drug is a member of the HALLUCINOGENIC substances known as indoleamines. These are compounds that are structurally similar to the neuro-transmitter SEROTONIN. Although found in certain plants and, according to some evidence, can be formed in the brain, DMT is synthesized for use. Its effects are similar to those produced by LYSERGIC Acid Diethylamide (LSD), but unlike LSD, DMT is inactive after oral administration. It must be injected, sniffed, or smoked.
DMT has a rapid onset, usually within one minute, but the effects last for a much shorter period than those produced by LSD—with the user feeling "normal" within thirty to sixty minutes. This is because DMT is very rapidly destroyed by the enzyme monoamine oxidase, which metabolizes structurally related compounds, such as serotonin.
Figure 1 DMT
The dose amount of DMT is critical, since larger doses produce slightly longer, much more intense, and sometimes very uncomfortable "trips" than do lower doses. The sudden and rapid onset of a period of altered perceptions that soon terminates is also disconcerting to some users. DMT was known briefly as the "businessman's LSD''—one could have a PSYCHEDELIC experience during the lunch hour and be back at work in the afternoon. It has, however, in fact never been a widely available, steadily obtainable, or popular drug on the street.
Hollister, L. E. (1978). Psychotomimetic drugs in man. Handbook of Psychopharmacology, 11, 389424.
STRASSMAN, R. J., & Qualls, C. R. (in press). Dose-response study of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine in humans. I. neuroendocrine, autonomic and cardiovascular effects. Archives of General Pyschiatry.
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