DiPT the Auditory Hallucinogen What Is It?

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DiPT (5-methoxy-N, N-diisopropyltryptamine, often abbreviated as 5-MeO-DIPT) is a hallucinogenic drug that has a number of similarities with other drugs in this class. It is sometimes known on the street as foxy, and a very close analog of the drug is known as moxy or foxy-moxy.

DiPT is a derivative of tryptamine, which is a monoamine and similar to the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptamine is a trace element found in the brains of mammals, including humans, and it is believed to be a neurotransmitter or a neuromodulator (a substance that affects the release of other neurotransmitters in the central nervous system).

DiPT has no currently accepted medicinal uses in the United States, although some sources suggest that it may have some neurological and psychiatric uses. It remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), indicating that it is illegal to possess in any form except for special cases where it is used in research. Special permissions from the government are required to possess and use substances in this class. DiPT has a number of hallucinogenic effects that make it somewhat popular among users of hallucinogenic drugs. According to the DEA, in animal studies, the drug is shown to have similar effects to drugs like LSD, DMT, and psilocybin.

According to information provided by the DEA, the drug may be often used as a substitute for the rave drug MDMA. DiPT can be taken orally as a powder or in tablets or capsules. It can be snorted, smoked, and may even be injected in some cases. The powder form of the drug varies in color.

A recent study of the drug in the journal Psychopharmacology indicates that the drug primarily blocks the effects of the neurotransmitter serotonin with little effect on dopamine and norepinephrine. Its psychoactive effects are not well understood; however, rodents are able to discriminate the drug’s effects from the effects of placebo; therefore, it is implied that the drug produces real hallucinogenic effects.

The Effects of Using DiPT

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, hallucinogenic drugs make up a class of drugs that produce alterations of perception that differ from the types of psychoactive effects other drugs produce. Hallucinogenic drugs produce significant distortions of reality. For the most part, these drugs primarily produce visual hallucinations – seeing things that are not really there. However, this class of drugs can alter perceptual experiences and any sensory modality, and individuals may hear, smell, feel, and even taste things that are not really there. In addition, some of the drugs in this class produce other experiences, such as feeling as if one is leaving their body or that things are not real; these are referred to as dissociative experiences.

DiPT appears to produce its effects at very small doses, and the typical dose is between 4 mg and 20 mg. The drug’s effects can begin rapidly, often within 20-30 minutes and typically last 3-6 hours depending on the dosage taken. Because drugs like LSD have much longer-lasting effects (often 12 hours or more), individuals who abuse hallucinogenic drugs find that drugs like DiPT are more convenient to take due to the effects not lasting as long.

DiPT use appears to produce hallucinations associated with sounds more frequently than with vision. When taken at lower doses, sounds appear to mix together, producing rather unique sounds that are typically lower in pitch than they are in reality. At medium to higher doses, the effects of the drug produce a number of bizarre sounds. At higher doses, music becomes disharmonious, and auditory hallucinations appear to occur.

Other effects may include:

  • Mild euphoria, talkativeness, and a loss of inhibition
  • Dilated pupils and hyperreflexia (overactive reflexes)
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Mild nausea and even vomiting
  • Issues with coordination, vision, hearing, and judgment due to the hallucinations that are produced

The long-term effects of chronic use of DiPT are not well described, but there are some reports of individuals having auditory problems. Reports of chronic use being associated with the development of King-Kopetzky syndrome; auditory problems, where an individual has difficulty distinguishing between sounds in the environment and background noise; and other auditory processing issues do not appear to be definitive, as a number of these issues appear to have various psychological causes associated with their presentation.

Long-term use of any hallucinogen may be associated with the development of a substance use disorder, specifically a hallucinogen use disorder. According to the diagnostic criteria for this disorder derived by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the development of a hallucinogen use disorder results from an individual’s inability to control their use of the hallucinogenic drug, using the drug in greater amounts or for longer periods of time than intended, experiencing cravings to use the drug, using the drug to deal with everyday stressors, and experiencing a number of dysfunctional effects associated with the drug use. These dysfunctional effects can include issues at work, in relationships, at school, etc.

