Dimethyltryptamine. That’s it’s proper name. More commonly it’s known as its abbreviation DMT.
The first time I’d heard of it was probably around five years ago. A pharmacist friend called Gary started excitedly talking about the drug whilst we were sitting in a bar one night.
“We don’t get anything like that at the pharmacy but it’s sounds crazy,” he told me. His eyes were wide with excitement as he spoke, “I’ve a friend who got hold of some, said he was transported to a white planet with brown alien insect things that told him secrets about the universe.”
I looked at him suspiciously, “So it’s a hallucinogenic?”
“Aye, but not like magic mushrooms or acid. It’s much stronger. Proper weird though if he was talking to spirit people that he reckons seemed realer than real. He told me his trip lasted fifteen minutes, but he thought he’d be gone for thirty years.”
Occasionally Gary would mention DMT after this night and how much he’d love to try it. It intrigued me too but I was a little more apprehensive. The tales of it having the potential to unlock new paradigms of the mind and allow you to live a more fruitful zen life sounded great, but anything that messes with your natural brain chemistry surely must be handled with caution.
The evening came out of the blue, Connor, a work buddy in my hometown dropped me the message, ‘Just tried DMT, most amazing experience ever.’
Immediately I was full of questions. How did he get hold of any? How much did he take? Did he feel like it had changed him?
His answers were brief, he’d smoked it with a friend, said he felt at one with the universe but hadn’t consumed enough to be talking to aliens. Then he really peaked my interest, ‘There’s more if you wanna try it?’
I’d assumed without going to a far away place I’d most likely not get this opportunity. Despite knowing I’d need to do a bit more research I instantly replied, ‘Count me in.’
I spent the following two days researching the effects, the dangers, and the potential after effects. Aside from a minority of bad experiences it was almost all positive feedback.
Connor had reported being sick while high. He said his sick became digitised and reality completely distorted. From my research this meant he’d barely reached stage two. The quantity you inhale dictates the intensity of experiences. For example…
5 – 20mg (Stage one)
Visual affects take place, kaleidoscope colours and patterns. Reality becomes warped in different (unique to the individual) ways. Some people may experience a ringing in their ears.
20 – 40mg (Stage two)
Stage two in contrast to stage one seemed to be a horrific place to be stuck for the fifteen minutes it lasts. At this point the soul feels like it’s trying to leave the body but can’t quite make it. Reality becomes so visually distorted that you can no longer see the room around you and most likely feel like you’re in a tunnel or waiting chamber of some description, or perhaps you may be in the room still looking back on yourself and feeling like you just died.
40mg + (Stage three)
Stage three seems to be where all the profound experiences take place, you’re no longer just feeling cadaverous but have transcended this reality and are now at one with the universe in a completely different dimension speaking to spirit entities and other (most likely) benevolent beings.
There was no way I was preparred for stage three, and for sure didn’t want to be stuck at stage two. I played it safe and smoked 5 – 10mg using a home-made pipe for inhalation.
Within seconds I was overwhelmed and unprepared. I felt the onset of a panic attack combined with bizarre sensations throughout my body. My throat felt as though it now had a million nerve endings and I could feel and focus on each and every one of them. Most strange was the onset of numbness in my body, but not all over. Only cubed squared blocks of my arms and upper body felt numb whilst the rest of me felt fairly normal. Certain objects became blurred or wavy and sounds became more enhanced. The first two to three minutes weren’t particularly pleasurable, but after the initial intensity of it died down it was more relaxing and enjoyable.
Noticeably my inner voice which became quiet during the first five minutes then can back to me, my mind telling myself not to do that again. Though ironically there was definitely a lust to try it again once an hour had passed and I was completely back to normal (or so I thought).
I’d taken another mutual friend, James, along with me who’d inhaled the same amount. His experience was more enjoyable and so he was more than willing try a larger amount. However once he inhaled the 20mg portion things went terribly wrong.
The first words to come out of his mouth twenty seconds in were, “I don’t like it this time,” soon followed by, “I’m going to be sick.”
We reassured him as best we could which definitely helped, but the drug had a grip on his mind, he couldn’t take it back, he would just have to ride it out.
I’ll never forget the grave look he gave as he turned to face me during an interval of vomiting into a bucket, his eyes, wide, dilated, and almost reptilian looking in that moment had nothing but fear in them. He slowly closed his eyelids and screamed, “I want my life back!”
Whatever he was experiencing was spine-chilling.
Of course, the one fortunate benefit of smoking DMT as opposed to consuming it in its edible form (ayuascha), is that it’s over within minutes. He soon returned back to normal, a little shaken, a lot paler, and evidently a few pounds lighter from the contents of the bucket. “I’ll never do that again,” he half smiled.
Needless to say I passed on the opportunity to take it again.
It’s hard to say what’s occurred in the days that have passed since that night. I’ve definitely felt more relaxed and nonchalant which I would count as a bonus. Sadly I’ve also experienced a feeling of fragility, as though my confidence took a hit but is gradually returning to normal. It’s difficult to know whether there is even any validity to this is or if it’s all psychosomatic, but my yearning to experience the deepest secrets of the universe told to me by some hypothetical creature in a dreamworld has definitely taken a back seat for the foreseeable future.