Dr. Rick Strassman M.D. is the author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule and DMT And The Soul Of Prophecy, in addition to co-authoring Inner Paths to Outer Space. His undergraduate studies occurred at Pomona College and Stanford University, his medical training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He served his psychiatry residency at UC Davis, and undertook a psychopharmacology fellowship at UC San Diego.

JC: It has been 15 years since your book DMT: The Spirit Molecule has been published. It covers aspects such as the trials and tribulations of the various administrative branches of the government you had to work with in order to get your studies approved. It also documents your experiences in finding the proper dosage to optimize patient experience, documenting patient experiences, and the results/aftermath of your study itself. Would you have changed anything about that experience if possible?

Dr. Strassman: I wouldn't have changed anything about the design of the initial DMT study. It needed to be a meticulously designed and executed dose-response study, rather than psychotherapeutic. And the follow-up study attempting to develop tolerance to closely spaced repeated injections of DMT, a natural follow-up within the psychopharmacological model, was incredibly interesting. I was however, increasingly constrained by that model as my studies progressed. That is, I needed to begin attempting to identify the specific receptor mechanisms mediating the DMT effect, and that would require a blockade of particular aspects of the DMT experience. These latter studies were difficult to recruit for and were frustrating for both the volunteers and me because of their focus on attenuating the DMT effect. Lack of colleagues in other disciplines, such as psychotherapy or substance abuse treatment, also limited my options at a certain point.

JC: What has been the overall feedback from the general public, the scientific community, and the spiritual community since then?

In retrospect, I needed a better team around me - both within the department of psychiatry and the research center. I had for so long been used to being a lone voice in the wilderness that once my study actually got underway, it was difficult to ask for the help and support that I obviously needed in shouldering the responsibility for such a complex project. ...[Continue reading on Reset.me]