According to APA, while tolerance to hallucinogenic drugs typically develops rapidly, there is no associated withdrawal syndrome that has been identified with chronic abuse of these drugs. Therefore, it is doubtful that an individual will develop physical dependence on DiPT, even if they abuse the drug for lengthy periods of time. However, individuals who use or abuse hallucinogenic drugs may develop other chronic issues associated with these substances.

One potential complication associated with chronic use of DiPT is the development of a hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. According to APA, a hallucinogen persisting perception disorder consists of an individual experiencing mild hallucinations when they have not taken the drug for a lengthy period of time; these are often referred to as drug flashbacks. While the development of this disorder is most commonly associated with chronic abuse of LSD, it appears that it might occur in anyone who chronically uses or abuses any hallucinogen. Because these flashbacks appear spontaneously, they may be quite disturbing to individuals who do experience them and may be misdiagnosed as some other psychiatric or neurological disorder, such as seizures or the onset of dementia in older individuals.

The potential to develop this disorder appears to be increased in individuals who have mental health disorders, such as personality disorders or bipolar disorder; who used hallucinogenic drugs with other drugs in the past; and who take prescription medications for anxiety or pain. There is no specialized form of treatment that can address this disorder, and the disorder appears to occur in a very small percentage of individuals who abused hallucinogenic drugs. Treatment is personalized for the individual and typically includes medication for symptom management.

Is DiPT Dangerous?

There are a number of anecdotal reports online that suggest that use of DiPT is not associated with any ill effects; however, as mentioned above, this is not true as there is a potential to develop long-term issues as a result of using the drug. The drug is not associated with the development of physical dependence and not considered to be a major drug of abuse as it is not readily available, even to individuals who use hallucinogenic type drugs. There are some sites that claim to be able to distribute the drug, and some that have instructions on how to make the drug; however, DiPT is not a major drug of abuse.

A number of other online sources claim that the drug can be fatal in high doses. This claim is not well substantiated. Perhaps the best review of the effects of DiPT and related hallucinogenic drugs was published in 2015 in the journal Current Neuropharmacology. The article presents a number of case studies documenting the effects of these drugs, issues associated with hospitalization, and any long-term ill effects. The majority of case studies that are available indicate that, for the most part, overdoses can be treated with other drugs, such as benzodiazepines, and are not fatal. There is one case study that suggests that one individual suffered a fatal overdose from an injection of 100 mg of DiPT, which is more than 10 times the normal dose that most individuals use. The article concludes that the biggest threat to the health of individuals who use these drugs is from issues associated with reduced behavioral inhibitions and poor judgment. Thus, while it certainly is possible to overdose on DiPT, as it is with any drug, the most salient dangers occur as a result of individuals using doses of the drug that are far below overdose threshold that leave themselves open for issues with poor judgment.

Treatment for a Hallucinogen Use Disorder

Because there is no reason to assume that anyone will develop physical dependence as a result of chronic use of any hallucinogen, there is not a need for mandatory residential detox when individuals stop using these drugs. However, some individuals may develop emotional issues in the early stages of recovery and may need to isolate themselves from potentially toxic environments that can increase the risk for relapse. The need for residential treatment in the initial stages of recovery is often made on a case-by-case basis by treatment providers.

Individuals in treatment for hallucinogen use disorders often require some medically assisted treatments for issues with anxiety, depression, etc., that accompany their substance use disorder and always require a structured formal substance use disorder treatment program. The program should include substance use disorder therapy, participation in social support groups, and continued medical management for any co-occurring issues. Long-term success in recovery is often associated with lengthier stays in a formal treatment program, and this is certainly no different for individuals with hallucinogen use disorders as a result of abusing DiPT.