So I sent Vice Magazine a pretty brilliant pitch about Ibogaine, the drug used to treat heroin addiction (mostly) copied here for your enjoyment (not all of this is true, BTW:)

You at Vice Magazine are the only fuckers brave enough to publish pieces of a little genre I like to call “drug tourism,” so of course I came straight to you when I formed the positively brilliant idea for an essay on Ibogaine, the naturally-occurring hallucinogen with psychedelic and dissociative properties that is used in a few countries to treat opium addiction.  And yes, a good chunk of that technical explanation came straight from Wikipedia.

Your knowledge of Ibogaine could be quite vast, so please forgive me if I sound like a condescending Timothy Leary for a paragraph or so.  Ibogaine is mainly used in African aging rituals –– African bar mitzvahs are much cooler than American ones –– and was brought to Europe in the late 19th century.  In the 1960s in the US, after rumors of Ibogaine’s side effects spread, scientific researcher (and former druggie) Howard Lotsof began to study its use in the treatment of those with substance abuse problems.  It remains legal in Canada and Mexico but not in the United States because, as everyone knows, the US is always the loser in that department.

A person who takes Ibogaine –– usually ingested intravenously or orally –– will experience intense and vivid hallucinations for up to twelve hours, along with lack of mobility, nausea and maybe a little vomming.  People who have used Ibogaine have reported they’ve seen, “Adam and Eve,” “hands going over the top of my head and cradling my brain, “little toy spaceships!,” “the image of a women walking with a rainbow streaming out of her body, every color representing an emotion,” “beautiful faces… scintillating again red and green blowing kisses, winking, and mouthing words I could not hear,” and “earth and its molecules combining to create other molecules,” among other things.  The hallucination stage is followed by a stage of serious introspection and quiet self-evaluation that usually lasts about a day or two.  One man who underwent Ibogaine treatment, interviewed in the 2007 documentary Facing the Habit, said that an African chief once told him that Ibogaine “is God’s way of telling you that you are His.”  And as a white person full of undeserved existential angst, to me, this sounds like the most amazing medicine.  So I offer myself up to you and to the drug-consuming public at large as a guinea pig of sorts: I will take Ibogaine, trip face AND balls, see snakes emerging from Jesus’ eye sockets and my mother give birth to baby elephants, wake up, ponder my Self and the World, and then report back to you.

How, you may ask, do I expect to get my hands on Ibogaine?  The reason that Ibogaine is a popular treatment for heroin addiction is because it is a rapid detoxer and thus minimizes significantly the physical distress caused by opium withdrawal.  However, it has also been used to treat alcoholism, pot “addiction,” cocaine dependence and depression.  The first two diagnoses I can only tentatively claim, but for the last I can get a bona fide doctor’s note verifying my past tribulations.  If I go this route, I may be able to get a former pothead from Vancouver, who now runs an Ibogaine treatment center in British Columbia, to admit me to the clinic.  This is if I even need to resort to a little truth-stretching.  Fact is that people sometimes take Ibogaine for purposes of “psycho-therapeutic insight and inspiration,” which is something that I (and almost everyone) could legitimately use.  My thesis is that Ibogaine acts as a sort of psychological and emotional dermabrasion –– like a condensed Biggest Loser-style fitness boot camp for the brain –– and that some day in the future perfect, melancholy housewives and disaffected middle-aged businessmen with paunches will travel to Mexico to get a dose of this X-TREME hallucinogen not unlike how nowadays these same people go to Canyon Ranch to subsist on wheat germ, take colonics and exercise until they go tingly in the legs and dizzy in the mind.  We’ve always known that some narcotics produce the same high feeling as many “natural” human actions –– eating too much, deep breathing exercises, skydiving and other risk-taking activities –– so why not just cut to the chase and get all your civilization-related discontents taken care of in one technicolored go?  This kind of trip is something that maybe can be facilitated by a few treatment centers (the names of which I will selfishly withhold for now) that have on record given people Ibogaine to facilitate psychological exploration, or also by Claudio Naranjo, the psychologist who first experimented with Ibogaine use for “spiritual” purposes and is still alive.  I plan to investigate all these outlets.

And you, my dears –– all I need from you is a plane ticket, a little food, and a little space in the mag (or a lot of space, whatevs.)  I’m a WASP by birth, and there’s no such thing as an age rite of passage in my culture, unless you count a minor bout with bulimia.  Help me fill this gaping hole in my soul, and you just may get a good article out of it.


And within MINUTES, the editor responded and said:

Hi —,

Thanks for the email. We just covered this story in Mexico.

Feel free to pitch some other ideas.


Why am I always ONE STEP BEHIND?!  Such a bummer!  So now I have to think of another idea for an article for Vice (because I have an in now) but I think all the wacky drugs out there have been discovered.


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