DMT Treatment and Rehab

People who’ve taken Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) experience incapacitating, yet vivid hallucinations. Some say they’ve seen aliens, elves and other mystical beings that do not exist in our realm. DMT is renowned for the intense psychedelic experience you feel under its influence.

DMT naturally occurs in animals, plants and humans, but recently it’s been synthesised for its psychedelic effect. The ‘high’ is similar to what you feel when taking magic mushrooms or LSD. It’s classified as a hallucinogen and is an active principle in Ayahuasca, a herbal drink rumoured to treat cancer and other diseases. However, when people become reliant on DMT for its psychedelic high, it’s easy to become addicted.

What is DMT?

Abusing DMT leads to a short, intense sensory experience that is terrifying for some and euphoric for others. DMT can be traced to ancient culture in northern Chile, parts of Columbia and the surrounding areas. Ayahuasca is the most popular variety of DMT-containing drinks. It is brewed using the harmaline-based yag herb and DMT-based chacruna plant. The combination allows the body to absorb DMT.

DMT is a complex substance and the experience by those who’ve consumed it varies. People drink Ayahuasca to tap into unexplored areas of the mind, experience epiphanies and explore the range of healing benefits Ayahuasca offers.

In its synthetic form, DMT can be smoked, snorted or injected. In its natural form, people drink it as herbal tea. Nigerine (as it’s called in the medical community) breaks down very quickly in the body, because it’s a fragile molecule. Users start feeling the effects within five minutes of taking DMT and the high lasts 40 minutes to an hour.

In the UK, people call it ‘Dimitri’. DMT hasn’t gained the popularity enjoyed by LSD and magic mushrooms because it’s difficult to collect the raw materials and produce it. In the UK, DMT is scheduled as a Class A drug, which means it’s illegal to possess, sell or give away.

Side effects of using DMT include vomiting, increased blood pressure and coma. If you know someone in the throes of DMT addiction or are looking for help yourself, help is available.

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What is DMT addiction?

DMT is referred to as the spirit molecule, because of the associated psychedelic experience. It’s easy to become addicted to DMT. The addiction is more dangerous than that experienced with other drugs, as it’s not physical but psychological, which is harder to treat because the signs don’t manifest as quickly. Most people who are addicted to DMT won’t seek help, as they believe they don’t have an addiction problem to begin with.

Every year, the number of people using DMT for recreational purposes rises. The addiction takes hold of you quickly, before you even realise it. This stems from the desire to leave the physical realm for the spiritual experience of DMT. With each use, the experience and ‘trip’ is different. What does the next trip have in store for you? It’s curiosity that drives people to become dependent on DMT.

Addiction occurs when you can’t stop using DMT, even when you don’t want to. You constantly seek the drug and feel compelled to use it every day. When you’re off this ‘high’ for more than a day, you start craving DMT and without it, you don’t know who you are. The key indicator for substance abuse is withdrawal symptoms when you stop using. If you suffer withdrawal, you have a drug dependency problem or addiction. Either way, you need rehab treatment to resume normal functions without DMT in your body.

DMT addiction treatment

Like other hallucinogenic experiences, the ‘trip’ is different for everyone. Some have an unpleasant, dangerous psychedelic experience when they use the drug. Others have a euphoric experience, where they claim to connect with a part of themselves they didn’t know existed.

Some scientists believe we create DMT in the pineal gland. The human body is so eager to consume DMT that it metabolises it rapidly. The human body produces 5-hydroxytryptamine, or serotonin daily, almost identical to the chemical composition of dimethyltryptamine. Repeated use of DMT builds up tolerance and subsequently, you’ll require larger doses to experience the same psychedelic episode.

DMT is very dangerous for people with a history of mental health issues, as there have been reports of people harming themselves after terrifying experiences during a ‘trip’. In some extreme cases, there’s been a potential risk of suicide. The effects can’t be stopped until the drug wears off. Be careful if you’re using DMT as a substitute for drug rehabilitation, as it might worsen your addiction problem.

Treatment options for DMT addiction include detox to cleanse your body of the substance and pharmacology to help with psychological effects. Detox could be completed as an inpatient or at home. Other options include rehab treatment for DMT addiction, where doctors, therapists and counsellors use a variety of therapies such as CBT, Motivational Interviewing, group counselling, family therapy and alternative treatment models to help you fight addiction and prepare you to live without DMT, post-rehab.

