December 1999

Lack of cure spurs interest in an exotic shrub, heroin addicts


Howard Lotsof wasn't trying to end his addiction. A college dropout with a heroin habit and a taste for pharmacological adventure, he was simply curious about ibogaine, an alkaloid derived from a West African shrub. But a single dose of the drug sent him on a 36-hour psychedelic journey, filled with dreamlike visions and painful self-discovery that miraculously killed his craving for dope.

Alcoholism: Is nature or nurture to blame?


The conundrum of alcoholism; Is nature or nurture to blame?

There is a wrenching scene in the classic movie It's a Wonderful Life where George Bailey and his guardian angel are sitting in a small tavern, observing how different Bedford Falls would have been had George not been born.

In staggers old Mr. Gower, an unshaven pathetic rubby who is the object of the merrymakers' scorn and ridicule. Seltzer is sprayed in his face. He's unceremoniously tossed out on his ear.