Rick Strassman MD performed the first new human studies with psychedelic drugs in the US in over 20 years.

His research involved the powerful naturally-occurring compound, DMT – N,N-dimethyltryptamine. Led to this substance through his earlier study of the pineal gland as a potential biological locus for spiritual experiences, he administered several hundred doses of DMT to approximately 60 volunteers between 1990 and 1995. He wrote about this research in the popular book, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, which has sold over 100,000 copies, has been translated into 12 languages, and is now available as an audio-book. It also inspired an independent documentary by the same name, picked up by Warner Bros distributing in Fall, 2011. With three distinguished collaborators, he co-authored Inner Paths to Outer Space, which looks more carefully at the common "other worlds" experience that volunteers frequently reported during his research.

Joseph Levy Escapes Death

Now available as an Audible book either on Audible or through Amazon. If you join Audible in order to buy my book, that's even better!

Joseph Levy leads a quiet life in rural Wheaton Arizona. Retired from a long career in psychiatric research and practice, he reads, writes, and walks in the mountains and hills near the Native reservation. His quiet life ends, however, when a dental crown replacement causes trouble just before meeting an internet date in California. Thus begins a year of back-to-back nightmare infections, a drug overdose, and two failed relationships. At every step, Levy is confronted by matters of life and death, love and hate, faith and doubt, trust and betrayal. Most of all, he faces what it means to be sick and to be healthy. He prays to his God, relies on his friends, examines his dreams, and entrusts his psyche to a new therapist.

Joseph Levy Escapes Death is a tale of perseverance in the face of adversity. Strassman uses several lenses to view Levy’s life: medical, psychoanalytic, and religious–both Buddhist and Jewish. Pathos and humor fill the tale, while enlightening detours examine the Holocaust, cardiovascular physiology and microbiology, and Jewish-Christian relations.

About Rick

Since 1996, Dr. Strassman has been exploring models for the DMT effect focusing primarily on the Old Testament concept of prophecy. Prophecy is a spiritual experience which takes into account the apparently external, free-standing nature of the DMT "worlds," in which one's sense of self is highly preserved and interactive. The Old Testament concept of prophecy provides an alternative to other models that borrow more heavily from Eastern religious systems, and those of Latin American shamanism. The notion of prophecy also deals directly with ethical and moral concerns, adding a crucial element to our ability to understand and integrate the content of the psychedelic experience. He is developing these ideas in his next book, The Soul of Prophecy, due to appear in 2013.

Dr. Strassman is currently Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. He is also President and co-founder of the Cottonwood Research Foundation, which is dedicated to consciousness research.

Rick's Blog

My Cartoon Persona Arrives

September 3, 2021


MinddogTV with Matt Nappo

August 7, 2021

Link to article

Mainstreaming psychedelics. Are we there yet?

November 17, 2017

In its efforts to mainstream psychedelics, the biomedical model runs the risk of proclaiming and defending particular dogmas and orthodoxies. These raise the risk of stifling inquiry into the full psychedelic experience: its mechanisms, meaning, and optimal applications. In this week’s post, I discuss the state of this mainstreaming effort, and suggest how to prevent its successes from prematurely closing the psychedelic mind. The biomedical research model has been extraordinarily successful in re-introducing psychedelic drugs to the larger scientific community and popular culture. Moderate doses, strict attention to non-drug factors, and a modest relationship with the media all have contributed...

Why Won’t DMT Go Away?

November 8, 2017

“Myth,” “arguably bullshit,” and “deserving a decent burial.” These are some of the published statements by reputable scientists reacting to various claims made about DMT. Usually, these words are used to attack “pseudoscience,” the kiss of death for scientific theories that lack merit, are patently false, and objectively falsifiable. Several theories about DMT have aroused these strong reactions. In this week’s post, I suggest that some of these reactions are appropriate whereas others are not. The psychedelic theory of schizophrenia’s decent burial, 1976 After DMT’s discovery in mammalian lung in the 1960s, psychiatric researchers sought a relationship between endogenous DMT...