Warning signs of DMT abuse and addiction

There is a difference between abuse and addiction. Addicts have no control over their drug use. Some want to stop, but are unable to quit of their free will. Abusers take drugs recreationally for the high, but only occasionally. They don’t feel the constant need to keep consuming DMT. However, the symptoms of abuse can quickly spiral into addiction. For DMT, the warning signs of abuse include dilated pupils, hallucinations, accelerated heart rate and high blood pressure.

Recreational use is a problem when it becomes an obsessive or compulsive habit. When you spend all day thinking about the next high, your health and daily life suffer. These are warning signs that you’re spiralling into addiction.

Other symptoms of drug abuse and addiction include:

  • Inability to quit because you have no control
  • Continued usage when you know the risk to your health, family and work life
  • Constant craving for DMT when you’re not on a ‘trip’
  • Hiding drug use from friends and loved ones
  • Social isolation
  • Neglecting appearance, responsibilities and family
  • Abnormal interest in religion and spirituality
  • Overusing and mixing DMT with other psychedelics

With the increasing popularity of DMT, the intention for usage is growing. People use DMT for heightened awareness, existential trips, to reach a new level of self-enlightenment, experience a different reality and to get high. The intensity of each DMT-induced trip varies according to each individual.

Those who call it ‘the spirit molecule’ say they’ve encountered deep, important revelations about their life’s purpose under the influence, while others testify of the healing powers. However, users should know that with each trip, there’s a risk of disorienting and dangerous psychedelic states that affect your mental health when the drug isn’t administered properly. You can also experience an adverse reaction to DMT.

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Effects: Short and long-term

While the brain produces DMT naturally, it is classified as a Class A drug because of its psychoactive effects. It doesn’t produce dependence like cocaine, heroin, alcohol and other substances, but the adverse effects have been established.

Users who fear LSD and other illicit drugs often take DMT because the effects from the trip don’t last longer than an hour, unlike LSD, which lasts for hours. The short-term effects are instantaneous, as your body breaks DMT down immediately after ingesting. Effects include:

  • Feeling intense joy
  • Altered perception of reality, space and time
  • Seeing intensified, bright colours
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations
  • Perceived epiphanies, believed to be given by mystical beings such as aliens and elves
  • Involuntarily rapid eye movement
  • Coordination problem
  • Vomiting and nausea when you take ayahuasca
  • Respiratory arrest and coma from high doses
  • Dizziness

A bad trip can leave users feeling disorientated, confused, panicked, violent, scared, angry, reliving past traumas, fearful of death, going insane and suffering loss of control.

The long-term effects of taking DMT are more psychological, but insufficient research is available. However, some effects include:

Psychosis and persistent hallucinations and flashbacks that happen spontaneously and frequently. Other symptoms include disorganised thoughts, visual disturbances, disordered mood, paranoia and manifestations similar to someone experiencing neurological problems, such as a stroke or brain tumour.

Why you should seek rehab for DMT and addiction

Many people who use DMT might suffer from co-occurring mental health problems. When people become addicted to DMT, they often ask themselves why they should seek treatment, when everything looks fine from their point of view.

Addiction influences your brain chemistry and affects your reward system – when you try to stop, your brain fights you. The real struggle with addiction is overcoming the power of the brain and subsequently completing detox and rehabilitation. The longer you use DMT and stay addicted, the more influence it has on your brain chemistry and the harder it will be for you to stave off the withdrawal symptoms or stay clean after rehab.

Consider that addiction is a dangerous problem, killing over 200,000 people every year. It destroys families, cripples your finances, alienates you from friends and slowly worsens your physical and mental health as time passes.

Rehab is the best treatment for DMT addiction. It provides essential tools and coping strategies that will help you start your recovery journey and stay sober. People might push you to seek treatment, but you’ll only attain long-lasting drug rehabilitation when you enter treatment voluntarily.

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DMT addiction treatment

Hallucinogens alter neurotransmitter activity and by continuously influencing brain systems, lead to psychological dependence and drug addiction. The latter can be treated with a combination of therapies and treatment structured to help users live a drug-free life and maintain sobriety.

While DMT is not physically addictive, users experience the physical urge to keep using, which is a sign that it has become psychologically addictive. You’ll have difficulties re-entering reality, after becoming used to the DMT-induced fantasy world, mixing other mind-altering drugs to increase the potency of the trip.

