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A life of addiction is a life of pain.

“Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to a painful experience. A hurt is at the center of all addictive behaviours.” [Thus the question is] “Not why the addiction but why the pain.”
– Gabor Mate , In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Maybe our addiction is alcohol, rage, cocaine, pornography, shopping or heroin; but regardless of what the behaviors look like on the surface, they are attempts to reach outside of ourselves to get what we feel we need to be free of a pain within.

The addiction is not the problem, the addiction is the solution. Unfortunately, it is a solution that never truly resolves the source of that pain. The cycle of addiction is one rooted somewhere deep inside of one’s self, far beneath our behaviors and likely far back in our past.

Yet as this pain and the attempts to escape come closer and closer to the present moment, the greater the wake of our pain becomes, especially for those closest to us. All the while further damaging our bodies, our minds, and our relationships.

Many people struggle with addiction their whole lives. Their story one of (hu)man vs. addiction, their story often ending with addiction the victor.

But what if that is not the way the story needs to be written? what is there is a way out that helps us suffering to reach into the root of our pain and find our love for life again?

Enter Iboga

The guests for this episode of the podcast, Elizabeth Bast and Chor Boogie, believe true freedom from addiction is possible with an ancient African root bark called Iboga.

They believe this not only because of the growing scientific research and the countless anecdotes about iboga’s potential for healing addiction but because it is also their lived experience.

Elizabeth Bast serves as a yoga & dance teacher, mentor, healing artist, and musician. She studied at New College of San Francisco with an emphasis on Art and Social Change. Bast is the author HEART MEDICINE: A True Love Story, an intimate memoir about a healing experience with the sacred Iboga medicine. She has experienced the Missoko Bwiti initiation and Rite of Passage in Gabon, Africa, and is currently in an iboga facilitator training with the Bwiti tradition.

Chor Boogie aka Joaquin Lamar Hailey is an internationally acclaimed spray paint artist. His visionary murals and art exhibitions have graced many countries across the globe. Societe Perrier honored him as number three among their Top Ten U.S. Street Artists of 2014. He uses his voice and work as an artist to raise awareness about sacred plant medicines and drug policy reform. After the profound personal healing with the Iboga medicine that is described in HEART MEDICINE, he also went on to experience the Missoko Bwiti initiation and Rite of Passage in Gabon, Africa and is currently in an iboga facilitator training with the Bwiti tradition.

Elizebeth and Chor join us on the show to talk about heroin addiction, how it impacted their intimate relationship, the redemption they found in Iboga, and what iboga taught them about what it takes to heal the pain at the root of addiction in oneself and the hearts of those we love.

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Episode Breakdown

  • The problematic language around addiction.
  • A portrait of an addiction-impacted romantic relationship.
  • A journey into heroin addiction.
  • Heroin’s impact on the trust, honesty, and intimacy in their relationship.
  • How Iboga found its way in.
  • What iboga taught them about what it means to be in a sacred partnership.
  • Iboga’s potential role in the ongoing opioid crisis.
  • A poignant and pointed discussion on what it takes to heal addiction.
  • The traditional origins of the Bwiti and the mythic origins of Iboga.
  • The challenges iboga and iboga culture will face with its growth in a global marketplace and colonialism in general.
  • The cultural impact of connecting with iboga for the African diaspora in North America.

Relevant Links


This is Elebevenths book, chronicling her and Chor’s journey into and through addition with the help of Iboga.

Connect with Elizabeth Bast

Homepage | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
(here is her Iboga specific page)

Connect with Chor Boogie

Hompage | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

While you are here…

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***Cover Image courtesy and Copyright of Chor Boogie


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