Pubdate: Sun, 04 Feb 2001
Source: Observer, The (UK)
Copyright: 2001 The Observer
Contact:  119 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3ER, United Kingdom
Fax: 0171 713 4250/4286
Author: Shane Collins


I would like to correct a point made in your ibogaine article (News, 14 
January). Far from being dozens of deaths, there have only been three, none 
directly attributed to ibogaine, a new treatment for heroin addiction.

The plant can be dangerous at the high dose used by the Bwiti for a 'once 
in a lifetime' religious initiation in Gabon, but not at the far lower 
dosages used to break opiate and methadone addictions and eliminating the 
usual withdrawal symptoms. Ibogaine is a plant medicine requiring extensive 
research, offering as it does a means of curing one of society's greater 
ills (and the crime associated with it).

Shane Collins
London SW2
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