Treatment is available for those who have a genuine desire to stop taking DMT. Patients can choose from options such as outpatient or inpatient treatment, depending on your individual need and severity of addiction.

What’s DMT rehab like?

DMT addiction is unlike other substance abuse, because the symptoms are psychological, which requires special considerations when choosing a rehab facility that caters to your addiction treatment needs. With a psychological addiction, the signs include continued substance abuse, obsession with DMT and inability to quit.

The rehab facility you choose should have an assortment of treatment programmes designed to address the real psychological problems that led you to abuse DMT. A high population of people who abuse DMT have a polydrug abuse element. This means they also have other substance abuse disorders like alcoholism or an addiction to benzos and magic mushrooms.

At a rehab facility, the duration of your stay depends on the severity of your drug use, other co-occurring disorders, history of psychiatric problems or unsolved past traumas. You’ll work with a team of medical doctors, nurses, caregivers, therapists and counsellors. Some of the sessions involve other patients, your family and individual therapy sessions.

The first step in rehab is intake, where a counsellor or medical doctor ascertains whether you’re a good fit for the treatment programme. They consider past attempts to quit, as well as your medical history and family life. After intake, you’ll go through a detox process to flush your body of Ayahuasca or other DMT substances.

A typical day involves 12-step meetings, group therapy, doctor appointments and counselling sessions. You’ll have meals three times a day and take short breaks between sessions. You’ll also have time for homework assignments, yoga, making entries in your recovery journal, reflection, meditation and exercise.

Treatment and therapy options

Like other addictions, the treatment model for each patient is different, because you will have had different experiences with DMT and your level of dependency, medical history, past traumas and treatment goals are not the same. The first step to recovery is acknowledging you have a drug dependency problem. Addiction recovery isn’t easy and takes motivation, self-discipline and willpower to maintain sobriety in the long-term.

Types of treatment for addiction include drug detox and substance abuse treatment programmes, such as residential rehab programmes and outpatient recovery programmes. You can complete the detox programme at home if you have a low or medium level drug abuse problem. However, if you’ve been using for a long time, tried to quit in the past and failed or have a diagnosis for a mental problem, it’s safer for you to detox at a medically supervised detox facility.

Most residential rehab programmes also double up as an inpatient detox centre. For most people with DMT addiction, inpatient care is the best solution. It’s usually advised for those with co-occurring mental health disorders, medical conditions or polydrug addictions. You’ll have to stay at a facility for a period ranging from 30 to 90 days, depending on the severity of your addiction and the length of rehabilitation you’ll need.

Therapy options for inpatient care include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, recovery-oriented challenge therapy, trauma therapy, expressive therapies, psychiatric sessions and 12-step programmes, amongst other therapy models for treating DMT addiction.

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Types of DMT addiction treatment

The major treatment models for addiction are a combination of pharmacology and therapy. Other variations from these core models include:

Medication: Medication for withdrawal symptoms isn’t necessary for those dealing exclusively with DMT addiction, because the withdrawal symptoms aren’t physically dangerous. However, long-term users who’ve built up a tolerance and are having trouble re-entering reality will need anti-psychotics or anxiolytics to manage the process.

Therapy: Behavioural therapy and counselling are essential elements of addiction treatment. Family counselling, CBT and other therapy methods have successfully helped people recover from addiction and stay clean after rehab. Psychotherapy also treats mental health conditions that made people turn to DMT as treatment for psychiatric issues.

Group therapy is the best option for drug abuse treatment, as you’ll be supported by people who are going through similar issues. In cases where an addict has dual diagnosis, individual therapy works best.

Which to choose: Inpatient vs outpatient

The goal of any treatment for addiction is to cleanse your body of unhealthy toxins, help you identify issues that led to your drug use and replace negative actions with good habits and behaviour that helps sustain sober living.

Inpatient treatment centres are residential facilities where you will detox and learn skills and strategies that equip you for long-term abstinence. This treatment is recommended for individuals with:

  • Unsuccessful attempts to quit
  • No support system from family or friends
  • High amounts of triggers and stressors in their environment
  • History of chronic substance abuse

People who stay at residential facilities enjoy a supportive, tight-knit environment, surrounded by recovering addicts trying to get better and 24/7 addiction specialists, who want to help you stay sober. Inpatient rehab addresses all areas of your addiction and ensures you receive well-rounded medical care and therapy.

