In terms of substance abuse, teen statistics show that many young people are trying more different types of drugs than ever before. Among these is one called DMT, an abbreviation for dimethyltriptamine. This isn’t exactly a new drug, as it is a natural compound that has been used by natives of the Amazon region for many years. However, it is new to many Americans and it can be dangerous. Parents of teens should be aware of this new drug and how it could impact their children.
What is DMT?
DMT is a substance that is found naturally in a plant called ayahuasca. The plant grows in the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people there have used it for centuries in spiritual and religious ceremonies. The DMT in the plant is a hallucinogenic substance that helps to contribute to these rituals. DMT was isolated from the ayahuasca plant years ago and scientists determined that it could be synthesized in a lab. People who abuse DMT do so in order to get the hallucinogenic effects. Like other hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD or peyote, DMT causes the user to hear or see things that aren’t a part of reality. DMT users can smoke the substance, snort it or inject it in a liquid solution. The resulting hallucinogenic experience lasts for up to an hour and can range from mild to severe.
What are Possible DMT Dangers?
Most hallucinogenic drugs are safer than other substances, but that does not mean that they pose no risk. All illicit drugs are dangerous and DMT is no exception. One of the biggest concerns with a hallucinogen like DMT is the possibility of a bad trip. Experiencing terrifying hallucinations can be traumatic. People have actually been found to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after a bad trip. This means that the user may experience flashbacks, intense fears and other disruptive symptoms for up to years after the drug use. DMT drug side effects and the risk of accidents are other concerns when using this drug. A young person getting high on DMT has a distorted sense of reality. This can lead to any number of accidents that can cause injury or even death. Side effects of the drug can also be harmful to a teenage user. These may include elevated blood pressure, a dangerous rise in body temperature and a high heart rate. For anyone with an unknown heart condition, these effects can be life-threatening. Statistics for substance abuse tell us that teens are abusing a variety of drugs. Marijuana and alcohol are still the most common, but teens are seeing increased access to a greater variety of synthetic substances, such as DMT made in a lab. Furthermore, almost one in ten high school seniors have experimented with hallucinogenic drugs. If you are the parent of a teen, or just a responsible adult working with young people, be aware of new and dangerous drugs like DMT. Education and awareness help to save lives.