View attachment 25898 Hallucinations and paranoia are among the side effects of a dangerous chemical being used in drugs sold in WA, police have warned.
Police have discovered Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, being manufactured in illegal drug labs around Perth.
"The most recent [discovery] being the seizure of 6g at two alleged drug manufacture sites at Willetton and Glendalough last week," police said.
"The manufacture process can pose a threat to health, property and the environment."
DMT, which is usually sold as a brown or beige powder, had also been found as an additive in LSD "in the form of paper tabs with various designs, the most frequent being a smiley face", police said.
Psychological effects experienced by users included visual and auditory hallucinations, altered mood, inability to concentrate and feelings of fear and paranoia.
Physical effects included pupil dilation and increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Police warned that DMT might be sold without the user knowing they were taking a different substance.
Police Assistant Commissioner (Crime) Nick Anticich said the threat of new and emerging illicit substances should be a concern to the community, particularly those who used unregulated and dangerous substances.
"Taking these drugs is a high-risk activity, especially as the composition and potency varies significantly and cannot be adequately controlled during the manufacture process," he said.
"People who take these drugs may end up in hospital in the short term either as a reaction to the chemicals or from their actions under the influence of the drug.
"In addition, the consumption of many of these substances can result in adverse long-term health effects."
It is a criminal offence to possess, sell or supply DMT and heavy penalties may apply.
Police said people in possession of such substances were advised to avoid taking the drugs and to destroy them immediately.
Human bodies naturally contain a small amount of it, as do cane toads, but a new drug that has been found in Western Australia in the past week is of great concern to Police and drug experts.
Professor Steve Allsop from Curtin University's National Drug Research Institute said he was surprised last week to hear that police had found two drug labs allegedly manufacturing dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in Perth.
"I haven't heard of it being used widely in WA," he said.
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Professor Allsop said the drug which occurs naturally in the human body, in cane toads and some plants, was far more potent in the synthetic version.
He said no one knew what the purpose of naturally occurring dimethyltryptamine in the human body was.
"Some people speculate that it plays a role in the creation of dreams, but we just don't know," Professor Allsop said.
"It is a psychedelic or a hallucinogen; it can cause hallucinations and a sense of separation from reality."
He said the drug had been referred to by some as a 'lunchtime drug' because it was short acting.
It kicks in quickly, can be extremely intense and wears off quickly.
Professor Allsop said the separation from reality meant it could be a very dangerous drug.
"There's a risk of injury if people aren't aware of whom or where they are, or could fall over, walk in front of traffic, just stray onto the road," he said.
Professor Allsop said the short lasting effects could attract some to the drug; it was also very unpredictable and could be a frightening experience for those who took it.
"A lot of people don't like it because it can make you feel different each time, it can depend on different factors, such as your mood."
He said the effects could be even more detrimental on people vulnerable to mental health issues.
Professor Allsop said the dimethyltryptamine allegedly being manufactured in Perth may have been being made for use in its own right or it could have been to add it to other drugs.
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