DMT The Spirit Molecule

DMT vision of two women dancing in a set of mixed colors

DMT Versus 5-MeO-DMT

DMT and 5-MeO-DMT have been used for thousands of years in South American shamanic practices. Both substances provide a very psychedelic experience: the loss of one’s ego, the sensation of being transported into another world or dimension and obtaining information about life that you otherwise did not know before inhaling.

DMT stands for N, N-Dimethyltryptamine. The chemical has been found in many animals and plants. It is believed that the pineal gland of the human brain releases DMT during birth, traumatic and stressful situations and death. That being said, DMT is a natural molecule that is part of life.

DMT has long been used in ayahuasca brews by South American shamanic tribes. Some research is showing that ayahuasca may have benefits in treating depression, PTSD and drug addiction. Ayahuasca also helps many people break down their defense mechanisms, helping them establish new relationships and meaningful connections.

5-MeO-DMT stands for 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine. The chemical is derived from the parotid glands of the Colorado River toad (“Sonoran Desert toad”). Many claim that the DMT experience is highly visual and humbling while 5-MeO-DMT is like a near-death experience.

Michael Pollan describes his experience with 5-MeO-DMT in his book “How To Change Your Mind.” He states that he does not remember ever exhaling the smoke; the 5-MeO-DMT immediately transported him out of this world. 5-MeO-DMT is considered more powerful than psilocybin, LSD and DMT.

Like all other hallucinogens, the potential for psychological addiction is slim. Even if a person loves “tripping” on hallucinogens, their mind naturally prevents them from tripping too often. Simply put, a user will not feel determined to trip too often. Some users say that they trip once a month, every six months or even once a year.

Hallucinogens do not induce any physical dependence, and thus, no withdrawal is experienced. They also don’t cloud your mind as marijuana and other drugs do. You remain clearheaded while your perception of your surroundings and reality become altered. The experience is transcending to many people.

Lastly, it is important to note that DMT, like all other hallucinogens, have the potential to induce paranoia and anxiety. Set and setting are the key words to any hallucinogenic experience. If you enter the psychedelic world with something bothersome on your mind or are in an uncomfortable setting, you are risking a very bad experience with potential adverse consequences.

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Addicted To A Lifestyle Of Drugs

A male driver making a drug payment through window

How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction

What is surprising to hear and learn is that the love for a substance is only half the battle; the other half is the lifestyle surrounding the drug. At first, a new substance makes you very excited; its discovery and introduction into your life brings you joy and floods your mind with anticipatory “high” sessions full of fun and excitement.

Until you become hooked. You have been chasing that first high which felt so great but never attainable again. You believed that with repetitive use, that first great high would be experienced again. You soon come to an acceptance that achieving that first great high will never happen again, but now you are confronted with a new problem: withdrawal.

Many users report that the lifestyle surrounding a drug is what they enjoy: getting the natural rush when heading towards “the spot” to obtain the drug, the paraphernalia of the drug, meeting with other users to share the drug, enjoying certain activities while high on the drug, etc.

When helping someone suffering from a drug addiction, you have to understand that their lifestyle has been hijacked from them:

  • They may no longer have money
  • They may no longer have family support or friends
  • They may be suffering from a physical or mental illness
  • They may have lost all hope and drive to better themselves
  • They may be on the verge of becoming homeless
  • They may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms, preventing them from obtaining a job (their job becomes preventing future withdrawals)

We have a tendency to become irritable and distasteful towards drug addicts. But we must remember one crucial point: we are all humans battling a different type of struggle. We must not look at each other as being better or worse; rather, we need to try to understand each other’s struggles and difficulties.

Listen to a drug addict’s stories, concerns, struggles and pain! Make suggestions and give advice at appropriate times, but in a calm and supportive manner. Expect relapses! They are part of the recovery process. Most importantly, use your heart and imagine being in their shoes! Do not put on your bias lenses which prevent you from understanding where they are coming from.

And lastly, never give up hope on someone suffering from a drug addiction! If they see you giving up on them, what bit of energy is left for them to not give up on themselves? Sometimes, you may be their last hope and if they lose that as well, what else is there to live for? That is when suicide becomes a viable option in the mind of a drug addict with poor judgement and a distorted reality.

Help prevent suicide, mental illness and suffering by being kind, listening and offering help to people suffering from a drug addiction!

