Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Mary Brown


Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a psychedelic drug which has a rapidly increasing user rate, giving rise to concern amongst law enforcement and public health officials around the world. While previous researchers have primarily focused their examinations of motivations for DMT use internationally with diverse populations, this study was an investigation of DMT use in the United States among its most prevalent user demographic, adult men. The purpose of this study was to bridge the gap between knowledge of motivations for DMT use internationally and lack of knowledge domestically. The theoretical foundation for this study was comprised of the self-efficacy theory and the self-determination theory. The research questions for this study were designed to examine the intrinsic motivations for both first-time and continued experimentation with DMT, and how expectations of use align with perceived benefits of use. Using a qualitative phenomenological design, face to face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 participants who were U.S. males between the ages of 18-50. Transcripts from the interviews were analyzed using a 6-step coding process which developed codes into 8 categories and 3 main themes. Study results indicated that (a) curiosity and convenience were the main contributors to motivations for initial use of DMT, (b) motivations for continued use became far more diverse, and (c) user’s expectations of use did not typically align with perceived benefits of use. Implications for social change include informing legislators, law enforcement officials, and mental health professionals of the motivations for DMT use in the U.S. adult male population to better formulate policies and practices related to this rapidly growing drug use phenomenon.