Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 09:43:54 -0700 (PDT)
To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com>
Subject: Answers to Ibogaine questions from another list
Questions from an experienced and forthright methdone provider..
>NIDA is going to give a big statement on
>Methadone and other agonist treatments in
>November at the NIH conference. I anticipate
>that it will be extremely positive. They probably
>would love to have people tell their stories of
>success ON methadone and LAAM, and go public.
>They would probably support some liberalizing
>of State (which they take no responsibility for)
>rules, in theory, and even some medical maintenance.
>Then come the politics.
>If you are going to put Ibogaine up front, what NIDA
>folks, and maybe the press, will want to know is
>How many people died from it?
NIDA can stipulate 3 Ibogaine associated fatalities. None of which has been
documented to be caused by Ibogaine. In one case the patient of a Swiss
psychiatrist not being treated for chemical dependence had significant prior
cardiovascular conditions. Thus no patients with cardiovascular conditions
are how accepted for Ibogaine therapy in the experimental programs. A second
patient died a month after Ibogaine treatment for reported natural causes.
NIDA responds with confounded science. We had one fatality in The
Netherlands 19 hours after Ibogaine therapy and the autopsy could not
determine the cause of death. That is why we moved the treatments into
hospitals. Monitoring in hospitals has shown no adverse effects. After the
NIDA Ibogaine review meeting, Frank Vocci, of the Medications Development
Division of NIDA stated he did not anticipate any fatalities in hospital
administered Ibogaine therapy.
>How many people were administered Ibogaine?,
Excluding Africa, I would estimate that all Ibogaine providers have probably
treated between them approximately 200 patients but, I cannot verify this.
>how many are drug free 18 months later?,
Very few as we have not been able to provide secondary and tertiary treatment
that in most cases are necessary. Further, pursuant to FDA discussion we are
developing Ibogaine initially as a medication to treat opiate withdrawal for
which its effects are incomparable with any other known treatment and both
rapidly and dramatically visible to treating physicians.
>How many have temporary neurological side effects?
All patients have temporary transient neurological side effects similar to
those produced by drunkenness from alcohol (ataxia). Neurolgoical deficits
have shown to be less by Ibogaine than those caused by drug use or drug
>how many have persistent (brain damage) ataxia?
No patients have persistent ataxia. In fact one of the NIDA Consultants, Dr.
John Olney has just patented Ibogaine as an anti-neurotoxic medication (U.S.
Patent 5,629,307) Use of Ibogaine in Reducing Excitotoxic Brain Damage. The
uses proposed by Olney include prevention or reduction of brain damage do to
inadequate oxygen supplies, intracranial pressure, treatment of neuropathic
pain, and the
management of such diseases as Alzheimers, Lou Gehrig's disease, AIDS
dementia, Parikinson's disease and Huntington's chorea.
>How long does the effect last?
If you are talking about Ataxia, generally less than 24 hours.
>How much does it cost?
Our costs are about 15 thousand for hospital administered treatment in the
Republic of Panama. Availability in the U.S. with FDA approval would bring
costs down and allow social medical and private medical insurance to pay for
>How often is it repeated, to get the effect?
As a method of eliminating withdrawal for either heroin or methadone Ibogaine
is administered one time. We have treated heroin dependents using up to 2
grams of heroin a day and methadone patients using up to 120 mg/day with
equal ease and success.
Pursuant to long term interruption of drug use, except in the rare cases
where one dose was effective for periods in excess of year or more, 3 or 4
additional treatments appear to be required over a 2 year period to allow
the chemical dependent patient to relearn or learn the skills of societal and
personal interaction required for normalization into society. The big plus
for Ibogaine is that for whatever time period it is effective you are not an
addict. You are not required to come into get a daily dose of anything.
During the period for which Ibogaine interrupts craving you can pursue a
normal life to either return to your previous occupation, etc. or to begin to
have the time and ability to learn new skills.
NIDA's decisions on Ibogaine are as politically internally driven as their
decisions on needle exchange and medical maintenance for methadone are
externally politically driven. NIDA had a previous agenda to allow tens or
hundreds of millions of dollars in research funds to go into the development
of cocaine vaccines and antagonists. NIDA is so frightened that Ibogaine
will upset these agendas that they have refused to allow their own doctors to
observe Ibogaine treatments outside of the United States or to perform pre
and post treatment assessments in NIDA facilities of patients treated outside
the United States with Ibogaine.
>Etc. A couple of impassioned cure stories
>do not get their attention, for long, if the
>rest looks too scary. They looked at it once and
>passed, allegedly based on these kinds of questions,
>according to my information. Howard can confirm or
>deny this. I am only saying what has been said to me.
>I wasn't there.
What scared NIDA was six fatalities that occurred at NIH during the testing
of a hepatitis vaccine. Those deaths occurred because the principal
investigator would not listen to patient complains. Doctors should listen to
their patients. Ibogaine patients say Ibogaine works better then anything
they have tried. Many of these patients were dependent for decades and tried
many other treatment modalities prior to Ibogaine.
NIDA's reason for rejecting Ibogaine is politics and the always prevalent
issue of who will get the research funding. And, Oh yes, there is the issue
among many doctors that after having spent years in medical school, decades
in practice and gaining skills, that a heroin addict should have discovered
the most significant breakthrough in the treatment of addiction. If I were a
doctor working in addiction research I would feel the same way.
NIDA has demonstrated a consistent resistance to Ibogaine development. All
of the negative data presented by NIDA contract research has been shown to be
incorrect by additional research generally within a year or two that it takes
for independent NIDA grant researchers or others to review the scientific
issues. This is a key reason NIDA is putting out the message to grant
applicants not to send in Ibogaine grant applications. They have no interest
in the truth. They want to hide behind their misrepresentations.
To paraphrase President Lincoln, NIDA may be able to fool all of the people
some of the time, some of the people all of the time but, they can't fool all
of the people all of the time. And, they can't fool all of the scientists
any of the time.
I say to NIDA, put Ibogaine to the test, stop your lying ways and proceed
with the multi hospital study you designed. The four hospitals should
include the University of Miami with Dr. J. Sanchez-Ramos, NIDA's Intramural
Research Center in Baltimore with Dr. Carlo Contoreggi as Principal
Investigator, the VA Hospital in NY in collaboration with NY University with
Dr. Paul Casadonte and principal investigator and the VA Hospital in Los
Angeles with Dr. Walter Ling as principal investigator. I believe these
doctors could be trusted with the work.
Just the way most clinics treat their patients, NIDA treats the possibility
NIDA views Ibogaine ala the three monkeys: They don't want to see it, hear
about it or speak about it.
It is our responsibility to drag them to the docket of science and medicine
and force them to examine Ibogaine's benefits, particularly in treating
opiate withdrawal. Additional Ibogaine benefits will clearly make themselves
evident to the doctors involved in preliminary studies testing Ibogaine in
the treatment of opiate withdrawal. Some of the effects noticed by Kaplan et
al. in his review of Dutch Ibogaine focus groups was that in cases where
drug use did not stop, it was reduced in kind and amount and that many of the
IV users turned to other routes of administrations. To put it simply, they
stopped shooting heroin: No more needles. Might that not have an impact on
HIV transmission? And, the general sense of well being in the Ibogaine
treated patients improved or became evident when they (the patients) thought
no such improvement to be possible.
Don't be afraid of NIDA. Take them to task.