Hello, my name is Angelo. I’m from New York. I’ve been a Heroin Addict for 12 years. I started drinking when I was 14 years old. Then I started smoking Weed. I did a little Acid in high school. Things really started to accelerate when I got to college. I started tripping on mushrooms every chance I got. Then I moved on to LSD every weekend. In 1990 I graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a degree in Philosophy. I immediately joined a band and the drummer said try some of this, it’s Blues powder. That’s when I started sniffing Heroin. I knew immediately that it was stronger than me, but I was clueless. We also started freebasing. I would stop and start over and over again. Back then kicking cold turkey was an easy three-day kick, five tops. After about five years of sniffing I wanted to see what shooting was all about. Once this began it was near impossible to stop. I got bored with the Heroin and someone turned me on to speedballs. That was it for me. My habit went through the roof, two bundles of dope to buffer the three grams of coke a day, I was a dealer and I drove to the Bronx everyday. From then on I’ve been in and out of institutions, 12 detoxes, two rehabs and a methadone clinic in four years, but during my last run which lasted two and a half years I was unable to get more than a three day stay in a detox because of insurance. My hardest kick was 17 days and not a wink of sleep. They wouldn’t even give me a sleeping pill. Every time I asked for some kind of relief they would tell me to go away and stop fooling around.
Then I discovered Ibogaine, a psychedelic Heroin addiction interrupter. I researched it for four days. I talked to Randy from the Pangea Biomedics and he was very helpful and he had been through the treatment himself, coming off of 80 mils of Methadone and shooting speedballs on top. He’s now clean 9 months. He introduced me to Dr. Martin and he was extremely nice and answered all of my questions. I decided to go. I flew to San Diego on April 23rd, Randy picked me up at 12:00 noon and we drove to the clinic in Rosarito, Mexico, just past the U.S. border. I was introduced to Dr. Martin and Dr. Ana and we covered my Medical history. Right away I could tell that they were two of the most caring Doctors I had ever met. They gave me the Ibogaine and by 2:30 – 3:00pm the Ibogaine was coming on strong. They also gave me a buzzer to call them and checked on me every half hour. When I hit the buzzer they come running.
When the Ibogaine comes on full you can’t move. I was lying in bed. The first thing that happened was that I started to hear white noise. This lasted most of the trip. Then I closed my eyes. I traveled through a field of pink stars. When they disappeared I saw two full spirits float across he room. The male seemed to be a Roman Warrior and the woman he was holding was a beautiful goddess with golden hair. They were the healthiest people I ever saw. Obviously they lived before processed foods and chemical spraying. According to the African tribe who use Ibogaine as a right of passage when a boy becomes a man, what we see are our ancestors. So it looks like I’m coming from good stock. I blame part of my digression on SAD, Standard American Diet. There was also a droning chanting throughout the trip. I saw many, many faces; they would float around and come at my face. You know how those ancient tribes use those ugly masks to ward off evil spirits. The only interpretation I can come up with is that that faces was trying to scare the devil out of me, because I have come face to face with the evil spirit himself. He grabbed my heart and squeezed it untill I couldn’t breath but was nice enough to let me live. I also saw a Buddha. I saw this giant face it was hard to make out the features but it came right at me and put its mouth on mine. I let it happen to show that I was not afraid, but next time it came at me I had nothing to prove, I ducked. I saw my mother and her mother was holding her, they were young. My mother was crying because I had put her through the hell of addiction and I felt extremely guilty. My brother would call me up every two weeks and say, “You know your going to kill mom don’t you.” My mother and father are from Naples, Italy, off the boat in 1958. They through a lot of guilt my way, also physical and mental abuse. It took a lot to come to this country with a third grade education and fifty cents, they’re Tailors. I forgive them; they don’t understand a lot of things. There was also this one face I remember I could never make it out when it was far away and it definitely looked like it had a form. When it came to my face it was a flat faceless mass, three-dimensional. All I can say about that is what my Zen master said, “form is emptiness and emptiness is form.” I kept seeing a lot of the same faces and after about 3 or 4 hours the visuals stopped and shortly after that I fell asleep. Also, just before I took the Ibogaine I was going into withdrawal. I didn’t feel any of the usual symptoms while on the Ibogaine and never did my pupils become oversized, which signifies a state of withdrawal. When I got back to San Diego I received a wonderful massage from Liza, who also works at the treatment center.
I felt a little weak for a few days with a noticeable difference each day. As opposed to the continuous pain of other detoxes I have experienced. This was by far the most tolerable withdrawal to date. Again the Doctors were wonderful. I am forever grateful.