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*Update January 7th, 2016: I am still regularly getting contacted by people looking for ibogaine in Thailand treatment, to the best of my knowledge there is no one providing this drug in Thailand anymore and if there is I would never recommend anyone tries ibogaine in Thailand or any other place for that matter unless administered by qualified doctors in a hospital with a fully staffed emergency room incase something goes wrong.
Two months ago I wrote an article on a controversial treatment called Ibogaine in Thailand. At the time I said I know very little about Ibogaines effectiveness for the treatment of drug addiction however I was very clear that I didn't agree with Ibogaine being administered in Thailand since it was not being done in a medical facility and the "clinics" as they called themselves would not be licensed by any governing body in Thailand. I don't know their business set up but I do know what is needed to have a medical license in Thailand and I can be pretty sure that none of them have it.
Anyways a few weeks back I received a call from a woman who claimed her son died at one of the Ibogaine in Thailand "clinics" and at the time I took all information about ibogaine in Thailand off my site. The reason was is I knew there was going to be reporters and what not looking into it and I didn't want to be directly involved since I didn't know much about Ibogaine in Thailand, the drug, situation or people involved. A Bangkok based journalist did a story on Brodie Noel Smith, the young man that died while at the Ibogaine in Thailand clinic.
The people that ran the clinic have since taken all their information and websites off the internet it seems and for all intensive purposes they no longer exist as an operation in Thailand. From a marketing stand point anyways, I have no idea if they are still providing ibogaine in Thailand or not. I have never met or spoken to them and don't particularly want to either.
The journalist wrote up the story better then I could and you can read about it here if you wish. It is quite a strange and tragic story and I feel terrible for the young man, his partner and mother. As I said I took all the information about Ibogaine in Thailand off my site as soon as I heard about it, in hindsight however I think I should of left the information about Ibogaine in Thailand up and that is the reason for me putting this post up now.
Primarily to bring awareness to the danger of Ibogaine use and that what I said previously has not changed, if you are going to try ibogaine, make damn sure it is in a proper medical facility with a fully staffed emergency room available .
Ibogaine in Thailand
Now onto Ibogaine in Thailand itself, or anywhere in the world for that matter, I have zero faith in it's effectiveness as a touted "cure" for addiction. There seems to be some evidence that it works as an addiction interrupter by bonding with the opiate receptors in our brain. However so does heroin, your not feeling withdrawal symptoms right after a fix are you? Basically whenever people claim there is a miracle cure, but it is being suppressed by the pharmaceutical companies because they can't make any money from it, I get out my tinfoil hat so that they can't steal my brain waves. It's root bark, aspirin is also bark and they make billions off of that. If this worked as well as they claim I can assure you some pharmaceutical company would be mass producing it and selling it for a thousand dollars a tablet and making billions of their own, the line that the companies can't make money off of it is just BS, they could make an absolute fortune, if it worked that is.
I take a very pragmatic approach to most things and I understand that I can stand on my soap box and scream that Ibogaine in Thailand is dangerous and you shouldn't do it.
People will hear what I had to say but wouldn't listen and do it anyways. The world wants a one pill cure to everything, we have been conditioned to believe that there is one or will be in the near future. The tinfoil hat wearing crowd as well have managed to sway plenty of people into believing that this is only illegal due to the money factor and because a previous drug addict "discovered" it and not a doctor.
So knowing that you are not going to listen to me about not doing it, I would like to put it this way, below is a list of the known deaths related to ibogaine use, there are probably a terrific amount more, due to the underground nature of it's use but have never been reported.
So my previous point still stands, if you are going to do this, find a clinic that is a real clinic, preferably in a hospital with a full trauma team on stand by incase the shit hits the fan. As in Brodie Noel Smiths case, if he had been properly monitored while undergoing this treatment and with the proper medical professionals on hand, I am pretty sure he would be with us today and I wouldn't be writing this article.
*There are conflicting accounts of what happened to Brodie Smith; the owners of the ibogaine in Thailand clinic claim he hadn't been administered Ibogaine in Thailand and Kara Spark, the fiance, claiming they had. She also claims they were given valium just prior to Brodie Smith passing away. Valium (Diazepam) in Thailand is a controlled substance and legally only allowed to be give with a doctors prescription. Before anyone says anything, yes I know many pharmacies will sell it over the counter without a prescription. It also seems that there is likely to be an investigation into Brodie Noel Smith death since the story has hit the newspapers and the Australian government is pushing for one. That in my opinion is a very good thing.
