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DMT Abuse In Teens


teen hallucinating after taking DMT

DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) is an illicit hallucinogenic tryptamine drug. Medical News Today explains that “DMT is a white crystalline powder that is derived from certain plants found in Mexico, South America, and parts of Asia, such as Psychotria virdis and Banisteriopsis caapi.” There are different methods a teen could ingest DMT, such as: via the nasal cavity (sniffed), intravenously (injected), inhaled (as a smoke or vapor), or drinking it as brewed tea. When ingested, DMT produces similar effects to psychedelic drugs (e.g., LSD, magic mushrooms, etc.). The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies DMT as a Schedule I substance, which are defined as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” DMT can be highly potent, and when abused one’s mental and physical health are in danger, as it can lead to severe short and long-term effects. 

Side Effects

Every individual is different and will have a distinct reaction to ingesting DMT. Depending on the teen, the DMT experience can range from intensely exciting to overwhelmingly frightening. Common side effects that can develop from taking DMT, could include any combination of the following examples provided by Healthline:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Agitation
  • Chest pain
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Paranoia 
  • Confusion 
  • Diarrhea 

The primary side effects associated with DMT include vivid auditory and/ or visual hallucinations, euphoria, and an altered sense of space, body, and time. Risks of abusing DMT include loss of muscle coordination, seizures, and persistent psychosis. It has also been associated with respiratory arrest and coma. 

How Long Does DMT Last

The intensity and duration of the effects of DMT will be directly informed by several contributing factors, such as: the amount ingested, the method of ingestion, the presence of other substances in one’s system and the amount of food in one’s stomach. The effects of inhaled, snorted, or injected DMT can last between 30 to 45 minutes long, and the effects of drinking DMT can last anywhere from 2 to 6 hours long. DMT is a rapidly metabolized substance. The average half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half, of DMT is about 12 to 19 minutes. The length of time it will take for DMT to be fully undetectable in one’s system is variable. 

DMT is not screened for in standard drug tests. To detect its presence, it requires specific urine, hair, blood, or saliva testing. A urine test can detect DMT for up to 24 hours after its ingestion. Hair follicle tests can confirm long-term drug use and can detect DMT use for up to 90 days after one’s last ingestion. DMT use can show up in saliva testing between one to twelve hours after one’s last ingestion, depending on the type of saliva test administered. DMT will only be detected in one’s blood for up to two hours after it was ingested.

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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