Can a Shrub in Gabon Cure Addiction?

Treating drug addiction for many practitioners is a long, slow haul. Part of the problem is all addicts are not the same. At the core of every addiction is a pathology, and said pathology naturally differs among individuals. Dr. Deborah Mash is a professor of neurology and pharmacology. She has been working with ibogaine at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami since 1992. That is nearly 30 years, an impressive amount of time to be working on alternative drug rehabilitation. In “Can a Shrub in Gabon Cure Addiction?,” while the title is provocative, Dr. Mash takes us through the facts, myths, and barriers ibogaine needs to overcome in the US to be legally administered with everything from fentanyl detox to other common opioids.

In Dr. Mash’s experience, she has witnessed up to 90% effectiveness in ibogaine treatment, especially as it relates to blocking the signs and symptoms of withdrawal. Yet, pharmaceutical companies are risk-averse when it comes to clinical trials, and without a clinical trial, FDA approval is impossible. Dr. Mash had success with St. Kitts and Nevis’s government in the West Indies, and we already know of the exceptional track record of ibogaine treatment in Mexico. Heroin rehabilitation is not an easy step, but it is much more challenging when you limit the options. Dr. Mash continues her fight to place ibogaine front and center.

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