A former heroin addict realizes that he wants to help other addicts kick their habits. The problem is, he wants to do this using a hallucinogenic drug – ibogaine – that is completely illegal, and which requires medical expertise he doesn't have.
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Host Ira Glass and Albert Donnay read a true ghost story that appeared in a medical journal in 1921. After a "Mrs H" and her family moved into an old rambling house, strange apparitions started appearing...until her brother-in-law figured out the real cause of the ghostly presences.
Some of the scariest stories happen when fluffy, innocent creatures turn murderously evil. This American Life producer Alex Blumberg tells one such story, about a raccoon gone bad.
Hard as it is to believe, during the early Twentieth Century, a whole school of mental health professionals decided that unconditional love was a terrible thing to give a child. The government printed pamphlets warning mothers against the dangers of holding their kids.
Dan Savage made a pledge over a decade ago that he hoped would just vanish. But it somehow returns from oblivion.
Karen Sosnoski's one-year-old son, Anton, was born with what's known as Mosaic Down Syndrome, a rare condition where some of his cells have the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome and other cells don't. So as he grows, he could end up having all the health risks and challenges of Downs syndrome...or just a few of them. Through a website, Karen found a kid with the same diagnosis, named Tim Colvin, who was doing really well...perhaps because his mother, Kristy, invented a surprising and unusual way to raise her son.