Sunday, August 31, 2008

ENDABUSE Report - Part 6/6

The 6th and final segment of this video series touches upon human clinical trials and closing remarks of the patients and caregivers of those treated with ibogaine in the ENDABUSE Procedure. A doctor emphasizes his view that this is a safe and rapid interruption of withdrawal and chemical dependency that opens a symptom free window of opportunity during which patients need psychological and social support for a long term outcome.

In their closing arguments, a medical doctor posits that the ENDABUSE Procedure is medically safe; it provides a symptom-free window that requires psychological and social support to reinforce a positive outcome for patients.

A patient assures other addicts not to be afraid. The repressed memories that ibogaine releases are often positive ones that are overlooked and forgotten. She says that, within 24 hours, you are out of the slavery of addiction, of constantly hustling for that next high.

Howard Lotsof informs viewers that NDA has made arrangements with medical facilities overseas to provide safe environments for addicts to be treated with the ENDABUSE Procedure.

Later, when that infrastructure was no longer in place, we had no idea that the addicts would take on the treatment of other addicts themselves, risking their lives in people's homes rather than the safety of medical facilities. This was a movement that no one could stop, born out of desperation and the rejection of socially acceptable channels that never materialized.

The ibogaine underground was formed like the American underground railroad in the 1800s that sheparded slaves to freedom, by compassionate individuals who valued human rights above the unjust laws of a society that has marginalized a whole underclass of human beings who deserve, just like you and I, to live free and without being enslaved to the madness of addiction.

Part of the strategy of NDA International in releasing this video was to spur the approval of human clinical trials by the FDA. Phase 1 were the animal studies that showed anti-addiction efficacy in the animal model. Later researcher Mark Molliver would shoot down a mountain of work by demonstrating ibogaine neurotoxicity in primates who were given staggering amounts of the compound. Of course, we countered with the argument that, if you gave enough of any compound (like glucose, for example) to a monkey, they would die of an overdose.

Dana Beal and the YIPPIES went to Washington, along with representatives of Act-Up, social workers and addicts who testified -- no, demanded, that ibogaine clinical trials go forward because people were dying and there was no other hope on the horizon.

Howard and I witnessed this 3 ring circus first hand with ringside seats in hotel conference rooms along the Beltway in Maryland. It was chaotically orchestrated behind the scenes by Dana, Robert Rand, and a handful of other activists who knew how to manipulate the media and the federales. The Village Voice (of course!) and New York Times ran articles, soon followed by the Boston Globe, and the major networks, CNN, and dozens of local news stations ran reports. Across the world headlines poured in from the U.K., the Netherlands, France, Canada. Dozens of international scientists began their own experiments with ibogaine.

Facing unexpected, unwanted, and unsolicited public outcry and mounting media pressure, the FDA eventually approved a human clinical safety trial at the Unversity of Miami. Howard Lotsof had finally triumphed in his Davy and Goliath effort to force the American government to spend public funds to investigate ibogaine.

Victory was indeed sweet. But it was to be short lived and, eventually, a bitter brew.

No one could predict the confluence of circumstances, betrayal, and greed that would topple NDA International and bring its efforts in commercializing ibogaine treatment to a grinding, screeching halt.

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