Health official investigates BC drug treatment clinic founded by pot activist

By silenius · Apr 24, 2008 · Updated Apr 24, 2008 · ·
  1. silenius
    Note: All links in the articled added by me.

    Health official investigates BC drug treatment clinic founded by pot activist

    SECHELT, B.C. - A drug treatment clinic founded by British Columbia's self-proclaimed "prince of pot" is under investigation by the local health authority.

    The Iboga Therapy House charges $5,000 a day for five days of treatment with a "psychoactive plant alkaloid" derived from the root of the Iboga plant, native to West Africa.

    Pot activist Marc Emery said he invested $250,000 to set up the treatment clinic about six years ago.

    He said the drug, Ibogaine, stops drug cravings and withdrawal immediately.

    "And it also gives these fantastic visions and sensations about their childhood and about the destructive path they're on," said Emery.

    He said patients taking the drug "process these images in the days afterwards and they come, hopefully, to some profound conclusions about how to change their behaviour."

    But Dr. Paul Martiquet, a medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health on the Sunshine Coast, said the clinic is not funded or licensed.

    He said health inspectors would like to ensure the clinic meets appropriate standards - but they don't know where it's located.

    "We don't know the location and they have not provided it to Vancouver Coastal Health," he said.

    Martiquet said clinic program director, Sandra Karpetas, a former assistant to Emery, has assured officials the clinic is not operating right now and, if it were, it would only treat one patient at a time.

    "So far, our information is it is not presently operating and if it were, it would only see one client at a time," Martiquet said.

    Martiquet cautioned prospective patients to check out the treatment thoroughly before taking the substance.

    Emery said he is no longer involved in the clinic but that he treated approximately 65 patients from 2002 to 2004.

    He said he stopped his involvement four years ago "because I couldn't afford to pay for it all any more because, well, in fact, I started getting busted around that period of time so I didn't have the same amount of money to pour into it like I at one time did."

    Emery maintains that Ibogaine is not illegal in Canada.

    Rather, it is not a drug approved for therapeutic use by Health Canada, and therefore can't be administered by health professionals. The clinic has no doctors or nurses on staff.

    "For ordinary people, Iboga is not illegal but for a doctor it's not approved yet, so they can't work with it.

    That's why we don't have doctors or nurses working with us, because they're not authorized to do so," said Emery, who said he doesn't believe the scrutiny is related to his involvement.

    Emery said he has not taken Ibogaine himself and has never seen anyone take it recreationally.

    "It's too scary," he said.

    He welcomed an inspection from the medical health officer.

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  1. Alfa
    Jezus, from this article, it seems like Dr. Paul Martiquet should stay as far away from science as possible. As he himself seems to be a danger to public health.

    The iboga therapy house is involved in cutting edge research funded by MAPS. The results from that study may soon prove that Ibogaine is a successful medicine to treat addiction. That will likely cause more research and ultimately, if everything turns out well: the use of ibogaine as an official medicine. This would have a drastic effect on the bank accounts of suppliers that produce the current medicines.

    Although I have no knowledge about Dr. Paul Martiquet other than the above, I do find that health inspections are all too often in bed with large pharmaceutical companies. This may or may not be the case here, but it sure looks that way.
  2. FuBai
    Agreed. There is considerable evidence that Ibogaine may be very effective in the treatment of addiction and, indeed, the initial research demonstrating this was carried out in the 60's I believe. Ibogaine treatment centres have been set up in some countries in the caribean (or so I have been told) and they have quite good sucess rates. The fascinating thing about Ibogaine is that, even though it is a powerful hallucinogen/psychedelic, it has a reasonably low abouse potential as the effects of the drug can be over-powering and often frightening. Moreover it is claimed that it can negate the withdrawal effects of opiates and that a single dosage can "cure" someone of addiction for up to two years (although I am not exactly sure what is meant to happen after that). Ibogaine could make methadone substituion a thing of the past if used widely, and would, as you have stated, hit the pockets of the pharacutical industry (an industry already in a financial crisis).
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