Outpatient rehab is suited for those who abuse DMT. They are not addicted, but have developed a mild dependency on the substance. Outpatient rehab is just as effective as inpatient rehab when you have a good support system helping you detox and provides motivation to stay sober.

With outpatient treatment, however, you’re at more risk of encountering triggers, because you’re still going to work and facing stressful situations that might inhibit your sobriety. It’s for this reason that outpatient treatment is only recommended for those with mild or moderate dependency. If you’re receiving treatment as an outpatient, you must focus on yourself, remove stressors from your life and avoid triggers that might derail recovery.

Choosing the best DMT rehab centre

According to research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are key principles of an effective DMT recovery centre that help addicts stop using drugs and live a sober life.
They include:

  • Customised treatment plan for every patient
  • Treating not just the disease and addiction, but the behaviour that influences drug use
  • Understanding that detox is not sufficient in treating addiction
  • Identifying mental disorders associated with drug use
  • Recommending duration of stay that increases the chances of long-term sobriety
  • Flexibility of modifying treatment when necessary
  • Testing patients for infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis B, C, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS
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You should choose a DMT rehab centre that performs the following:

  • Creates an individual treatment plan for your unique addiction needs, based on data collected during intake and evaluation.
  • Provides the amenities that you want. For example, you may prefer a centre with more alternative therapy options such as yoga and music lessons, or a more holistic environment.
  • The centre you choose should properly reflect your personality and meet your addiction recovery needs.
  • Provides suitable payment options for your budget. Money is an influencing factor when choosing a DMT rehab centre. Some insurers cover treatment and others might ask you to attend treatment at one of their approved rehab facilities.

Specialised treatment and therapy options

Treatment isn’t the same for every individual. Some people have complicated, deep-rooted issues that include financial woes, housing, mental problems, physical issues, poor family relationships and damaged interpersonal relationships, as well as educational and employment problems.

A specialised treatment plan addresses all these issues alongside treating the patient for substance abuse. Such treatment includes medication for physical conditions, family counselling, psychiatric treatment, financial aid, temporary housing arrangement and educational/vocational skills.

Examples of specialised rehab programmes catering to special groups include:

  • Substance treatment for victims of sexual trauma and abuse
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Dual diagnosis rehab for people with eating disorders, such as binge eating, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, EDNOS and many more
  • Behavioural addictions such as internet addiction or compulsive gambling
  • LGBT substance rehab
  • Executive/luxury rehab
  • Age-specific rehab for teenagers or seniors

Continuing and follow-up Care

Rehab isn’t the end of your recovery journey. Recovery is a continuous process that happens throughout your life. Many people have stayed sober for years, only to succumb in a moment of weakness. The best way to maintain your sobriety is to create and follow an aftercare plan.

You’ll work with a case manager or counsellor to develop a plan for transitioning from the structured rehab environment to the real world, where you’ll be surrounded by stressors and triggers. An aftercare plans helps you identify triggers, create positive responses to stressful situations and avoid temptations that might increase the chance of relapse.

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Everyone has a different aftercare plan, but options include:

Sober homes or halfway houses: These are substance-free environments where you’ll have more freedom than a rehab, because you can leave during the day. All sober homes feature mandatory drug testing and rules that prevent relapse and keep you safe.

Recovery meetings: These are help-groups for recovering addicts. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) accepts DMT users. These groups provide a judgement-free platform for people to share addiction stories, find sponsors, sober coaches and develop a support network.

Psychotherapy: an addiction counsellor, psychologist or social worker helps you work through issues. Sessions are held once or twice a week, depending on your needs.

Relapse prevention

Most recovering addicts are likely to relapse within the first six months after rehab. To reduce the risk of relapse, you must identify triggers and stressors, learning new ways to cope with them. Build a sober network of like-minded people, whose goal is to stay drug-free. Stay active, pick up a new vocational skill, learn how to play the guitar or start an exercise routine.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter or nursing home. Helping others will make you feel good about yourself and it’s a great way to apply yourself.

Avoid eating junk food or meals filled with complex or hard to digest carbohydrates. Consume healthy portions of vegetables, fruit and protein.

Treatment payment options

For a long time, many people who wanted help for addiction couldn’t access treatment because of a lack of funds to pay for treatment. Treatment options were limited to short-term detox that didn’t address psychological problems, as well as hospital-only treatment, self-help groups or rehab facilities not covered by insurance.

