Ibogaine, a West African hallucinogen, has been used by some in Canada to treat addiction. This new treatment has not been approved by the government and it carries a number of risks and dangers, but some have seen excellent results at treating addiction. One former addict in St. John’s offers Ibogaine treatment but at least one doctor in the St Johns area warns against this substance abuse treatment because of the complications that can be experienced and the fact that the hallucinogen can be fatal. Ibogaine has not been cleared for substance abuse treatment in Canada, and there is no scientific evidence that the drug actually works as described, but some former addicts have used this treatment method and believe that it can provide results.
According to Dr. Bruce Hollett, an addiction specialist at Waterford Hospital in St. John’s, has stated that a treatment method which has not been studied and approved is not the best choice for substance abuse treatment. Ibogaine is a dangerous hallucinogen that can cause the user to stay high for 30 hours or more, and it can be deadly. In addition the drug is not manufactured locally and many of the websites that sell Ibogaine do not supply the actual drug but other substances instead. According to Dr. Hollett “They [addicts] will go after any substance that will claim to make them better immediately and that really scares me. It scares me that they will go and take medications, drugs or substances that have not been proven or accepted [to work].”