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Daily Dose Of Internet

Addicted young boy surfing the web on his laptop

Strung Out On The Web

AM. PM. Lunchtime or dinner. The laptop flips open. The cellphone shines on. The useless iPad makes a use for itself. It’s back. It never went away; probably never will. You depend on it too much. It has become a part of your identity that you often wish to disconnect from. The internet.

The internet has revolutionized how we search for information; we might as well add libraries into living museums. From morning to night, we are glued to the internet in some way or form. Unless stuck on a deserted island, we cannot go a day without accessing the internet.

We use the internet more than we eat, drink and socialize. It’s our number one addiction without even realizing it. The addiction is so strong that it swiftly passes unregistered through our conscious mind straight into the vault of our unconscious mind; think of an illegal border crossing with no apprehension.

Are there withdrawal symptoms from not using the internet? Who would know, since we never stop using it in the first place! Whether for work or pleasure, we are truly tangled in a sticky web of information; some of it polluted, some of it mind-blowing. We attempt to disentangle, only to find ourselves in a stickier situation when new webpages sprinkle us with new bits of information.

Some people fall down the rabbit hole beyond the rabbit hole: porn addiction, online gambling, the dark web, hacking and crime. Do they ever resurface and see reality again? Without professional help, their judgment is too impaired. Their addiction has hijacked their reward center and capacity for logical reasoning.

Is there a solution or do we continue our daily dose of the internet as caged animals in a zoo? Can the zoo be freed and its members allowed back into the wild to experience freedom as was intended from day one of creation? The answer is certainly yes!

Curbing the internet involves willpower and a desire to make a change in your life! Discipline is your friend; without it, your fingers will remain attached to the keyboard. Diversify your life in a way that involves relying on the internet less and less: start reading books, exercising and playing sports, going out in nature, meditating and spending time with others!

Your receptors have become desensitized to the internet; you are feeding a loop that will never stop on its own. Break away and be free again.

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When Eating Takes Over Your Life

Addiction to burgers, fries and soda

How To Beat Food Addiction

Not everybody who is overweight has a food addiction. Some are genetically predisposed, do not exercise and/or eat carelessly. Food addiction is when you cannot stop thinking about the act of eating and must compulsively eat larger quantities more frequently to satisfy your desire.

Some people become addicted to food because they have a low self-esteem or feel depressed. The act of eating may make them feel better because their reward center in the brain is releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine. As with anything that tastes or feels good, the process is repeated.

Some obese individuals do not feel good about themselves when they indulge in too much eating, but continue the process for unknown reasons; they just cannot stop. Their self-esteem plummets because they know that eating large quantities of food is wrong, but they do it anyway. These individuals can benefit from psychotherapy to attempt to get to the root of the problem, which is often psychological.

Some patients with bulimia nervosa may be overweight even though they are suffering from an eating disorder. The difference is that these patients will either purge or excessively exercise after eating, attempting to compensate for their excessive caloric intake. Bulimic patients can benefit from SSRIs and psychotherapy.

Defeating food addiction requires you to be honest with yourself! You need to discover why you are indulging in a destructive behavior; any addiction requires this kind of analytical thinking. If you have trouble with this process, then you may benefit from psychotherapy with a trained professional.

Secondly, you need to eliminate your favorite types of food from your home and replace it with healthy food. This is not so hard: either finish your favorite food or discard it and do not purchase it again. Once you accomplish this, it then comes down to training yourself to enjoy healthy food eaten in smaller portions throughout the day.

You will find that with determination and consistency, eating healthy food in smaller portions throughout the day will become your new norm; you will not even think about it anymore. It takes time and motivation, but with the right state of mind and being honest with yourself, it is definitely accomplishable! This process will help you defeat your food addiction!

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Opioid Use Disorder

Drawing of prescription opioid bottle

Walking Without Pain

As with any addiction, opioid use disorder is no different: the activity is tried for the first time, repeated episodes progress, tolerance develops, other activities begin to take less priority, life begins to revolve around the addiction, withdrawal symptoms appear and the cycle repeats itself.

Opioids are very addicting because they take away all of the pain in your body; imagine feeling comfortably numb for hours on end! Opioids are medications that are prescribed to patients suffering from bodily pain. When someone who does not have pain takes an opioid, their mind and body experience maximum euphoria and relaxation; this is the rewarding effect of opioids.

A user usually realizes that they have become addicted to opioids when they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms: yawning, piloerection, diarrhea, vomiting, dilated pupils, abdominal pain, insomnia, etc. Because opioid withdrawals are extremely uncomfortable, most users quickly obtain more opioids to relieve them from the physical symptoms.

