Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)—also known as Dimitri, “businessman's trip,” or fantasia—is in the class of drugs known as hallucinogens and dissociative drugs. DMT occurs naturally in some Amazonian plant species and can be synthesized in labs. Synthesized DMT looks like white crystallized powder and is typically vaporized or smoked in a pipe1 or swallowed in pill or liquid form.2
The Side Effects of DMT
Common side effects of using DMT include:1,3
- Increased heart rate.
- Impaired cognitive function.
- Delusional thinking.
- Depersonalization and disassociation.
- Changes in mood or anxiety.
- Problems with sleep.
Side Effects of Taking DMT With Alcoholic Drinks
Taking DMT with alcohol can lead to unpredictable outcomes. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), little is known about the interaction of DMT and alcohol. In some cases, individuals have noted an intensification of the effects of the drugs. In other instances, mixing DMT with alcohol has led to coma, respiratory distress, cardiac arrest, or death.1
DMT isn’t a classically addictive substance in the same way that substances like alcohol or heroin are because it’s not known to cause uncontrollable drug-seeking behavior. However, some individuals do build up a tolerance to the effects of the drug, leading them to take higher doses each time to receive the desired effect.1 Over time, this ramping up of drug-taking behavior can result in certain signs of dependence, including:4
- Persistent thoughts about using DMT.
- Interference with daily life.
- Risk-taking behaviors while using DMT.
Treatment for Addiction to DMT and Alcohol
Treatment options for alcohol abuse and DMT addiction vary. Currently there is little research on the effectiveness of treatment for addiction to hallucinogens such as DMT. However, there are effective treatment options for alcohol dependence that have also been effective for DMT.1 Some treatment options that may be used for individuals abusing both alcohol and DMT, include:4
- Various inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment approaches.
- Medication-assisted treatment.
- Recovery support services and peer supports.
- 12-step programs.
Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient treatment for alcoholism and DMT dependence includes a strict schedule of multiple meetings per week over a period of time at a doctor's office. This treatment allows for individuals to stay in their community and continue to work and go to school.4
A more intensive treatment option for alcoholism and DMT dependence is an inpatient residential program. Residential treatment typically lasts from 30 days to 12 months depending on the individual's needs.4 The benefit of this treatment option is the immediate access to medical staff, particularly during the detoxification process, which can include intense withdrawal symptoms. Support groups and individual counseling is also used in inpatient treatment.
Both forms of treatment typically utilize behavioral therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Once an individual has completed inpatient or outpatient treatment for alcoholism and DMT addiction, individual and/or group counseling such as Alcoholic or Narcotics Anonymous is recommended.4
Medications can also be used to treat alcohol and DMT dependency. Certain medications have shown to help reduce cravings and the symptoms associated with withdrawal.4 While there are no currently approved medications for recovery from hallucinogens such as DMT, there are medications for alcohol dependency.2 People recovering from DMT dependency should receive counseling and behavioral therapy when also taking medication for alcohol addiction.
Recovery Support Services and Peer Supports
Recovery support services and peer supports are services that help can individuals addicted to alcoholism and DMT to meet their treatment goals by offering non-clinical services such as:4
- Transportation to and from treatment and other recovery-oriented activities.
- Employment or educational support.
- Peer-to-peer services, mentoring, and coaching.
- Spiritual and faith-based support.
- Parenting education.
- Self-help and support groups.
- Outreach and engagement.
- Staffing drop-in centers, clubhouses, respite/crisis services, or “warmlines” (peer-run listening lines staffed by people in recovery themselves).
A 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous can provide peer supports in a safe and supportive environment. This treatment option typically occurs after the individual has completed either inpatient or outpatient treatment for alcoholism and DMT addiction. A 12-step program allows for people recovering from alcoholism and DMT addiction to build a network of support with others who are also in recovery.4
A continuing care plan is recommended for the treatment of alcoholism and DMT addiction. This plan is typically created with the help of a case manager. A continuing care or aftercare plan should include a formal contract between the individual and their family or significant others stating that he or she will work toward all aspects of the treatment goals.
The plan should also include acceptance of consequences if the individual fails to meet their goals and additional steps to be taken if this occurs so he or she can continue to work toward recovery.5 Other elements of a continuing care plan for the treatment of alcoholism and DMT addiction may include individual therapy, sober living arrangements, or commitment to a 12-step program.
Hotline to Call
Please call our 24-hour hotline at 1-888-919-3845 or fill out our contact form if you need information about treatment for addiction to alcohol or DMT for yourself or a loved one who’s experiencing the effects of mixing DMT and alcohol.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015). Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs: Including LSD, Psilocybin, Peyote, DMT, Ayahuasca, PCP, Ketamine, Dextromethorphan, and Salvia.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Drug Facts: Hallucinogens.
- U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. (n.d.). The Interrelationship Between the Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs: Summary for Drug Court Practitioners.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Substance Use Disorders.
- Perkinson, R. R. (2011). Chemical dependency counseling: A practical guide. Sage Publishing.