While the drug doesn’t trigger physical dependence in the same way that other drugs do, consistent use can result in psychological dependence. As a result, when use stops, withdrawal symptoms are possible. These can include agitation, nausea, mood swings, and strange behavior, among others.
In most cases, DMT withdrawal takes a few days, but it is best managed with medical care to ensure safety and lessen discomfort.
What Is DMT Withdrawal?
There is some debate as to the extent to which DMT is capable of producing withdrawal, as the drug does not seem to foster physical dependence. However, some studies show that use of hallucinogens like DMT can trigger a form of dependence, even if it’s not common.
And some medical sources find that DMT dependence is not only possible but also debilitating. Further studies are needed in this area.
DMT withdrawal is more likely to occur in certain circumstances, such as these:[3,4]
- If DMT use is initiated in adolescence
- If higher doses of DMT are used regularly
- If DMT is mixed with other substances of abuse, like alcohol or opioids
- If the person has certain individual traits, such as being older or having certain medical or mental health conditions
What Causes DMT Withdrawal?
With consistent use of any substance, including DMT, the body and brain become accustomed to its presence. They adapt to the drug, so the new “normal” state is when the drug is taken.
When the drug is not taken, the brain and body are thrown off balance. Withdrawal symptoms occur as the brain attempts to regain equilibrium in absence of DMT.
What Are the Common Symptoms of DMT Withdrawal?
Some of the most common symptoms of DMT withdrawal include the following:
- Intense fear and anxiety
- Changes in behavior and strange patterns of behavior
- Stomach upset
- Spasms in the muscles of the eye
- Changes in mood and difficulty regulating mood
- Heavy sweating
- Dry mouth
- Feelings of agitation and unease
Long-Term Issues Related to DMT Withdrawal
Since DMT is a hallucinogen, its use can sometimes trigger long-term issues. Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is a chronic condition in which individuals reexperience the symptoms of a hallucinogen when they haven’t taken the drug.
This can be very distressing, as the person doesn’t have control over when these symptoms hit. There is no established treatment or cure for HPPD.
DMT Withdrawal Timeline
There is not significant research into the potential timeline of withdrawal from DMT. Since the drug is not known to cause physical dependence, most of the withdrawal timeline relates to psychological symptoms.
Each person’s experience will vary somewhat, but most people would move through DMT withdrawal within a few days to a week. The most intense symptoms will occur in the first couple days, and most symptoms resolve within about a week.
During this time, you’ll likely experience strong cravings to take more DMT or other hallucinogens. Support is important during this time to ensure you don’t relapse.
DMT Detox Support
In an addiction treatment program, you’ll have medical and psychological support as you withdraw from DMT and other substances of abuse. Your treatment team may recommend medications to ease certain withdrawal symptoms, and you’ll begin work in therapy to help you cope with withdrawal and life in recovery.
You’ll also have supportive care, such as good nutrition, an environment conducive to rest, and the opportunity to engage in beneficial activities like meditation and exercise.
While some people attempt to detox from DMT on their own at home, your chances of success are higher if you have help. The experience is also more likely to be safe and comfortable if you have this support.
- Stone AL, O'Brien MS, De La Torre A, Anthony JC. Who is becoming hallucinogen dependent soon after hallucinogen use starts?. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007;87(2-3):153-163. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2006.08.008
- Jones G, Herrmann F, Wang E. Associations between individual hallucinogens and hallucinogen misuse among U.S. Adults who recently initiated hallucinogen use. Addictive Behavior Reports. Published August 11, 2023. Accessed August 31, 2023.
- Stone AL, Storr CL, Anthony JC. Evidence for a hallucinogen dependence syndrome developing soon after onset of hallucinogen use during adolescence. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2006;15(3):116-30. doi: 10.1002/mpr.188
- Yockey A, King K, Vidourek R. Psychosocial correlates and early substance abuse associated with lifetime hallucinogen use among Hispanic young adults. Hispanic Health Care International. 2020;18(1):4-11. doi:10.1177/1540415319868150
- Gupta M, Gokarakonda SB, Attia FN. Withdrawal syndromes. StatPearls. Published April 29, 2023. Accessed August 31, 2023.
- Hermle L, Simon M, Ruchsow M, Geppert M. Hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012;2(5):199-205. doi:10.1177/2045125312451270
- Ford H, Fraser CL, Solly E, et al. Hallucinogenic persisting perception disorder: A case series and review of the literature. Front Neurol. 2022;13:878609. Published 2022 May 6. doi:10.3389/fneur.2022.878609