Dimitri Mugianis is a rarity in Detroit: a white kid whose family stayed after everyone like them left. Growing up, he throws himself into the city’s avant-garde underworld, playing in art-punk bands and partying in gay clubs. But when his taste for the nightlife becomes a full-blown heroin addiction, he realizes that he’s in trouble—and, with a hot new drug called crack hitting the streets of Detroit, it’s only going to get worse.
LISTEN TO EPISODE NINE
DETROIT ROCK CITY
Life at the Hotel Chelsea
Another Fucking bar
A Communal Experience
A DEEP, DEEP TRIP
Dimitri unsuccessfully tried to kick his drug habit cold turkey numerous times. He eventually tried a hallucinogen called ibogaine after hearing it could help eliminate opioid withdrawal. The drug worked for him, and he has since administered the treatment to other recovering addicts. In order to do so, Dimitri often has to cross into Mexico to avoid DEA enforcement in the United States, where the drug is illegal.
Crimetown is Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier. This season is made in partnership with Gimlet Media and Spotify. This episode was produced by Samantha Lee, Ryan Murdock, John White, Rob Szypko, and Soraya Shockley. The senior producer is Drew Nelles. Editing by Zac Stuart-Pontier and Marc Smerling. Fact-checking by Jennifer Blackman. This episode was mixed, sound designed, and scored by Kenny Kusiak. Original music this season composed by Homer Steinweiss. We recorded some original music at Rustbelt Studios in Detroit in partnership with Detroit Sound Conservancy. Special thanks to Carleton Gholz and Maurice “Pirahnahead” Herd. Additional music by Kenny Kusiak, John Kusiak, Jon Ivans, and Edwin. Additional mixing by Bobby Lord. Our theme song is “Politicians In My Eyes” by Death. Our credit music this week is “I Love You More” by the Leisure Class.
We’ve got a Crimetown companion playlist on Spotify. This week we added a couple of Leisure Class songs, as well as some other classics of Detroit punk. Head over to crimetownmusic.com to check it out. Archival research by Brennan Rees. Show art and design by James Cabrera and Elise Harven. We’re on Facebook and Instagram @crimetownshow, and on Twitter @crimetown. To learn more about Dimitri’s work, you can visit dimitrimugianis.com and listen to his podcast here. You can also donate to New York Harm Reduction Educators, where Dimitri works, at nyhre.org. Thanks to the Detroit Free Press, Peter Bhatia, Allie Delyanis, Jim Schaeffer, Mary Schroeder, Mary Wallace, the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University, Melissa Samson, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History, the Detroit Historical Society, Brendan Roney, James Rasin and everyone who shared their stories with us.