Simulating near-death experiences with hallucinogenic drug DMT

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image credit: Credit: mangojuicy | Shutterstock

Not everyone who is close to death—or thinks they are, at least—has a “near-death experience.” But those who do often hallucinate that they leave their bodies, meet otherworldly beings, see bright flashes and tunnels of light, and more. Those who take the psychedelic drug dimethyltryptamine, or DMT— a compound found in the hallucinogenic Amazonian brew known as ayahuasca—experience many of the same things. New research suggests that DMT really can simulate what it feels like to have one of these near-death experiences.

The research team administered both a predetermined dose of DMT and a placebo to a group of 13 volunteers.

After enough time passed for the participants to stop feeling DMT’s effects, the researchers had them take a standardized questionnaire related to near-death experiences. It asked them things like, ‘Did scenes from your past come back to you?’ and ‘Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light?’, as noted in the study.

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Their responses were compared to those of 67 other people who had taken the same questionnaire after having genuine near-death experiences. The answers were remarkably similar—all 13 volunteers scored above the minimum for determining that someone had gone through a near-death experience.

[I]t’s an important step forward in understanding the experience of death, and how we explain phenomena associated with near-death experiences.

Read full, original post: The Psychedelic Drug DMT Can Simulate a Near-Death Experience, Study Suggests

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