Author: James Anderson

Can You Overdose on DMT?: DMT Overdose Signs The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health

can you overdose on dmt

But in rare cases, it’s possible for the drug to cause seizures or a coma. At high doses, heart attacks and an inability to breathe have occurred. Moody became so taken with his findings, he said they gave him “great confidence” in an afterlife. DMT is structurally related to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Heavy use, or use along with other drugs that contain serotonin, can cause life threatening serotonin syndrome. People taking antidepressants may have a higher risk of this complication.

People illicitly use DMT for its psychoactive, hallucinogenic effects. Anecdotally, many users report taking the drug to attain spiritual insight. Scientific data suggests its effects on the brain might mimic those of a near-death experience.

can you overdose on dmt

Based on the data available so far, DMT doesn’t appear to cause tolerance, physical dependence, or addiction. The psychoactive effects may be what people are after when they use DMT, but the drug can cause a number of physical effects, too. “It has been speculated in the past that a lot of [psychedelic] experiences – not only DMT but also LSD and so on – contain themes of death,” says Chris, who led the study.

If a person were to inject DMT into their veins, there is a slightly higher chance that they would overdose via this method. This is due to the effects of DMT being felt more rapidly when injected through veins or muscles compared to when taking DMT orally. Even then, however, the chances of actually triggering an overdose are small. This will help you manage the unpredictable effects of the drug. Federal law in the U.S. classifies DMT as a “Schedule I” illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

However, while it is not common, DMT drug overdose has been fatal in very rare cases. Since DMT use is not generally considered toxic, there is not a standard treatment for a DMT overdose treatment, as there are for other types of illicit drugs. The effects of the DMT drug are primarily psychological and a person may need to get help after experiencing a bad DMT trip. Most overdoses occur as a result of developing tolerance to a drug, causing the person to take more and more of the drug until it becomes toxic to them. DMT does not cause tolerance and therefore people generally do not have to change or increase the dosage to get the same effect, making the risk of overdosing low. The effects of taking DMT are similar to that of hallucinogenic drugs like LSD.

Can DMT Cause a Bad Trip?

Microdosing is the practice of taking small doses of a drug to promote insight and creative thinking. A typical smoked dose of DMT is 40 to 50 milligrams (mg) but may be as much as 100 mg. The effects peak and plateau for 2 to 5 minutes and gradually drop off with the duration of effect totaling up to 30 minutes. There is some evidence that the body also produces DMT endogenously. This means the body makes DMT, likely in the pineal gland of the brain.

  1. The researchers can’t say exactly why ego death prompts those going through it to feel as if they’re dying.
  2. Instead, overdosing on DMT can lead to psychological effects, when the person has a negative experience with the hallucinations.
  3. You’re likely to have a bad trip if you have pre-existing mental health issues such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychosis, or bipolar disorder.

DMT is a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug that occurs naturally in various plants, such as Psychotria viridis or Chacruna. Some people call it the “spirit molecule” due to the intense psychedelic experience. There is thus conflicting evidence on whether DMT is addictive. DMT can cause intense cravings for more doses because of its short duration of action (a result of how quickly it is metabolized by the body). Serious side effects occur more frequently if you have pre-existing mental health or physical conditions.

What about psychological effects?

When determining how much DMT to take, people will adjust based on the route of administration they are using. As stated, DMT taken orally will not have an effect since it is broken down quickly. To be taken orally, it needs to be mixed with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), which will inhibit its rapid degradation.

If you take DMT along with other drugs that also change the serotonin levels in your brain, it could cause bad side effects. In rare cases, it could cause a life-threatening drug reaction called serotonin syndrome. According to Chris, many participants reported a sense of elevated mood after the study. One of the stated reasons people continue to go on ayahuasca retreats, however, is the purported transformative potential of the drug. People use DMT for the intense psychedelic trip that feels like an out-of-body experience. But a range of physical and mental side effects accompany this powerful trip, some of which can be pretty unpleasant.

Some people have described a DMT drug trip as similar to a near-death experience, where they feel like they are leaving their body and experiencing an alternate universe. Some people also report seeing or communicating with a ‘presence’ or entity that isn’t really there. The dose of DMT used in the study is a tiny fraction of the toxic dose – so participants were not on the verge of death, even when they felt they were. This feeling, known as “ego death”, has been reported by many people experiencing intense psychedelic experiences. These experiences can cause a sense of euphoria that people want to experience more than once. Due to the high potential for abuse and lack of medical use, DMT is considered a Schedule I controlled substance by the DEA and its use is illegal in the United States.

DMT Side Effects to Know About

The substance has a high potential for abuse, no government-recognized medical use, and a lack of accepted safety parameters for use. Similar to hypertension, a DMT user is at risk for tachycardia because of the rapid heart rate brought about by DMT consumption. People who have pre-existing heart conditions, or who have other health issues that may cause heart problems, are especially at risk. People with a history of mental health issues seem to have a higher risk, but it can happen to anyone, even after a single exposure. As with the physical effects, the psychological effects of DMT vary from person to person and depend on the same factors. Iona describes some of this “disorder” as feeling detached from her body and says she quickly found she was experiencing a strange, unfamiliar detachment from her sense of self too.

How much you use, any other substances you take with it (which isn’t recommended, by the way), and even your weight and body composition influence how it will affect you. “We cling to this idea that something of ego consciousness survives after death – and the idea that it doesn’t is frightening, because we’re so attached to our egos,” says Robin. It’s classic pseudoscience,” says Robin Carhart-Harris, who designed the Psychedelic Research Group study with Chris.

Your chances of a bad trip seem to be higher if you have a history of mental health conditions or use DMT while you’re feeling distressed. If a person is using DMT continually for these effects, to the point where it is interfering with their everyday life, they may need DMT addiction treatment. However, people may develop a tolerance for this drug, meaning they need to take larger doses to feel the same effects each time. Overdoses are caused by a person taking too much of a drug, to the point that it is toxic. Since it is only used recreationally, there is not a specified DMT dosage.