On September 3, 2014, 11AM on the New York City Hall steps, a number of prominent national and local activist gathered to petition Mayor DeBlasio for a clinical trail of Ibogaine, a natural substance drawn from an African tropical rainforest plant that can arrest the withdrawal and craving for a broad spectrum of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, alcohol, meth, nicotine and more. Original Yippie! and harm reduction advocate Dana Beal joined by hip-hop artist immortal technique, Nat Geo & discovery channel host Aton Edwards, Ibogaine activist /author Britta Wollmen Love, Kenneth Toglia N.Y. Patient advocate, and Afghani activist Fatima Rahmati.
Dana Beal says “how is it that ibogaine that is in use everywhere around the world but can’t be used in NYC where it was invented? He adds, “at this very moment, we are getting approval to use it in Kabul, Afghanistan, the epicenter of the world heroin epidemic. We have a rapidly growing crisis in America and the Afghani’s will have it in six weeks. How can this be fair to the Americans who are suffering from addiction?”
Beal is urging Mayor Bill DeBlasio (NYC-D) to have the City Health Department sponsor a large, simple, open-enrollment trail comparing the safety and efficacy of ibogaine for opiate dependent persons with the NIDA synthetic 18MC. This will give the many research institutions in New York the opportunity to submit bids, while extending access to ultra rapid relief from withdrawal and craving to hundreds of New Yorkers.
The morning this was filmed, backed by charitable effort coordinated from Manhattan, ibogaine activist Murtaza Majeed landed in Kabul, with a plan to bring Afghanistan this treatment breakthrough for 1.6 million junkies, In 2006, working with the United Nations, Murtaza secured licensing of methadone and needle exchange–and he already has word that he can expect speedy approval to import the first doses of ibogaine to demonstrate the super-effective heroin detox to local addiction specialists.
Given the magnitude of the heroin crisis in New York City, and it’s role in the transmission of HIV AIDS, hepatitis C and other blood born diseases from addicts to the general population, it is incumbent upon us to ask Andrew Cohen and the city Council Substance Abuse Sub-committee why–if Murtaza and his supporters can make ibogaine available under the guns of the Taliban—this treatment should be made available here in NYC.
Our heroin crisis is genuine, and its time to hold hearings and take bold steps for innovative research.
The World Health Organization just declared that for the health emergency of Ebola, it is permissible to give drugs that have never been tried in humans. Ibogaine’s use is so established that it is featured on entertainment television like “Homeland” and Law ‘n Order SVU,” yet New Yorkers have to go to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica or Great Britain to get treated at their own expense–a situation that limits access to the well-to-do. After 25 years of medical use in human, it’s time for the superior comfort and efficacy of ibogaine detoxification to get a fair trail, so that it can become available thru the conventional medical system to New Yorkers impoverished by their addiction.
We call on councilman Andrew Cohen and the Substance Abuse Subcommittee to hold hearings this month, and Bill DeBlasio to convene a task force of the Health Department, Addiction Services, and his political point people on the Heroin Crisis to cut the red tape, appropriate the modest amount necessary to get a study going, and petition the FDA and President Obama himself to make this happen.