Below is the list of known Ibogaine related deaths as posted on Myeboga it took me only a minute or so to find this, I am sure with some digging I could come up with allot more. One thing that strikes me about many of the deaths listed below is that it was some form of heart failure. Also remember that the place I found this information is promoting the use of ibogaine so there may be a conflict of interest there on how things are reported.
1: Ibogaine Death
1990 - 44 year old woman during group therapy session. "The autopsy report, which included information obtained from the patients family physician, and the psychiatrist who administered ibogaine, makes reference to the possibility that the patient might have taken other drugs. The autopsy report noted the presence of amphetamine in the enzyme immunocytochemical (EMIT) assay of a dialysate of the kidney tissue (urine was reported not to be obtainable). This finding, however, was regarded as artifactual and possibly attributable to a false positive EMIT result due to the presence of phenylethylamine."
2: Ibogaine Death
1993 - 24 year old female Dutch addict (Nicola K.) being treated for heroin dependency. Ibogaine: A Review, Kenneth R. Alper, Chapter 1: The patient died 19 hours later of respiratory arrest. Some evidence suggested the possibility of surreptitious opioid use in this case, which was noted in the Dutch inquiry (178) and which is another source of uncertainty in this fatality. [n.b. Ibogaine has been shown to increase the effects and toxicity of opiates (Popick and Glick, 1996).] 178. G. van Ingen, Pro Justitia No. 93221/I057, Dept. Justice, The Netherlands, Lab. Forensic Pathol., 1994.
3: Ibogaine Death
1994/April Female (Nancy), 3rd Treatment.
The Ibogaine Story, Chapt. 18:
Prior complaint of recurrent intestinal malaise and diarrhea. "On April 21, though, she flew back down to Miami for a medical exam at the U. of Miami--part of the followup to her Panamanian re-treatment. No ill-effects of Ibogaine--but still no explanation of her diarrhea and recurrent vomiting. She was released from the hospital. Much later that evening she was found dead at the apartment where she was staying, collapsed in her vomit. Estimated time of death, 9:40 PM."
4: Ibogaine Death
2000/February - 40 year old heroin addict (JW). www.ibogaine.co.uk/new.htm: "The coroner, Dr Paul Knapman, found that JW died approximately 40 hours after ingesting 6g of a Tabernanthe iboga preparation, (T. iboga is the source of numerous active alkaloids including ibogaine), in an attempt to break a lengthy heroin addiction, having had no success with other detoxification strategies."
5: Ibogaine Death
2002/July - Young woman in Germany for psychospiritual purposes. www.ibogaine.co.uk/new.htm: The death occurred about one and a half hours after taking the dose. "The woman, aged 35 years and weighing 63 kg, had used the drug previously on one occasion without problem." There appears to be no information about whether she had taken advised medical tests.
6: Ibogaine Death
2005/Jan - subject in poor health died during a period of daily, low-dose treatment at the Ibogaine Association. MAPS reports that a copy of the autopsy report from the San Diego County medical examiner, "found that this patient died of natural causes, unrelated to ibogaine administration, although ibogaine was found in this patient's system at the time of autopsy. The patient suffered a sudden cardiac death due to acute myocardial infarct and acute coronary syndrome. Contributory causes to the death were fibromyalgia and chronic opiate pain medication dependency."
7: Ibogaine Death
2005/April - 43 Year old heroin addict. Private Correspondence to Ibogaine List from a Close Relative involved in treatment: Died 3 days after an ibogaine detox in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to a relative on the Ibogaine List an autopsy stated that cause of death was due to vascular heart disease. Apparently this is something which would not show up on a standard EKG but could be detected using a stress test.
8: Ibogaine Death
2006 U.S. man dies at alternative detox clinic in Tijuana. UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS, By Anna Cearley and Penni Crabtree. February 2, 2006. "TIJUANA - A 38-year-old Santa Barbara man died Tuesday while receiving treatment at an alternative detox clinic that primarily serves U.S. citizens struggling with drug addictions. The cause of death was pulmonary thrombosis, according to an autopsy report."
9: Ibogaine Death
2006 French Scientists Investigate Fatality. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Vol. 30, Issue 7, pp.434-440. Pub. Sept. 2006, Received Mar. 2006. "Distribution of Ibogaine & Noribogaine in a Man Following a Poisoning Involving Root Bark of the Tabernanthe iboga Shrub". "In the present paper, we report for the first time the tissue distribution of ibogaine and noribogaine, the main metabolite of ibogaine, in a 48-year-old Caucasian male, with a history of drug abuse, found dead at his home after a poisoning involving the ingestion of root bark from the shrub Tabernanthe iboga."
