Using hallucinogenic ibogaine to treat drug addicts

LA Weekly reports on Pangea Biomedics, a rehab clinic in Tijuana that gives hallucinogenic ibogaine to drug addicts.

201011181015Ron Price needs his milkshake. It's 10 o'clock on a Monday morning and the bald, barrel-chested former bodybuilder is shuffling around the kitchen of a posh rehab clinic in Tijuana, wearing slippers and a blue Gold's Gym T-shirt. Price had been employed as stockbroker in New Mexico, until his training regimen left him with debilitating injuries that forced him to undergo 33 surgeries in less than a decade. His doctor prescribed OxyContin, and Price quickly became dependent on the potent painkiller. More recently he started snorting cocaine and chugging booze to numb the pain. Now, 53 years old and three weeks into rehab, all he wants is a milkshake and to crawl back into bed.

Clare Wilkins, the vivacious 40-year-old director of Pangea Biomedics, pops the lid of the blender to check the consistency of the concoction Price craves: peanut butter, soymilk, agave syrup, hemp protein powder and a few scoops of chocolate-flavored Green SuperFood.

Oh, and a half-teaspoon of root bark from the tabernanthe iboga plant.

Shock the Junkie: A hallucinogen called ibogaine has helped addicts kick heroin, meth and everything in between. Is it the trip that does the trick? (Photo: Marco Schmidt/Wikimedia Commons)