Mind Body Health & Politics
Mind Body Health & Politics
The Psychedelic Handbook – Dr. Rick Strassman

The Psychedelic Handbook – Dr. Rick Strassman

We sat down with esteemed author and medical doctor Dr. Rick Strassman for a deep dive on his new book; what it is and why he wrote it.

Ever wondered about the uses for psychedelic medicines such as LSD, psilocybin, Ayahuasca, and MDMA? How to use them, how to integrate their effects in to your every day life, or what potential health risks there are? Our guest this week – Dr. Rick Strassman – has the answers, fresh off of his marathon 4-hour-long appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience. Well, we only went for 2 hours, but that was a new record for my program.

Following the release of his newest book, The Psychedelic Handbook: A Practical Guide to Psilocybin, LSD, Ketamine, MDMA, and Ayahuasca, Strassman discusses his ideas on the big four and everything in between.

“I think you need to be open-minded about your experiences.”

A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Strassman obtained his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He trained in general psychiatry at UC Davis in Sacramento and took a clinical psychopharmacology research fellowship at UC San Diego. Joining the faculty at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in 1984, his clinical research with melatonin discovered its first known function in humans. Between 1990-1995 he performed the first new US clinical research with psychedelic drugs in a generation. His studies involved DMT, and to a lesser extent psilocybin, and received federal and private funding. From 1995-2008 he practiced general psychiatry in the community mental health and the private sectors. He has authored or co-authored nearly 50 peer-reviewed papers, has served as guest editor and reviewer for numerous scientific journals and consulted to various government, non-profit, and for-profit entities. 

His book DMT: The Spirit Molecule (2001) has sold more than 250,000 copies, been translated into 14 languages, and is the basis of a successful independent documentary that he co-produced. In 2008, he co-authored Inner Paths to Outer Space. He has also written DMT and the Soul of Prophecy (2014) and his first novel, Joseph Levy Escapes Death, appeared in 2019. His latest book, The Psychedelic Handbook, came out in August 2022. Dr. Strassman is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the UNM School of Medicine and lives in Gallup, New Mexico.

Show notes:

  • A visionary in psychedelic medicine, Dr. Rick Strassman

  • Leo Zeff and Richard’s interaction with him

  • Good vs. evil in the world

  • How a medicine that facilitates empathy (MDMA) can bolster racism, misogyny, white supremacy, and hate

  • Rick Strassman’s motivation for writing the Psychedelic Handbook

  • The four major psychedelic medicines

  • Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression and other conditions

  • The difference between a “guide” and a “sitter”

  • The benefits of psilocybin and LSD

  • The risk of coming unraveled

  • Richard’s experience with DMT and the universe

  • The hallmark of any full psychedelic experience is that it is more real than real

  • Marijuana paranoia

  • The cardiovascular effects of MDMA

  • Stimulated imagination that comes from psychedelics

  • Is "psychedelic tourism" safe?

  • Salvia Divinorum

  • The importance of reading, studying psychology, and religion

  • Three important questions to ask yourself when taking psychedelics

  • Micro-dosing

  • Let’s talk integration

Links and references:

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Mind Body Health & Politics
Mind Body Health & Politics
Dr. Richard Louis Miller is an American Clinical Psychologist, Founder of Wilbur Hot Springs Health Sanctuary, and broadcaster who hosts the Mind Body Health & Politics talk radio program from Mendocino County, California. Dr. Miller was also Founder and chief clinician of the nationally acclaimed, pioneering, Cokenders Alcohol and Drug Program. Dr. Miller’s new book, Psychedelic Medicine, is based on his interviews with the most acclaimed experts on the topic. Mind Body Health & Politics radio broadcast is known for its wide ranging discussions on political issues and health. The program’s format includes guest interviews with prominent national authorities, scientists, best-selling authors, and listener call-ins. The programs offer a forum and soundboard for listeners to interact with the show and its guests. We invite you to listen to the latest broadcasts below or visit our many archived programs. We’d love to hear from you on political and health issues!