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Fatalities / Deaths
by Erowid
Because the number of fatalities associated with 5-MeO-DMT is so low, it is difficult to determine the risk of death associated with it. The risk of death is likely higher among those combining 5-MeO-DMT with other psychoactives, or ingesting without a sober sitter present to help avoid accidents.

Below is information about two 5-MeO-DMT-related deaths. Neither death is attributable to 5-MeO-DMT alone -- both incidences involved polypharmacy, or the combining of one or more substances.

If you know of a confirmed fatality that is not listed on this page, please let us know.

Erowid has received several reports of very troubling physical reactions in people who have ingested 5-MeO-DMT with MAOI harmala alkaloids.

Incident: 25-year-old Male, 2004
December 2004, we received an unconfirmed report of a death related to the ingestion of 200 mg of 5-MeO-DMT with some amount of "yage". This death was later described in a case report and follow-up commentary in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.

The case report mentions the detection of diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine as well as DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, tetrahydroharmine, harmaline, and harmine in analysis of bodily fluids.
"A Fatal Intoxication Following the Ingestion of 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine in an Ayahuasca Preparation". Journal of Analytical Toxicology. Nov/Dec 2005.
No anatomic cause of death was found at autopsy. [...] The medical examiner ruled that the cause of death was hallucinogenic amine intoxication, and the manner of death was undetermined.
"A demand for clarity regarding a case report on the ingestion of 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) in an Ayahuasca preparation". Journal of Analytical Toxicology. Jul/Aug 2006.
...the disproportionally high level of 5-MeO-DMT reported in the decedent's blood (1.88mg/L) suggests that 5-MeO-DMT was taken subsequent to a more traditional herbal preparation.
Short term non-responsiveness or unconsciousness is frequently reported with 5-MeO-DMT smoked doses over 8-10 mg or insufflated doses over 15-20 mg. If a person begins to vomit during this time, and their airway is obstructed, the risk of accidental asphyxiation increases.

Incident: Tony Birkholz, 2017
On January 17, 2017, Tony Birkholz died in Idaho after insufflating 5-MeO-DMT following an evening of heavy drinking. Ruled a preventable accident, the cause of death was aspiration and asphyxiation.
Planet Jackson Hole. "In Birkholz death, alcohol, drug abuse were largely glossed over". Planet Jackson Hole. May 31, 2017.
Blood work indicated the 31-year-old had THC and alcohol in his system - not cocaine, as local media incorrectly reported, or DMT, which is hard to test for. Witness testimony during the inquest conducted by Blue revealed the local artist took a substance known as 5-Meo-DMT, or the compound 5-Methoxy-Dimethyltryptamine, an offshoot [sic] of DMT, the night he died.
None known. (unconfirmed)

None known. (unconfirmed)

Revision History #
  • v1.0 - Sep 21, 2017 - Erowid - Page created.