My guest Deborah Mash is one cool research lady from Miami. She’s tough, educated, and all-too familiar with the drug wars in Miami, a series of conflicts that took place between government and cartels during the ‘70s and ‘80s. She knew a Miami that was flooded with cocaine and champagne, resulting in mass addiction problems across society, and who are looking for new tools to beat addiction to this day. Mash is an American professor of neurology and pharmacology at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, director of the Brain Endowment Bank at the University of Miami, and is the CEO of her company DemeRx.
In the ‘90s, Mash and her team found a third substance that addicts produce if they use alcohol and cocaine at the same time, a molecule that makes addiction impossible to beat. Deborah called it the “Miami Vice Metabolite” and spent a lot of time researching how both the molecule and the resulting addiction could be handled.From very early on, Mash was an expert on heavy substance abuse, addiction that was destroying the many people’s lives. Now she’s researching Ibogaine, a natural indole alkaloid derived from the West African iboga plant. In African traditional medicine and rituals, chewing the yellow-coloured root or bark is used to produce hallucinations. Now, Mash and ATAI Life Sciences explore the ibogaine substance as a new mental health drug to beat alcohol, heroin and other opioid addiction.