DMT has been shown to alter the way the brain perceives reality. Users experience visual hallucinations, both with eyes closed and open. They may feel detached from themselves or have an “out of body” experience. And because serotonin affects reasoning, DMT may cause an abuser to think that he or she is having a moment of religious ecstasy, of communion with the divine. Repeat users of hallucinogens have reported “seeing” fairies, elves, and angels. Some users have had the feeling of being in the presence of God. It is this aspect of the drug’s behavior that has tied it to certain religious practices.
Foxy and AMT
Pure DMT is relatively rare on the illegal drug market. But a new generation of hallucinogens has been created that can be taken in tablet form. Two of these, “foxy” or “foxy methoxy” and AMT, mimic the actions of DMT. Tablets of foxy and AMT have been seized at raves and clubs in more than a half dozen states in the United States.
These two hallucinogens may at first appear to be legal because their specific chemical compounds are not listed as controlled substances. But since they act like DMT in the body, they are known as “controlled substance analogs,” and they are indeed illegal. Anyone caught selling or making foxy and AMT faces prosecution under state and federal laws.
Some DMT abusers also experience intense fear, anxiety, and paranoia—the feeling that other people and ordinary, inanimate objects have become agents of evil. Human faces become like masks. Furniture can seem to have human characteristics. Once the drug has produced this kind of anxiety, no antidote exists to stop it.
The user must “ride out” the experience until the DMT exits the brain and the normal levels of serotonin return. In the case of DMT, the “trip” is of short duration, but users report that the drug alters one’s sense of time. Minutes may seem like hours, and the user may have a difficult time communicating during those minutes.
Other side effects of DMT include dizziness, nausea, sweating, runny nose, and drooling. In certain extreme cases, users may experience a racing heartbeat, elevated body temperature, and convulsions. Heavy users risk brain damage and a condition called “serotonin syndrome” that can cause muscle tremors or rigidity, confusion, and changes in blood pressure.