Wednesday, July 30, 2008

L.A. Times Ibogaine Article

In my quest to bring you the best articles and information on ibogaine, I came across an article from the Los Angeles Times written by Vince Beiser in 2004. I know this isn't exactly timely, but I believe content is king, and there's no doubt Mr. Beiser has composed a well written and researched journalistic piece on ibogaine treatment.

Beiser follows the treatment of Craig (not his real name) from Salt Lake City to San Diego to Tijuana, Mexico to be treated for his $1500 a month addiction to OxyContin and other painkillers.

Yes, there's all that stuff about Howard Lotsof and his discovery in the 1960's, the oft-repeated tale that has now become a full fledged urban legend and made Howard a bonafide folk hero and anti-establishment renegade. He's the poster child celebrity for addiction treatment around the world.

But when you peel away the repetitive addict crusader sub-story, there are actually kernels of information about Drs. Stanley Glick and Deborah Mash's significant efforts to obtain FDA approval for ibogaine analogues and metabolites. Not to mention Mash's Saint Kitt's Caribbean clinic where she has gathered scientific data on hundreds of patients. Mr. Beiser also reports on the efforts of Marc Emery, founder of the Iboga Therapy House in Vancouver, Canada and the Ibogaine Association in Mexico.

Overlooking the fact that Ms. Mash and Mr. Lotsof have had well publicized disputes and all around nastiness between them, I will say she did become an advocate and has done more in the scientific arena to bring ibogaine treatment to the people than any other scientist.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

Getting that kind of proof requires controlled experiments on human subjects, which is what Mash is working toward. She has isolated a molecule called noribogaine, which is produced in the body as it metabolizes ibogaine, and which she believes is the key agent that blocks drug cravings. She is trying to get FDA approval to start human testing. On a parallel track, Stanley Glick has synthesized a chemical cousin of ibogaine dubbed 18-MC, which he also hopes to market.

Both Mash and Glick think their ibogaine derivatives will give users the drug-blocking effect without the hallucinations–something both believe is necessary if the FDA is to approve their products.

But would eliminating ibogaine’s psychedelic side diminish its effectiveness? No one knows. “For me, the ideal would be for people to take ibogaine in a controlled environment, and use the experience as part of their psychotherapy,” Mash says. “Then slap a noribogaine patch on them.”

To read the complete article, click The Magical Mystery Tour.

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