In the modern era of technology, the internet has become overwhelmed with options to purchase “safe” and in many cases, “legal” ways to get high. There are various options for mind-altering substances that are human-made. These substances can be purchased in convenience stores, gas stations, and are often sold as legal household items that are under the guises of plant food or research chemicals. These substances will contain labels such as “not for human consumption” as a means to avoid being regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The drugs are regularly abused for their psychedelic effects, and research chemicals like 4-HO-MET fall into that category. The problem with drugs like 4-HO-MET is that they are unregulated and often synthesized in clandestine labs with novice chemists. One tweak of the chemistry can change the structure of the substance, and that can create life-threatening symptoms; there is no way of knowing without the proper testing.
Research chemicals have the potential to be even more dangerous than widely known drugs such as heroin or methamphetamine because we don’t know anything of their powers. These substances are hazardous, but there are years of research studying their effects, and we know what to expect.
There are hundreds of different chemical compounds circulating the market, and many drugs haven’t even hit the internet. A majority of the drugs remain legal, but for those that have been banned, a mere manipulation of the chemistry allows for the substance to become technically legal again. This is one way that drug manufacturers sneak around the law and continue to market their products legally.
The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act, which was passed in 2012, placed many of the synthetic compounds being abused for their psychoactive effects into Schedule I. This classification means the drugs are illegal in the United States and considered dangerous. It also means they are potentially addictive and have no approved medicinal value.
As of 2015, 500 synthetic drugs had been identified. Of those, a psychedelic tryptamine known as 4-HO-MET was also identified. While little research has been done making information scarce, there is still enough to know about some of the effects. Unfortunately, synthetic drugs are an emerging and evolving threat, and addiction to the drugs is becoming more prevalent. Let’s take a look at 4-HO-MET.
What Is 4-HO-MET?
4-Hydroxy-N-methyl-N-ethyltryptamine, also known as colour, methylcybin, and metocin, it is a lesser-known psychedelic drug in the tryptamine class. The drug is chemically similar to psilocin, the active ingredient in psilocybin mushrooms. As with all tryptamines, the substance interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain causing its psychedelic effects. The chemist Alexander Shulgin initially synthesized the drug, and reports of its use began appearing in the late 2000s after its induction in the online research chemicals market.
Users have described 4-HO-MET as a more recreational version of psilocybin mushrooms due to its “less serious” headspace and greater emphasis on visual effects. Other users have described the experience as milder than taking mushrooms, and some of the impacts are time distortion, enhanced introspection, and ego loss. There is a shortage of information about the substance, but we are aware that using in high doses can cause toxicity. Harm reduction websites advise precaution when using 4-HO-MET.
What Are the Effects of 4-HO-MET?
All psychedelics have the potential to be potent drugs, but when consuming drugs with little research, it is essential to take extra precautions. The information available about 4-HO-MET is all user based meaning it is subjective. The threshold dose is 5 mg (milligrams), and a heavy dose is considered 45 mg (milligrams) or more. The total duration of the experience can range from four to six hours with the peaking lasting around two hours. Since it shares similarities with psilocybin mushrooms, it has the potential to produce intense physical trips.
The Most Common Physical Side Effects Reported By Users Include:
- Pleasurable body sensations
- Dissociative effects
- Temperature regulation suppression
- Muscle contractions
- Increased heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Teary eyes
- Teeth grinding
- Brain zaps (head or brain zaps that feel like a sudden jolt by a strong electric charge)
- Potential for seizures
Some of the Cognitive Effects That Users Reported Under the Influence of 4-HO-MET Are:
- Enhanced creativity
- Enhanced analysis
- Conceptual thinking
- Suppressed memory
- Fits of laughter
- Increase in sense of humor
Is 4-HO-MET a Safe Research Chemical?
While the substance mirrors psychedelic drugs we are familiar with, no concrete information says the drug is safe. The problem with research chemicals is that they are often prepared by novice chemists, which means those who produce them can make a mistake at any turn. It is easy to sell a product online and market it as one product but sell something completely different. Most research chemicals that can be found online are not safe.
Each time you consume a research chemical like 4-HO-MET, you are playing Russian roulette with your life. Psychedelic drugs tend to interfere with underlying psychological issues, and the adverse effects can lead to severe health problems.
4-HO-MET is unpredictable, and as a psychedelic drug, it can lead to dangerous mood swings and erratic behavior that’s not safe for anyone to be around. If the user experiences a bad trip and has a hallucination they swear is real, it will trigger their fight-or-flight response, which could create a dangerous situation. It is strongly advised not to use 4-HO-MET or any research drug for that matter. There is not enough research to understand how these drugs can affect you in the long run.
If you or someone you know has become dependent on using 4-HO-MET, there are options available for treatment. It’s good to know which treatment is sufficient for helping someone using psychedelic research chemicals.
Treatment Options for 4-HO-MET
Medical detoxification is the first step in the continuum of care. Psychedelics do not produce the same physical dependence such as benzodiazepines or alcohol, so the detox process is less complicated. This means detox can be done on an outpatient basis. However, because little is known about the drug, detoxing could be dangerous.
When you arrive at the facility, you will undergo a thorough evaluation that will be used to determine your placement. If the specialists decide that detox is too unpredictable, they could keep you onsite to ensure your safety.
After detox, you could be placed in a residential treatment center. If you are given a dual diagnosis or have any underlying medical conditions, this option will be the most sufficient for your needs. Treatment must be tailored to your specific needs, and the team will be looking out for your needs. Treatment is an enlightening process that will allow you to attend therapy sessions geared toward getting to the root of your drug use. It is designed to curb future behaviors and integrate yourself back into society sober.
If you or anyone that you know is using 4-HO-MET and use has moved past the experimental stage, they must seek treatment immediately. A lack of research means we cannot determine how it will affect you long-term.
Start On the Road to Recovery Today
If you or someone you know is consuming 4-HO-MET and has lost control, know that help is available. To learn more about addiction treatment, speak to an addiction treatment specialist at Serenity at Summit by calling 844-432-0416 or reach out to us online. There are many options available to treat you, and we want to be the light at the end of the tunnel.