DMT-Nexus Wiki:Health and Safety
DMT Health and Safety
DMT is a bottomless well of never ending confoundment, an unsolvable riddle of epic proportions spoken in alien tongues. It will call into question all that you know, all you’ve learned to accept as reality, and introduce you to a state of being which defies all comprehension.
This experience is not for everyone, and not all who choose to open the door deal well with the questions it raises. It should never be undertaken lightly or treated in a casual manner. Those who approach it with little respect often pay a psychic price.
Should you choose to proceed, be aware that integration issues may follow. What you find inside may change your life. It will almost certainly alter your deepest, most fundamental assumptions.
DMT/Ayahuasca and physical health
Researches have been made showing the relative physical safety of DMT. Ayahuasca, the DMT-containing brew from the Amazon, has been studied by multidisciplinary groups in Brazil and other countries and was shown that in reasonable doses in a careful context, it presents no negative cognitive/psychiatric/physical consequences.
There is yet little research into vaporized DMT, but there seems to be no sign that it is in any way more dangerous physically than other administration forms. There are no reported deaths from smoking DMT. Smoking it will not lead to a dangerous overdose because the onset is so quick that one can only inhale a certain (pharmacologicaly safe)amount before being gone to ´hyperspace', without being able to smoke more until one is down again.
- Somatic effects such as possibility of increased heart-rate means people with dangerous heart or other life-threatening conditions are contra-indicated, and should NOT use DMT unless they have consulted a qualified health professional about it.
- Also, it is possible that during the experience, one temporarily loses orientation in the consensus reality, so smoking/ingesting next to a cliff, sharp objects, etc, is not a good idea. BE IN A PHYSICALLY SAFE ENVIRONMENT!
- DO NOT use MAOIs (so for example an ayahuasca brew) together with stimulants or SSRI medication, this can cause serotonin syndrome and lead to convulsions or even death!
DMT/Ayahuasca and mental health
The research mentioned above (and available here) has shown that in a careful controlled setting, ayahuasca (oral DMT) use, even with a certain regularity, causes no cognitive/emotional/social problems. Users presented elevated levels of happiness and health. Nevertheless, these users were part of a strong-knit community with shared values and constant support between the members. The controlled setting they partook the substance in helped them make sense of the experience and special care has been taken in integration (see Integration section below).
Vaporized DMT, on the other hand, has not been the focus of published studies. The overwhelmingly extreme nature of the experience, as well as the almost instantaneous onset (wherein the user is launched into the peak experience within a minute or less) lends itself to the possibilities of panic and existential terror. The complete and utter inscrutability of the experience can leave one vulnerable in the aftermath. As mentioned above, integration issues big and small are not at all uncommon. Most who have traveled to any degree have dealt with this in some way. It is very important that those planing on vaporizing DMT take a special care with set and setting, approach with a respectful attitude and take time for integrating experiences.
Like with other psychedelics, DMT provides a very powerful emotional/mental experience, so those with personal or family psychiatric history are contra-indicated. A psychedelic experience can possibly waken a latent schizophrenia or exarcebate a pre-existing mental illness.
While there are several cases of 'psychological healing' and anecdotal reports of cured depressions and other mental issues, DMT and other psychedelics should not be considered a cure-all and will not heal everybody. People who are unstable emotionally or going through some very difficult moments in life should be aware of the special risks that undertaking this experience has for them. If, after informing themselves thoroughly of the possible risks, they still decide to do it, then it's recommended to do it only under the supervision of an experienced person/professional/shaman, as well as taking special good care with set and setting and integration.
There has been at least one case witnessed in this forum where a member appeared to suffer from a mental-breakdown following DMT usage. Most people who are drawn to DMT have a history of use with other substances that could potentially have had negative impacts on mental health. Some may be bringing existing problems with them- we are not aware of the mental health history of members. For these reasons, it is unclear whether isolated instances of mental health problems are due to DMT usage.
If you feel that your mental health may not be in tip-top condition, and even if it is, research very carefully before deciding if you want to commit to this path.
Frequency of use
It is unclear how often DMT can be smoked safely. There is probably a point where overuse has a negative impact on the body, mental health, or the user's life due to neglecting of friends, family and duties.
The safe limit can vary from person to person, from context to context and from moment to moment. If at any point you find that you are investing more emotional energy in 'that world' than 'this one', we strongly recommend you reduce your levels of usage or take a break altogether.
DMT is not physically addictive, and many users experience a frequency self-regulating quality to the drug. Any drug, however, has the potential for abuse, and DMT is no exception. If you feel yourself slipping into an area where you might be are overusing, listen to your inner voice. Chances are that you’re right.
One of the fundamental aspects of a psychedelic experience is how to digest what one has faced and be able to put in practice lessons in daily life. Without this part, a psychedelic experience will become meaningless, dysphoric, segregating, schizo-generating.
We spend most of our time in the normal 'waking/consensus' reality, and it is here that the real tests present themselves, it's here where we write the story of our lives and make due (or not) to our responsibilities of being alive. The difficulties of daily life shouldnt be seen as a problem we have to avoid at all costs, but rather they are opportunities for us to improve ourselves, to succeed in the tests presented by life.
While it can be extremely blissful during the effects, to see the DMT and psychedelic experience as an end to itself is a very dangerous attitude. Balance is always the key. Appreciate the gift of being alive and being able to deal with normal life. Psychedelics might be a beautiful part of the process but they are not self-sufficient and wont make your life meaningful if you dont yourself make your daily life meaningful.
Tips how to integrate:
- Talk to different people and listen to what they have to say. By definition, our vision of life and the events we went through are single-sided and self-biased. Other people, (experienced with psychedelics or not) can provide us with differing view-points that aid in our learning process, like mirrors that help us notice our blindspots.
