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Treatment Options for DMT Addiction

DMT addiction can cause many negative effects, eventually reaching into every area of life. Evidence-based treatments for DMT addiction include therapy, medication management, aftercare, and support groups.

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Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring psychoactive chemical that can produce euphoria and mystical or spiritual experiences for many people. However, the drug can create a state of psychological dependence, or a compulsion to use DMT in order to continue to have such experiences.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Addiction to DMT?

If you’re addicted to DMT, you are unable to stop using it, even if you want to. You may make many plans to cut back on use, but you continually return to use of the drug. This is a clear sign that you need help.

These are some of the treatment options available to address DMT addiction: 

Therapy

Therapy is the backbone of all addiction treatment programs. While medications can play a key role in the recovery process in some cases, therapy is where the bulk of work in recovery takes place. 

You’ll meet with a highly trained professional who has experience treating clients with addictions. You’ll identify things that contributed to your DMT abuse, and you’ll devise ways to effectively manage triggers without returning to DMT use. 

Many different therapeutic approaches may be used in DMT addiction treatment. Examples include therapy types used in addiction treatment include the following:[1-3] 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy 
  • Contingency management
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Rational emotive behavioral therapy 

Inpatient & Outpatient Rehab Programs

If you enroll in an addiction treatment program for DMT abuse, you’ll have the choice of inpatient or outpatient rehab. Neither option is better for everyone. The right choice will depend on the specifics of your addiction, history of recovery attempts, home situation, and co-occurring mental health issues.[4]

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab takes place in a primary care facility or a special clinic and lasts approximately 30 to 90 days. During this time, you have access to medical care as well as regular psychological and social support via individual and group counseling sessions. Clients also participate in skill-building workshops and healthy activities that support a life in recovery. 

Examples of activities in inpatient rehab include the following:

  • Therapy sessions
  • Support group meetings
  • Mediation workshops
  • Skill-building workshops
  • Exercise sessions
  • Yoga classes
  • Group activities

Outpatient Rehab 

In outpatient rehab, you’ll live at home, but you’ll visit the treatment center regularly to participate in individual or group therapy on a consistent basis. Particularly in intensive outpatient rehab programs, the work is similar to that completed in inpatient rehab, but you don’t live at the facility. If your home environment is not conducive to recovery, you may live in a sober living home.

Outpatient rehab tapers in intensity as you gain a stronger footing in recovery. Treatment is not necessarily a linear journey. If you begin to experience intense cravings for DMT, you may step back to a higher level of treatment at any point.

Experts recommend 90 days of treatment for the best chances of continued success in recovery. A longer duration of treatment is linked to lower relapse rates.[5]

Medication 

Medication may be part of your recovery plan for DMT addiction. While there isn’t a medication designed to treat DMT addiction specifically, medications may be used to treat withdrawal symptoms or co-occurring mental health or physical issues. 

For example, if you are struggling with depression in recovery, you may be prescribed an antidepressant. And medications may be available to manage symptoms of other mental health issues. 

In a comprehensive addiction treatment program, your doctor will manage all medications. Treatment for co-occurring disorders ensures that all conditions are treated simultaneously.[6]

Holistic & Alternative Therapies

Holistic and alternative therapies are becoming increasingly popular. While they shouldn’t be the primary treatment for DMT addiction, they can augment traditional care. Any alternative treatment should be supported by evidence for its ability to assist in the management of addiction. 

Examples of holistic treatment approaches include acupuncture, yoga, massage therapy, and other spiritual practices.[7-10] 

Relapse Prevention

Relapse is often part of the journey to sustained recovery, and this is true for DMT addiction. Relapse doesn’t mean a failure in recovery, but the goal is to reduce the likelihood of it occurring.[11] 

A solid aftercare plan can help. Here are some things to include in your relapse prevention plan:

  • Keep going to therapy. Maintain regular sessions with your therapist. While the frequency of sessions will taper in active recovery, it’s a good way to stay on track with your recovery. If you feel yourself craving DMT more, add in a couple of sessions.
  • Find a support group. While 12-step groups like Narcotics Anonymous are most commonly associated with the term support group, there are many options to choose from. Other examples include SMART Recovery and S.O.S.
  • Make a daily checklist. Make a list of activities that support your mental health and recovery, and do them every day. This list might include things like exercise, journaling, getting outside, or talking to a friend. If you feel yourself beginning to slip, go back to this list, and complete it again.[12]
  • Reach out for help. Recovery from DMT addiction is a lifelong process. It’s normal to struggle. When you do, reach out for help. This can often make the difference between you relapsing or not. 
Updated March 21, 2024
Resources
  1. McHugh RK, Hearon BA, Otto MW. Cognitive behavioral therapy for substance use disorders. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2010;33(3):511-525. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2010.04.012
  2. McGovern MP, Carroll KM. Evidence-based practices for substance use disorders. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2003;26(4):991-1010. doi:10.1016/s0193-953x(03)00073-x
  3. López, G., Orchowski, L.M., Reddy, M.K. et al. A review of research-supported group treatments for drug use disorders. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 16, 51 (2021).
  4. Driessen, M., Schulz, P., Jander, S. et al. Effectiveness of inpatient versus outpatient complex treatment programs in depressive disorders: a quasi-experimental study under naturalistic conditions. BMC Psychiatry 19, 380 (2019).
  5. Proctor SL, Herschman PL. The continuing care model of substance use treatment: what works, and when is "enough," "enough?" Psychiatry J. 2014;2014:692423. doi:10.1155/2014/692423
  6. Iqbal MN, Levin CJ, Levin FR. Treatment for substance use disorder with co-occurring mental illness. Focus (Am Psychiatr Publ). 2019;17(2):88-97.
  7. Motlagh FE, Ibrahim F, Rashid RA, Seghatoleslam T, Habil H. Acupuncture therapy for drug addiction. Chin Med. 2016;11:16. Published 2016 Apr 5. doi:10.1186/s13020-016-0088-7
  8. Priddy SE, Howard MO, Hanley AW, Riquino MR, Friberg-Felsted K, Garland EL. Mindfulness meditation in the treatment of substance use disorders and preventing future relapse: neurocognitive mechanisms and clinical implications. Subst Abuse Rehabil. 2018;9:103-114. Published 2018 Nov 16. doi:10.2147/SAR.S145201
  9. Kuppili PP, Parmar A, Gupta A, Balhara YPS. Role of yoga in management of substance-use disorders: A narrative review. J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2018;9(1):117-122. doi:10.4103/jnrp.jnrp_243_17
  10. Price CJ, Wells EA, Donovan DM, Rue T. Mindful awareness in body-oriented therapy as an adjunct to women's substance use disorder treatment: a pilot feasibility study. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2012;43(1):94-107. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2011.09.016
  11. Melemis SM. Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. Yale J Biol Med. 2015;88(3):325-332. Published September 3, 2015. Accessed August 31, 2023.
  12. Patterson MS, Spadine MN, Graves Boswell T, et al. Exercise in the Treatment of Addiction: A Systematic Literature Review. Health Education & Behavior. 2022;49(5):801-819. doi:10.1177/10901981221090155
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