Full talk title: 5-MeO-DMT Use in the Global Population: Insights and Perspectives for Further Clinical Development
Psychedelic medicines are increasingly being investigated as potential adjuncts to psychotherapy. They have shown great promise in the treatment of various mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), treatment-resistant depression, and anxiety-related disorders. Although psychedelic and psychedelic-like drugs such as 4-PO-DMT (psilocybin) and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) are close to being approved as viable treatment options for depression and PTSD, respectively, their long duration of psychoactive effects, and thus their costly administration, may render them less accessible to many individuals who may benefit from this type of treatment.
Thus, the psychedelic drug 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) may be a promising alternative due to its short-acting psychoactive duration and potentially effective treatment outcomes. 5-MeO-DMT is a psychoactive compound found in Bufo alvarius toads, various plants, and can also be made by synthetic preparation. It has been used for spiritual and recreational purposes, and it may have various psychotherapeutic effects. Accordingly, there has been a recent upsurge of interest in 5-MeO-DMT, which the research presented herein reflects. We recently completed a cross-sectional international survey (N = 515; Mage = 35.4, [SD = 11.7]; Male = 79%; White/Caucasian = 86%; United States resident = 42%), which gave a general picture of how the use of 5-MeO-DMT may be affecting individuals in the general population.
From the time of data collection, we have found that of those who reported being diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and substance use disorders, the majority reported improvements following 5-MeO-DMT use. These data provide preliminary evidence that 5-MeO-DMT use may be related to positive psychotherapeutic outcomes. However, because we could not control for the type (synthetic, toad venom, plant extractions) and dose of 5-MeO-DMT, the settings it is used in, and the range/quality of preparation/integration, we are limited in the conclusions we can draw about its therapeutic utility.
The preliminary evidence is promising, however, and the information gathered may help to guide future investigations with this compound. This presentation will highlight general population information, therapeutic potential, and suggestions for future researchers and clinicians who are interested to further study or enhance therapeutic potential with the use of this compound (e.g., set and setting, benefit enhancement).
Rafael has an MS in Mental Health Counseling and works as a cannabis and ketamine assisted therapist at Innate Path in Denver, Colorado. He has worked on several research projects studying 5-MeO-DMT use in global/naturalistic populations and is also the administrator of 5meodmt.org, an online forum dedicated to hosting community discussions on harm reduction, integration, and safe practices around 5-MeO-DMT use. He believes that the counseling relationship is essential to deepen, enhance, and actualize the benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy. He is passionate about finding ways to make psychedelic-assisted therapies available to all those who may benefit from it.
Filmed at Breaking Convention 2019.