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Dimethyltryptamine (DMT): Prevalence, user characteristics and abuse liability in a large global sample

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Abstract

This paper presents original research on prevalence, user characteristics and effect profile of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a potent hallucinogenic which acts primarily through the serotonergic system. Data were obtained from the Global Drug Survey (an anonymous online survey of people, many of whom have used drugs) conducted between November and December 2012 with 22,289 responses. Lifetime prevalence of DMT use was 8.9% (n=1980) and past year prevalence use was 5.0% (n=1123). We explored the effect profile of DMT in 472 participants who identified DMT as the last new drug they had tried for the first time and compared it with ratings provided by other respondents on psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD and ketamine. DMT was most often smoked and offered a strong, intense, short-lived psychedelic high with relatively few negative effects or “come down”. It had a larger proportion of new users compared with the other substances (24%), suggesting its popularity may increase. Overall, DMT seems to have a very desirable effect profile indicating a high abuse liability that maybe offset by a low urge to use more.

Winstock, A. R., Kaar, S., & Borschmann, R. (2013). Dimethyltryptamine (DMT): Prevalence, user characteristics and abuse liability in a large global sample. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 28(1), 49.54. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269881113513852

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