By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Recently, Wilkins has been experimenting with small daily doses of ibogaine for people with heart conditions or other health problems that make the “flood dose” inadvisable. The non-hallucinogenic regimen seems successful, she says, citing the case of former bodybuilder Price in particular.
Price first came to Tijuana for ibogaine in 1996 and has been back six times, including his October stay. “Every time I feel like I’m getting out of control, I come here,” he says, his voice a gruff mumble. “The very first time, I had a bit of visuals. It’s supposed to take six months to get off methadone. With this, it was one day. It was incredible. I haven’t had a craving for methadone since then.”
That first time, Price took a “flood dose,” enough to keep him tripping for hours on end. During this stay, Wilkins started him off with a tiny dose and gradually increased the amount he ingested each day. At the same time, she’s weaning him off Oxycontin.
“We reduced your Oxy dose from 240 milligrams to 120 milligrams, in what, two weeks? That’s rock & roll!” she says encouragingly.
“He was fantastic,” she adds proudly. “He developed a routine in his day. He was getting up and watering the garden and not staying in bed and watching TV. He was walking the dog and wanting to go out—he was eager to go home, not scared.”
Now, seated at Pangea’s kitchen table, Price reflects on what has been most helpful during his time in Mexico. The ibogaine lessened his cravings for drugs and alcohol, he says, but eventually, the effect will wear off.
“It’s no magic thing,” he says pensively. “It’s creating good habits and creating a support system. Ibogaine just strips you of the cells and walls you build up for yourself. It allows you to go AA meetings—which I’ll do when I get home. It at least gives you a fighting chance to make your own decision.”
A slightly shorter version of this story appeared in print.