WBUR (Boston NPR), September 10, 2018
Deborah Becker


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[...] Dextraze says he hates this cycle of panhandling to get drugs. For years, he's tried to quit. He's been to several detoxes and rehabs, taken addiction medications, attended 12-step meetings — but nothing has worked. His drug use has landed him in the hospital with a severe blood infection, and he now has hepatitis C. He's been jailed for possession.

"The day I got out of jail I used," Dextraze says. "It's just a constant cycle, and it becomes such a vicious cycle, you can't get out of it."

What's giving Dextraze some hope that he can break the cycle, though, is an alternative psychedelic treatment called ibogaine. But it's illegal in the U.S.


Dextraze believes he's found a reputable provider through someone he knows from Massachusetts who works at a clinic in Mexico. Friends offer to pay the $5,000 for a week of treatment, and his mother buys his plane ticket. He says any potential risks don't scare him; he says his drug use has already put him in a dangerous place.

"I was ready to die anyways," he says. "So I'd rather take this chance and be able to live a normal life than not take this chance and die a horrible death on dope." [...]

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