10: Ibogaine Death
Mexico: 60 year old woman, October 28th 2009. Woman with 15 years methadone use and a history of HEP B which had been managed with interferion treatments a year prior. She also had a thyroid condition and been refused treatment at a previous clinic in Mexico.
11: Ibogaine Death
Cameroon, 32 year old woman, Jan. 2nd 2010. Woman (Massage Therapist) fell ill and died after consuming iboga, a plant root -- a "holy wood" -- after travelling to Cameroon to take part in a a spiritual ritual involving a shaman, or traditional healer. It is understood that on a previous occasion she had a mild reaction to iboga while in Wales and had travelled to Cameroon to take part in this initiation ceremony in which the plant was eaten.
I will say again my only point in this article is to tell you, first I don't believe ibogaine works but I am not an expert. Secondly if your going to do it anyways, use some common sense, do it in a medical facility with trained doctors on full time staff. To the best of my knowledge there are no Ibogaine in Thailand clinics that have doctors on staff, it is an unregulated drug, no hospital in the country is likely to touch it.
I have also spoken to some experts in the field of addiction. By experts I mean people with medical degrees, specialized in addiction and asked them about Ibogaine in Thailand, or anywhere else for that matter and unanimously they all say they same thing, it is snake oil. It doesn't work and to date there is no quick fix for drug addiction. Some people will still believe however that some beach bum that did allot of drugs knows more then a fully trained addiction psychiatrist who has spent his entire career studying addiction.
Think people, use the brain that was given to you, look at the people who are charging you $5,000 for a $19 dollar a night hotel room and $20 worth of bark root! Then look at the "evil establishment" with learned professionals that say taking ibogaine is a bad idea, needs more research and is dangerous.
Update December 28, 2014
I received and email this morning from a lady in Australia about my story and I think it is appropriate to post it here along with my reply. I have not edited her message in any way with the exception of removing her name and other identifying information.
From: Kate XXXXXXXXXX Email: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Phone Number: XXXXXXXXXXX Country:Australia Subject: death in thailand. Message Body: You may want to do more research and check your facts little better. I have been in contact with the guys at ko phangan to explore the treatment they offer. The girlfriend is lying. That man died in his hotel room. I asked if I could do the treatment at a different location and they said under no circumstances do they do treatments away from the accomodations they provide. If you did your research in ibogaine itself you would find a lot of information to suggest that it help alot of people, in quite profound ways at that. They deaths that have been related to drug are usually for other reasons, ie the person trying it already has severely compromised health. They guys in Ko Phangan have great integrity and professionalism. This misinformation is spoiling an opportunity for many people to heal deep seated issues with addiction. They fact that you don't agree with it does not invalidate it. I think if you did you research a little better you might find it hard to dismiss this treatment. You may not support but that does not justify posting lies and misinformation on your website. That mans death was not ibogaine related. The girlfriend is lying!!!
The reason for posting this is I though a while about my reply before getting back to her and I think I did a pretty good job and other people considering going for Ibogaine treatment may benifit from it.
I did allot more research then you might think and know a fair bit more about the drug and it's history then you see in the post. I have also spoken with two different addiction psychiatrist about it.
As for the hotel room the young man died in, according to the police report he passed away at the Utopia Bungalows. That happens to be the same hotel that was featured in the Coconuts interview with these guys where they were administering the drug. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2ZSQgT5iW0
I don't really care where they are administering it, if it's not in a hospital then it shouldn't be done.
Is Ms. Spark lying or not? I have been following the news reports on the story and am waiting to see the toxicology report from the Australian autopsy on the young mans body, that should be fairly conclusive.
On your point about the deaths related to ibogaine being attributed to people having severely compromised health prior to doing the drug. All that tells me is that people should be having more comprehensive medical examinations prior to the drug being administered, as well as being better monitored by people with the skills and equipment to save their life if something goes wrong.
I don't want to pick a fight with anyone but my point stands; If your going to try this, please do yourself a favor and find a place that has proper medical facilities and doctors treating you. Not a Thai island where there are no fully equipped hospitals and your doing the stuff in a hotel room.
I wish you all the best and I hope you find what you are looking for, just remember, be safe while looking.