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Concerns over ibogaine as addiction "cure all"

Concerns over ibogaine as addiction "cure all"

The New Zealand Drug Foundation is deeply concerned at recent efforts by a group known as ibogaine.org.nz to promote ibogaine as an alternative treatment of drug addiction in New Zealand.

Ibogaine is a psychoactive compound that is derived from the bark of the root of an African shrub. The pharmacology of ibogaine and its effects on the body are not fully understood, however, ibogaine may cause serious heart rhythm disorders. These can be fatal.

“Ibogaine has not been evaluated by New Zealand regulatory authorities, and there have been no controlled trials on this substance. It is not approved for use as a medicine anywhere in the world, and in the United States and many European countries it is classified as an illegal drug. Yet it is being touted as a cure-all for alcohol and other drug addiction," said Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell.

“The promoters of ibogaine have been quick to promote anecdotal testimonies of people who have used the substance, but nowhere in their publicity materials do they inform people about ibogaine’s risks, or of the fact that it is not an approved medicine. We therefore would urge caution in light of these efforts to promote ibogaine,” said Mr Bell.


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