Episode 49 - Dimitri Mugianis

Born in Detroit, to a politically leftist Greek American family, Dimitri Mugianis began writing poetry, music, and also using drugs at a very early age. As a teenager, Dimitri formed a band called The Leisure Class. After several years of local success, the band moved to New York City in 1983. There, Dimitri found a home at the Chelsea Hotel, and quickly developed close friendships, notably Beat legends Herbert Huncke and Gregory Corso. 

His relationship with cocaine, heroin and methadone would last over 20 years. By 2002, Dimitri had a daily habit of $150-200 worth of heroin, plus cocaine and 100 milligrams of methadone. By forty, he was surrounded by death, including his pregnant, common-law wife. Resigned that his life was nearing an end, using the last of his will to survive, Dimitri turned to a radical solution: Ibogaine. 

In 2003, he sought out an Iboga treatment center in Europe. Initially he planned to visit his ancestral home in Greece to die after the treatment, but Bwiti and Iboga had other plans. Iboga ended his dependency to drugs (without withdrawal) and started him on a journey of spiritual and emotional recovery.

Returning home with an evangelical zeal, Dimitri sought out and met the father of the Ibogaine movement, Howard Lotsof, who quickly became his mentor. In an effort to bring the medicine that healed him to those without access, he attended to approximately 500 underground Ibogaine ceremonies and traveled to Gabon, West Africa, to become initiated into the Bwiti. 

In 2011, Dimitri was arrested by the DEA in a sting operation using a paid informant. After a protracted legal battle he was convicted with reduced charges. This experience was the impetus for his co-founding of the Universalist Bwiti Society, a state-registered religious institution. After six visits to Gabon, Dimitri opened a center in Costa Rica, IbogaLife. 

In addition to his work as an Ibogaine Detox Facilitator, performing hundreds of ibogaine treatment-ceremonies with desperate people, he currently works as an outreach counselor at the New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE) in Harlem. 

His innovative group "We Are The Medicine" is propelling the conversation about spirituality and drug use. He also offers spiritual services and personal consultations with the culmination of his own training and practice. He is involved in numerous other projects including working on bringing Iboga to Afghanistan and Nepal. His is a story of profound transformation and recovery. The brokenness of addiction and the promise of the New Life that comes from an integrated, holistic healing model that is rooted in community, connection and deep spiritual practice are highlighted in his life and work. We are honored t have him on the program.