What is DMT?
DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a naturally occurring hallucinogenic compound. It is present in a variety of plant species. The human brain, along with many animal species, produces DMT internally as well. DMT is the primary component in ayahuasca, which is a tea-like brew consumed orally. However, it can also be synthesized into a crystalline powder which is smoked, or more rarely, injected, or snorted.
When consumed, DMT produces powerful psychedelic effects. Like other psychoactive drugs, including shrooms, LSD, and peyote DMT acts on serotonin receptors in the brain, causing visual distortions and powerful hallucinogenic effects.
It has been used in religious and spiritual contexts throughout Central and South America for hundreds of years. It gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1960s, when it earned the nicknames the “business trip” and the “spirit molecule” among psychedelic users.
DMT is a schedule I controlled substance in the United States. This means that the drug is considered unsafe, has a high potential for abuse, and there are no currently accepted medical uses. It is illegal to manufacture, distribute, or possess the substance.
DMT and Near-Death Experiences
Many DMT users have reported experiences that were very similar to people who had near-death experiences (NDEs). This has spiked interest in both the scientific and recreational drug communities in recent years.
Multiple approved scientific experiments have administered DMT to subjects to gather insights. The results have shown several consistencies in DMT experiences and near-death experiences, including a feeling of transcending one’s body, entering an alternative realm, and perceiving and communicating with sentient “entities.” Subjects reported that they gained new insights into the processes of birth, life, and death both NDEs and DMT trips.
Is DMT Addictive?
There is no evidence that DMT is addictive or indications that DMT use creates tolerance or physical dependence in users. However, there is very little research on this subject. Further, more research needs to be done in order to fully understand the addictive properties and addiction symptoms of DMT abuse.
While DMT may not be addictive, abuse may lead to patterns of problematic hallucinogen use. This is known as Hallucinogen Use Disorder. The symptoms are similar to those of addiction
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