- Put the lessons in practice, specially before taking it again. If during the experience one has received messages about how he/she should change the eating habbits, or should treat others better, or should study more, then by all means make all the effort possible to put that in practice and avoid taking psychedelics again before having achieved one's aim (even if not completely, as we can always be better, but at least to a significant degree)
- Question things! Do not believe literally and take at face-value what anybody tells you (whether its religious leaders, politicians, your friends or your psychedelic experiences). Be self-critical, put things in perspective. Specially doubt and avoid believing any experience/feeling that involves "grandeur" ideas and anything that leads to extreme dissociation from other human beings ('im the chosen one, others are sheep'). Be extremely careful with suicidal thoughts (read point 7). Anything involving violence or ideas that would disrupt other people's lives should be avoided/disbelieved at all costs.
- Balance is the key! If one is investing much more time thinking about and putting effort on psychedelic-related issues while neglecting other areas of life (family, work, health, studies), take a long break! Dedicate to life, dont worry, psychedelics will still be there in a few weeks/months/years, no need to rush.
- Remember: One may have experienced Eternal Bliss and saw the Fractal All and Everything while interacting with Hyperspacial Beings, but....... The bills still have to be paid, the house still has to be broomed, the food still has to be cooked!
- Health is a main priority! It highly pays off both in consensus reality as well as in the psychedelic/hyperspecial realm and one's conscience, if in daily life one is eating healthily, improving interpersonal relations and dealing with emotions, exercising, etc. If DMT/psychedelic use is negatively affecting your health (physical, emotional or intellectual) directly or indirectly, stop taking it, and only do it when one has significantly been working on one's health issues.
- Do not make strong decisions during/just after a psychedelic experience. So if one really feels like saying something to somebody, or quitting his job due to a realization, or something of the sort, please always wait for the next day (or week or month) or two, to think over and get the perspective from another state of consciousness. If its the right decision, one can still make it afterwards even if one has waited, but if its the wrong decision and one makes it impulsively, there might be no turning back and one can seriously disrupt his/her or other people's lives.
Where, how and how much to take
Due to the unpredictability of the effects, it is highly recommended that first timers should ingest/smoke in the presence of a sitter, someone trustable, that one is comfortable with, who can make sure one is safe.
One should consume DMT in a safe environment only! In this section of the FAQ you can find some of the main recommendations regarding the ideal setting for DMT vaporization/ingestion.
Specially with oral dosing, it is STRONGLY recommended to start with very low dosages and raise gradually in subsequent sessions, till one finds his own sweet spot. DMT dosages should never be object of competition, it is not something to brag about and nobody finds it 'cool' if one ingests or vaporizes excessively high doses.
Remembering there are strong individual variations and therefore one should always be on the prudent side, in this thread one can find information regarding dmt/ayahuasca/harmalas dosage
The incredible variety of DMT extraction routes, skills/knowledge of person extracting, and purity of chemicals will likewise be reflected in the varied purity of between different batches of DMT. That is one of the reasons why buying DMT or getting it from an unknown untrustable person is very dangerous! One could be smoking toxic solvent left overs or other impurities from chemicals used. We strongly advice that if one is going to ingest/smoke DMT, that they should only do it with DMT they extracted themselves and took special care with purity (for example using guaranteed pure chemicals, did a naphtha evaporating test, etc) or of a known person that did the same.
In this thread there are some guideliness for knowing if your DMT is ok to smoke
If you find yourself experiencing problems related to trip integration, or mental and emotional distress of any kind as a result of your DMT usage, stop all use immediately. Should problems persist after you’ve stopped, seek professional help.
We are here to help you process the experience, but an internet forum is in no way a stand-in for appropriate mental healthcare. We are here because we share a common bond and fascination, but this fascination doesn’t automatically make us trained health care professionals. In most cases, we are not qualified to make medical assessments or advise on matters of pharmacology. If you are currently receiving professional treatment, it could be dangerous not to stick with your treatment plan. DMT is not a cure-all.
If you find yourself feeling suicidal, seek professional help immediately. If treatment is not readily and immediately available, pick up the phone and call your local suicide prevention hotline. Do not act on any impulse to harm yourself or others. Integration problems will always pass with time and discontinued use.
While not exactly concerning health but definitely related to safety, anyone embarking on a DMT experience and/or extraction should be aware of the possible legal consequences of their actions. Pure DMT (and therefore extractions) will be considered illegal in all the UN-bound countries and can land you in jail if found out.
Plants containing DMT are usually in a legal grey area and it's control will highly depend on each country's current priorities and policies. Its important to be informed on your country's legal precedents and past cases to know what risks one is facing, specially when ordering/importing ethnobotanical plants from other countries.
With DMT's legal status, it becomes of utmost importance that anyone extracting becomes very careful not to arouse suspicion when buying chemicals (preferably buy over-the-counter as opposed to ordering, always have legal excuses for buying the products in case you're asked, dont buy chemicals that are highly watched, for example dont order lye in places with high meth production otherwise one might be thought to be producing meth, etc)
When extracting, be careful with nosy neighbours. Evapping petrochemical solvents, for example, will produce a smell that might call attention, so only do it if you dont have neighbours or have a well ventilated area where neighbours wont have access to.
Do not brag about extracting/having DMT: it shouldnt be a tool for puffing up one's ego, and it will call negative attention. People might start talking and it can fall in the ears of the wrong people, eventually authorities or in the very least of people who have bad disrespectful attitude.
Only mention DMT (or share) to those who you know will be really respectful, will know how to keep quiet and will appreciate the value.
If you have any issues with the law, consult a lawyer immediately!