For the first time, the hallucinogenic drug dimethyltryptamine or DMT, which can cause hallucinations, is being tested as a potential drug for depression. DMT, also known as Dimitri, is a psychedelic substance found in certain plants that grow in the Amazon rainforest. Ayahuasca is the name for a tea concoction made from the extract of the plant. In his explanation, there is also artificial DMT in the form of a white crystalline powder that is used for smoking. The hallucinatory effects of DMT are usually brief, lasting only about an hour.
Researchers hope this drug can be an alternative for a large number of people who do not rely on conventional pills for depression. They believe talk therapy with the help of this psychedelic drug can offer long-term relief from symptoms. “We believe the effects will be immediate, and longer lasting than conventional antidepressants,” said Carol Routledge, chief scientist of Small Pharma, the company that ran the trial.
The drug is known as the ‘spirit molecule’ because of the way it alters the consciousness of the person taking it and causes hallucinations that have been likened to near-death experiences. According to the BBC, dimethyltryptamine is the active ingredient in ayahuasca, a traditional medicinal plant that grows in the Amazon rainforest. Researchers believe the drug can help loosen the brain’s fixed pathways, which can then be ‘reset’ with talk therapy afterward. In this study, the research team consulted with Imperial College London, which runs the Center for Psychedelic Research.
From this study, researchers hope to investigate whether DMT drugs can be given once or not. Subjects will be followed up for at least six months to see how long the treatment effects last. Regardless of the type, certain doses of psychedelic drugs can cause hallucinations. This hallucinatory effect is often referred to as ‘tripping’. The ‘tripping’ experience experienced by each user can vary, depending on the psychological situation and the atmosphere in which psychedelic drugs are consumed.