Once the first withdrawal has been relieved by more opioids, a user realizes that they can never experience a withdrawal again due to the extreme discomfort associated with it. So their only option is to keep using opioids, hoping that their addiction remains easily controllable.

The problem is that their addiction takes off to new highs because of a concept called tolerance: the need for higher doses to achieve similar effects as previously achieved at lower doses. Higher doses require more opioids which require more money! If money is an issue, users turn to criminal activities such as burglaries, robberies and drug dealing to support their habit.

Not to mention that needles are shared amongst users due to convenience; it is easer to share than to seek out clean needles. This behavior promotes the spread of diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C and bacterial infections resulting in skin abscesses. Health begins to deteriorate; addicts are not very preoccupied with their well-being and also begin to eat less. This results in the loss of weight and energy; their health further plummets.

As you can see, opioid use disorder does not simply revolve around the high only. It is a multifactorial disease that is affected by euphoria, tolerance, withdrawal, criminal activity, cost and health.

What starts out as a simple curiosity for pleasure turns into a spiraling addiction that never stops spinning downwards.

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Porn Addiction Side Effects

Porn playing on black Android smartphone on gray bed sheet

Pornographic Dopamine

Porn addiction is a behavioral problem characterized by an uncontrollable compulsion to view pornographic content or material. With the internet providing easy access to thousands of sources, it is not difficult to lose your grip and become hooked!

Porn addicts are unable to stop engaging in porn despite multiple attempts at doing so. Their cravings fuel their addiction, turning into a frustrating process; they become angry when loved ones ask them to stop.

Porn addicts will deny their addiction much like substance abusers; their impulses remain secret-like. Porn addiction is known for promoting secrecy in relationships, further impacting the addict’s psychological well-being. Because addicts do not reveal their addiction, they often feel as if they’re leading a double life by hiding their porn viewing; this promotes guilt and shame.

Porn addicts may continue to view porn despite broken relationships or job loss. Relationships suffer because an addict loses intimacy and sexual satisfaction with their partner; they become emotionally distant because their partner no longer provides the desired satisfaction. And some addicts must watch porn during work, affecting their job performance and promoting failed careers.

Porn addicts may be so addicted that they spend most of their waking hours watching porn! This can result in tolerance, requiring more hours spent on more intense pornographic material to achieve the desired pleasure and satisfaction. As with any addiction, porn releases large amounts of the neurotransmitter dopamine from the nucleus accumbens (reward center) in the brain; when porn is not available, the addict feels low and quickly returns back to watching porn, leading to a new dopamine surge! And this is how the cycle of addiction continues.

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The Tweaking Crystal Meth Epidemic

Crystal meth addict standing in front of graffiti wall besides trash bags

How Long Does Crystal Meth Stay In Your System If Snorted?

Also known as crank, crystal, speed and rock candy, crystal meth is the silent epidemic placed on the back-burner due to so much attention devoted to the opioid epidemic. But since 2009, there has been a 53% increase in crystal meth reports and a 20% increase in seizures secondary to crystal meth from 2013 to 2014.

Meth is manufactured in laboratories using l-ephedrine or d-pseudoephedrine plus lithium in a condensed liquid ammonia, red phosphorus and hydrochloric acid. It can be smoked, snorted or injected; either way stimulates the central and sympathetic nervous systems.

The first stage of a meth high is called “the rush.” The user experiences a racing heart, dilated pupils and an elevated blood pressure. This stage lasts from 5-30 minutes and only occurs if smoked or injected.

The second stage of a meth high is called “the high.” The user experiences hyperactivity, rapid thinking, aggression, confusion and incoherent sentences. Meth users will use the drug for several days at a time to avoid crashing. Users also don’t eat and sleep, resulting in weight loss.

The last stage of a meth high is called “tweaking.” This is the most severe form of intoxication; usually users at this point have gone days without sleep. They may experience paranoia, unpredictability and psychosis. Some users become delusional and believe that there are bugs crawling on their skin, so they start skin-picking, resulting in multiple skins marks known as “meth sores.”

The crash” follows the high. The user will experience exhaustion and long periods of sleep. Because the experience is unpleasant and the psychological addiction is strong, the crash is followed by more meth use and the cycle starts all over.

The half-life of meth is about 10-12 hours; 50% of the drug has left the user’s body in approximately half a day. Snorting or smoking meth results in a shorter half-life as opposed to injecting it. Meth can show up in your body three days after the last use. Users who have used meth for a longer period of time will have meth in their system for greater than three days because it takes their body longer to eliminate it. Age and health also play a role: the younger the user the higher the metabolism and the healthier the user the more efficient the elimination process by the organs.

