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Illegal Drug Being Called a "Cure" for Heroin Addicts

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Illegal Drug Being Called a "Cure" for Heroin Addicts

By Mike Conroy. CREATED Jul 7, 2014
GREEN BAY, Wis --Heroin use has exploded over the last 10 years and has become one of the most abused illegal drugs in northeast Wisconsin. Now some addicts say they've found a cure with a little known drug that's legal in the U.S.
 "This is peaceful you know, the serenity the tranquilness," said Jake Smith. Smith didn't believe he would ever feel that way again. Just weeks ago he only thought about one thing...Heroin. "I was in tough shape, using every day, I had lost probably 25 pounds," said Smith. 
Smith got clean for a while using traditional treatments but his heroin cravings still dominated his life. "It didn't take long til I started and shooting heroin. The relapse was more violent than the previous time," said Smith. 
That's when Smith and his family considered another option, Ibogaine a potent hallucinogenic drug that comes from a plant in Africa. It's said to greatly reduce with-drawl symptoms and cravings. The big problem is it's illegal in the U.S 
Ibogaine University, a clinic in Mexico has been treating drug addicts with Ibogaine for the past four years. "You come to Mexico and you do it in a place that's legal and safe. They you go home clean and sober," said Charles Johnson with the Ibogaine University. The Clinic is staffed by former users and a full medical team. They pre-screen candidates and test the drug on them first. Then doctors give addicts one individualized dose.
Ibogaine University has treated 600 people and say they have never had a fatality but the risks are there. Studies have shown one in 300 users of imagine can die from it. Mostly from heart failure .
Dr. Michael miller, an addiction therapist at Rogers Memorial Hospital says the side affects from the drug out weigh the benefits."It's pretty certain in the U.S, because we care about safety, it will never be approved as a therapeutic agent," said Miller.
Jake spent about ten days in Mexico and was amazed how he felt after is imagine treatment. It cost him a total of 7,500 that included air fare,lodging and medical expenses. 
To Learn more about Heroin Addiction click here.