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DMT is the name for the hallucinogenic drug Dimethyltryptamine. It comes from plants in the Amazon which can be boiled to make a potent brew or ground to form a powder. It is also produced synthetically in the UK and comes in yellow crystals or powder.
People mostly smoke DMT, although you can drink or snort it. DMT is usually one of the leading active constituents of the drink ayahuasca.
Other means of ingestion, such as vaporizing or injecting the drug, can produce powerful hallucinations for a short time (usually less than half an hour), as the DMT reaches the brain before it is metabolized by the body’s natural monoamine oxidase. Taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) prior to vaporizing or injecting DMT prolongs and maximizes its effects.
Users have described seeing the face of God, visiting other worlds and having conversations with aliens. A typical experience is by attending a desert populated by large grey owls and of being able to speak to them in an unknown language. The trip doesn’t last long, but it is incredibly intense.
DMT hits you almost instantly, usually within 10–60 seconds. If you smoke it, the trip lasts around 5–20 minutes. If you snort or drink it, the effects can last longer. Lethal complications may still occur with orally augmented DMT, especially in ayahuasca as the dose of the active constituents is at best an estimate. Excessive undigested DMT may cause fatal respiratory depression.
Lingering effects and a general feeling of strangeness can last for a few hours, and some people have unsettling thoughts for several days afterward.
Other complications include:
The experience usually ends abruptly, and some people take days to recover. They find themselves anxious, unable to sleep and can’t concentrate on a healthy life because they’re so preoccupied with what happened to them.
DMT’s not physically addictive, but it could potentially become psychologically addictive, and users need to seek professional therapeutic help to overcome their addiction.
Some people find just one experience of DMT has a lifelong impact on their mental health. Some experience flashbacks of the time they were on the drug. Others have even found it impossible to return to “normal” after such a powerful trip.
Most importantly, anyone with a predisposition to mental health problems can find that DMT agitates negative feelings.