The DSM Ready Movement is here for mental and emotional support; together we can help each other overcome our problems!

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The Female Angel’s Warning

Blurred photo of a woman using Salvia Divinorum

Salvia Divinorum

Salvia Divinorum is a psychoactive mint plant native to Mexico; the Mazatec Indians have used it for centuries for spiritual divination and shamanism. In present day, it is used as a recreational drug for its mystical and hallucinogenic experiences. It is not obtainable in all states; over half have made it a schedule I drug. The long-term impact of salvia use remains unclear.

Salvia is extremely fast-acting and has a low addiction potential and incidence of side effects. There are no reported overdoses. The active ingredient is salvinorin A, a kappa opioid receptor agonist. Kappa opioid receptors regulate human perception, which is exactly what salvia does to the user.

Mazatec Indians have referred to salvia as “Herb of Mary” and believe that the plant is an incarnation of the Virgin Mary. Salvia is usually smoked, with the hallucinogenic effects occurring within a couple of minutes; the experience lasts approximately five to ten minutes.

About 1.5% of 12th graders report using salvia. It is usually obtained on the internet or tobacco shops and is used out of curiosity, to get high, for spiritual purposes or for relaxation. Some common street names include Sally-D, Diviner’s Sage, Magic Mint and The Female.

The effects of salvia include:

  • Visual distortions of bright lights
  • Delusions (i.e. believing the laptop is mad at you because the lamp is shining its bright light on it)
  • Hallucinations (believing that you, the house and the grass outside are one, or believing that a female angel is telling you to put the bowl away)
  • Uncontrollable laughter
  • Recollection of childhood memories
  • Out-of-body experiences
  • Contact with entities or other dimensions
  • Loss of contact with reality

The side effects of salvia include:

  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of memory
  • Tiredness

There are no current medical uses for salvia but current research is attempting to better understand how salvinorin A effects the brain and whether there is any potential for future medicinal use.

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The Chemical Compound Of Nicotine

Addicted blonde woman wearing blue hoodie and smoking a cigarette

Nicotine Effects

Nicotine is a toxic yellowish liquid that is the active ingredient in tobacco. It acts as a receptor agonist at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. In small doses it acts as a stimulant, but in larger doses it blocks the action of autonomic nerve and skeletal muscle cells.

Nicotine is highly addictive based on drug-reinforced behavior; the process of associating a drug with a certain behavior. For instance, you may start off smoking one cigarette at a party. The next time you attend a party, you may smoke a couple of more cigarettes. The next time you have a beer at your friend’s house, you may smoke a cigarette for the first time away from a party setting. Afterwards, you make smoke a cigarette every time you drive to your friend’s house! Your brain attempts to enhance every behavior that is related to previous nicotinic behaviors; this is the addiction!

Nicotine creates a psychological dependence in the user; every previous activity under the influence of nicotine will make the user want to repeat that activity with nicotine again. Nicotine has a way of making behaviors more enjoyable; the second that you inhale the first puff, you feel an immediate sense of relaxation as if your stress is being sucked out of you.

Take a look at Mayo Clinic to understand nicotine dependence. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 400,000 deaths per year in the United States and more than 41,000 deaths from secondhand smoke. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. That is 10 years stolen by nicotine!

The DSM Ready Community is here for anyone who is suffering from an addiction. Through support and the sharing of our stories, we can get past any roadblock that life brings us!

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World On Drugs

Two people sitting in a drug alley spray-painted by graffiti

Why You Should Not Try Drugs

The temptation to try substances stems from our burning desire to alter our consciousness and view reality from a different lens. The problem is not the alteration of consciousness, but the drugs themselves.

Other tools such as meditation and the emotion of happiness can also alter our consciousness; they provide non-harmful ways of viewing the world from a different lens. Meditation allows you to escape reality by directing your energy to your thoughts and presence, while pure happiness magnifies and enhances the present moment into something pleasurable.

Drugs, on the other hand, are tools with a high potential for developing psychological and physical addictions; some more than others. It is not worth exploring these tools for the sake of your sanity; losing touch with reality or becoming dependent on a substance defeats the whole purpose of your original quest to alter your consciousness.

The DSM Ready Movement is about promoting a natural and healthy lifestyle, where we come together to achieve happiness and success through the sharing of our experiences!

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