If you don’t have medical insurance, or if your policy doesn’t cover the full cost of rehab, you can pay with your own cash or credit card. Many treatment facilities offer finance options to patients – either directly or through a third-party lender – to make rehab more affordable, or you could consider asking friends or family for financial assistance.

Live a sober life again

Regular use of DMT increases the risk of experiencing a bad trip. If you’re caught in the grip of DMT addiction, help is available to find the right drug rehabilitation facility for you. Substance abuse treatment helps you function normally, without DMT altering your brain processes.

DMT addiction: Facts and statistics

  • DMT is classified as class A drug in the UK. This means first-time offenders who traffic DMT can be sentenced to the maximum for drug offences, which is an unlimited fine and seven years in prison.
  • Many people with DMT addiction don’t seek help.
  • After the release of Rick Strassman’s book, ‘DMT: The Spirit Molecule’, there’s been an increase in the number of people using DMT.
  • The risks of a bad trip includes respiratory arrest and coma.
  • DMT was first synthesized in 1931 by a Canadian chemist.
  • It is currently one of the most powerful hallucinogenic drugs in the world.
  • DMT in the human body is activated when a person is close to death or during REM sleep.
  • DMT is found in over 50 species of plants across 10 plant families.

FAQs

Is DMT addictive?

DMT is not as physically addictive as other substances such as alcohol, heroin, cocaine and opioids. The addiction is psychological, as you start to feel the effect almost as soon as you take the drug. It makes you believe you need to keep using, engage in risky behaviours under the influence and feel the need to mix DMT with other drugs and alcohol.

Why is DMT addictive?

DMT is addictive because it targets the reward areas of the brain and alters the brain processes, until you rely on the drug to function. With each use, it’s harder for you to return to reality. The need to escape reality increases until you can’t tell what’s real or imagined.

How do you know if you’re addicted to DMTs?

If you’ve tried to quit on your own but were unable to, you have an addiction problem. When you’re obsessed with escaping reality for a fantasy world, or you know the risk of addiction, yet you keep taking DMT, you are likely addicted to the substance. Do you crave the drug when you’ve gone 12 hours without a dose? These are all signs of drug dependency that lead to substance addiction.

Why should I seek DMT addiction treatment?

If you want to live a sober life, free of drugs and the life-threatening effects users experience, you should seek treatment. Addiction affects your relationship with your family and when you wait too long, the damage is sometimes irrevocable. Addiction kills people. You have a chance to transform your life and rehab is the best treatment option to help you maintain sobriety.

What types of DMT addiction treatment programmes are available?

Treatment options for DMT addiction include detox only facilities, inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment and aftercare.

What’s DMT rehab like?

At a DMT rehab facility, you’ll be assessed to determine if it is the right fit for you. Considerations include your medical history, social and family structures, previous history with substance abuse and mental health disorders, failed attempts to quit, co-occurring disorders and dual diagnosis. If you’re a good fit, you’ll be searched, tested and assigned to a room. Daily activities include counselling, therapy session, doctor appointment and group counselling.

What does treatment include?

Treatment includes medically supervised detox, group counselling, individual therapy, CBT, 12-step programmes and alternative therapy techniques such as yoga, painting and music.

What other factors should you look for in a rehab programme?

The rehab facility should have programmes that treat your addiction problem. They should have a range of therapy options geared towards equipping you with coping skills and strategies, coupled with relevant expertise for dealing with your individual psychological needs. You should also consider the location of the rehab facility (whether it’s close to where you live) and the actual cost of rehab.

How much does treatment cost?

The first thing to understand is that the cost of rehab depends on what you want out of it. The more amenities and different types of therapy treatment the rehab facility offers (such as a gym, swimming pool, massage) will influence the price accordingly. Other factors include size of the centre, type of treatment, length of programme and location of the rehab centre.

Does insurance cover DMT treatment?

Many insurance policies partly cover rehab treatment. However, some therapy treatment isn’t included. Your insurance provider might have a list of rehab facilities you’ll have to use if you want full or partial cover. Find out from your insurer what’s covered when making the choice of rehab facility or treatment type.

Is there an ideal length of rehab?

Most recovering addicts spend 30 days in rehab, but there is no set period. People with chronic abuse issues will require up to a 90-day stay. The same applies for DMT users with dual diagnosis, polydrug use, co-occurring disorders and people with mental health issues.

Are DMT rehabs private and confidential?

Everything about getting help for drug addiction is confidential. Your discussions in rehab and personal data is kept confidential, even from your family.

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