are at risk of serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome happens when the body acquires an excessive amount of serotonin. Cases of severe serotonin syndrome can result in seizures, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ACDS), kidney failure, coma, and death.
Symptoms Of Serotonin Syndrome
- High fever
- Major changes in blood pressure
- Lack of coordination
- Rapid heart rate
Dependence And Addiction
The long-term effects of DMT use and abuse and addiction liability are currently unknown. Unlike most other hallucinogens, this drug does not appear to induce tolerance. This is according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) . Furthermore, there is no evidence that using DMT on a long-term basis significantly changes or damages a person’s brain. However, it can cause psychological dependence when a person repeatedly uses it to escape reality.
Most DMT users even recognize the drug to be a source of therapy and take it regularly to feel better. When people use this drug in this way, they may eventually feel helpless to stop using it and other hallucinogens. The insufficient research on the topic of DMT dependence suggests that users can develop cravings for the drug and experience psychological distress when they cannot use it. Someone who develops a habit of using this drug is more likely to suffer its effects on their health. Behaviors that indicate DMT dependence include taking higher and more frequent doses of the drug, gathering supplies of it, and spending more money on it.
Physical withdrawal symptoms to this drug are minor compared to other hallucinogens and stimulant drugs. However, users can develop strong cravings for the drug and experience psychological distress when they cannot use it, especially people who use this drug regularly to self-medicate existing mental health issues.
Signs Of DMT Abuse
- Using this drug to escape from reality or avoid unpleasant or uncomfortable memories or feelings
- Using this drug creates difficulties in a person’s relationship or financial security
- Changing the lifestyle to accommodate the use of of this drug
- Difficulty in stopping using this drug
DMT Abuse Treatment
Underestimating the severity of hallucinogen abuse such as DMT can be dangerous. Misuse of the drugs can cause persistent hallucinations and serotonin syndrome, and for some people, these effects can occur long after abuse of the drugs has stopped.
Addiction treatment in an inpatient rehab center allows individuals struggling with DMT abuse to overcome substance abuse in a safe environment, removed from any harmful triggers. In addition, a drug rehab center may provide professional care, evidence-based treatment methods, and peer support which makes all the difference in recovery success.
Behavioral counseling is a mainstay of treatment for substance use disorders and can help people quit. While optimal treatment combines behavioral counseling with medication, if medications are not available, counseling can be effective on its own. A person struggling with DMT abuse can also benefit from health screening to identify and treat medical problems that are caused by using this drug.
Find The Right Priamry Mental Treatment with Secondary Co-Occurring Addiction Diagnosis
Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up West Palm Beach Rehab. For some primary behavioral health treatment clients, medical detox and or addiction rehab may be required first. If you have a co-occurring severe substance abuse diagnosis, please contact us prior to beginning inpatient mental health therapy. Treatment services may vary. Please call us to learn which treatment options are most suited for your individual needs.