DMT is a psychedelic drug that has some potential for addiction and abuse. The drug has been in use for thousands of years by shamans during religious ceremonies.

In recent years, the drug has gained popularity. Chelsea Handler went to Peru and used the drug for a documentary. Other celebrities have glamorized the drug, too.

But drug abuse and addiction aren’t glamorous.

Read on to discover answers to your questions about the misuse and addictive qualities of DMT.

DMT Addiction Statistics

DMT is a synthetic hallucinogen and psychedelic drug. It causes intense hallucinations. But, they only last for about 30 minutes.

Although some people become habitual users, abuse is more a problem than addiction.

General Statistics on Addiction to DMT

While there is always some risk of addiction with any drug, the risk of DMT addiction is unknown. Current research shows that the body doesn’t develop a tolerance to the drug.

The user doesn’t need higher and higher doses to achieve the same hallucinogenic effects. Thus, the risk of addiction appears lower than with other drugs.

DMT addiction and abuse

The drug impacts neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood and mental health. Psychological addiction occurs in some people who crave the psychoactive experience the drug produces.


Most DMT users are between 18 and 25 years of age. But less than 1% of Americans above the age of 12 reported trying DMT at least once.

Alcohol and marijuana are still the drugs of choice for teens. Less than 5% of high school teens reported the use of a hallucinogen within the last year.

Although DMT is synthetic, it’s also in some South American plants. One such plant is the vine Banisteriopsis. DMT is also endogenous, occurring naturally in the human brain.

Ayahuasca is a drink made from the Banisteriopsis vine. Indigenous people of the Amazon ingest the drink during spiritual ceremonies. Due to its use in religious ceremonies, DMT is dubbed the “spirit molecule.”

The drink has been used for thousands of years.

Drinking Ayahuasca causes vomiting. In the ritual ceremonies, it’s believed that vomiting purges your body. The DMT in the brew absorbs into the stomach lining. The hallucinatory experience lasts longer when ingested.

DMT can be smoked as well. The effects are much stronger because the drug hits the brain at once. The drug is also snorted or injected.

The British chemist, Richard Manske, synthesized DMT in the early 1930s. The drug gained popularity in the 1960s in the U.S. It’s been a schedule I controlled substance in the U.S. since 1971.

The Ayahuasca brew contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). Without the MAOI, the body wouldn’t feel the effects of the DMT.

Signs of DMT Abuse

More research is needed on DMT abuse and addiction. The specifics for DMT aren’t known. But we do know about other hallucinogens whose effects are like DMT.

These hallucinogens are LSD, Peyote, and psilocybin (magic mushrooms). These drugs have similar profiles when it comes to abuse and addiction.?

Sleeplessness, loss of appetite, dry mouth, and lack of coordination are all indicators of hallucinogen abuse. The long-term effects of some hallucinogens include paranoia, panic, and even psychosis.

Abuse of any drug often leads to desperate financial circumstances. The need for the drug outweighs financial concerns. Some people even turn to crime to feed a drug habit.

If you have obsessive thoughts about DMT, you could have a psychological addiction. Continued abuse of any drug crosses the line into addiction.

Am I Addicted?

The body does not build a tolerance to DMT. This makes addiction less likely. But psychological addiction may occur in some users. Habitual use of any hallucinogen can cause mental health problems.

Other signs of DMT abuse:

  • Problems with personal or professional life due to DMT use
  • Feeling out of touch with reality
  • Lying to friends or family about drug use
  • Experiencing the effects of the drug even when you’re not on it
  • Preoccupation with the drug

If you have one or more of these signs, it’s time to get help. A drug treatment center may be necessary.

Do you suspect DMT addiction in a loved one? An intervention may be the answer.

Dangers of DMT Abuse

The physiological effects on the body are potentially dangerous and even fatal:

  • Hypertension
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Dilated pupils
  • Agitation
  • Involuntary eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Coma

DMT has several effects on the mind:

  • Intense hallucinations
  • Auditory distortions
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Altered sense of time
  • Altered sense of body image
  • Feeling “out of body”

When ingested, the effects of the drug last longer, up to 45 minutes. When smoked, the hallucinatory effects wear off in as little as 5 minutes.

The hallucinatory effects are potentially dangerous. Some users lose touch with their physical reality, putting themselves in harm’s way. Users report questioning their previous religious beliefs and life choices.

In most cases, DMT doesn’t appear to have lasting harmful effects for most users. But taking the drug while on antidepressants could be lethal.

Most users drink the tea by itself, not in combination with other drugs.


DMT is a powerful hallucinogenic drug. Using DMT causes intense, though short-lived, hallucinations. Throughout history, the drug is most often taken in the form of a drink.

Most users report spiritual and life-altering experiences. But the effects are unpredictable with other users having negative experiences. Vomiting and loss of bowel function are common side effects of drinking Ayahuasca.

Some users even having trouble coming back to reality after the experience.

DMT treatment may be necessary in cases of DMT cravings and habitual use. If you suspect you or a loved one is addicted to DMT, don’t wait. Seek help today.