DMT Side Effects – The Dangers of This Potent Hallucinogen

Last Updated: December 18, 2019

DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is a very powerful hallucinogenic substance. Strangely enough, the brain produces it naturally. One can also find it in some plants (Psychotria Viridis and Banisteriopsis caapi). The reason why some people take DMT is to achieve psychedelic effects. It is very much like shrooms and LSD. Currently, one can be snort, smoke, or inject it in a synthetic form. This substance is not addictive. However, there is a list of DMT side effects everyone should know about.
There is a very interesting fact about DMT. It is that our body produces it during a near-death experience. As a result, it is the reason why people often report a light at the end of a tunnel in such situations.

DMT Recreational Effects

As previously said, DMT is a very potent psychedelic substance. Therefore, it produces effects very much like LSD and psilocybin. Some of the most common DMT effects include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Euphoria
  • Joy
  • Bright colors
  • Sensation of epiphany
  • Out of body experience
  • Altered sense of space and time

DMT Side Effects

DMT increases the level of serotonin in the brain. Therefore, it can cause severe adverse effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Fast heart rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Hyperthermia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Flashbacks months, even years after the last dose
  • Serotonin syndrome characterized by certain conditions. They are a lack of coordination, headache, high blood pressure, and arrhythmia. This is especially when one combines it with other drugs.

Long-Term DMT Side Effects

Some of the most severe long- term DMT side effects include:

  • Psychosis
  • Mood changes
  • Cognitive problems
  • Paranoia
  • Persistent hallucinations
  • Psychological cravings
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Brain damage

Bad Trip

In some cases, DMT users may experience unpleasant sensations known as “a bad trip”. One can tell a bad trip by:

  • Lack of control
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Agitation
  • Fear of death or going mad
  • Disorientation
  • Reliving bad memories
  • Unpleasant hallucinations

It took them months to completely recover from a bad trip and get their lives back to normal. This is according to some DMT users.

DMT Addiction Signs

It is true that there is no evidence of physical addiction to DMT. However, a person can still develop a mental addiction to this substance. Some of the most common signs of mental addiction to DMT are:

  • Drug cravings
  • Inability to stop using the drug
  • Spending a lot of money and time on the drug
  • Neglecting family and friends
  • Problems at work
  • Relationship issues

Helping DMT Addict

Make sure to follow these guidelines if want to talk with loved ones about rehabilitation options:

  • Avoid judgment and focus on problem-solving methods
  • Do not sound angry
  • Do not insist
  • Try to educate yourself before the conversation
  • Remain calm
  • Ask other family members to join
  • Ask for professional help

PowderWhen it comes to DMT addiction treatment, they base it on a combination of actions. They are cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, and education. One can conduct rehab in an inpatient and outpatient clinic. Of course, it depends on the person’s needs.
Above all, the main goal is to establish new ways of dealing with everyday problems. Then, creating new coping mechanisms without the drug. Family therapy is also important. This way, one can build a strong support system for the DMT user. An encouraging family can help him/her stay on the right track once the rehab period is over.

Page Sources

  1. Christopher Timmermann, Leor Roseman, Luke Williams, David Erritzoe, Charlotte Martial, Héléna Cassol, Steven Laureys, David Nutt, Robin Carhart-Harris. DMT Models the Near-Death Experience. Front Psychol. 2018; 9: 1424.
  2. Theresa M. Carbonaro, Michael B. Gatch. Neuropharmacology of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine. Brain Res Bull. 2016 Sep; 126(Pt 1): 74–88.
  3. Rafael G. dos Santos, José Carlos Bouso, Jaime E. C. Hallak. Ayahuasca, dimethyltryptamine, and psychosis: a systematic review of human studies. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2017 Apr; 7(4): 141–157.

Published on: May 5th, 2017

Updated on: December 18th, 2019

About Author

Peter J. Grinspoon, MD

Dr. Peter Grinspoon is an experienced physician with long-term clinical practice experience. As a former analgesic addict, Dr. Grinspoon knows precisely how important it is to provide patients with effective treatment and support. Medical writing for him is the way to communicate with people and inform them about their health.


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