Many people reach out to credible addiction treatment facilities in the United States for attaining sobriety; however, there are others who prefer the Ibogaine treatment in Mexico. And Matthew Mellon, a banking heir and a cryptocurrency big shot chose the second method for his addiction treatment, but lost his life in the process. Mellon died on April 16, 2018 at a drug rehabilitation facility in Cancun, Mexico after trying “Ibogaine” to treat his addiction to opioids, reported Page Six.
A representative for his family had earlier said that the billionaire died at a drug abuse treatment clinic. But an amended statement, received on April 17, said that he died at Cancun, where he was planning to check into an after-care program for a follow-up treatment. As per the reports, prior to opting for Ibogaine, the former chairperson of the New York Republican Party’s finance committee had tried ayahuasca, a trendy Amazonian hallucinogenic, as a treatment option. Mellon had revealed in 2016 that he took 80 OxyContin pills every day.
Using Ibogaine is dangerous, even under medical supervision
Ibogaine, a psychoactive substance that is found in the roots of certain plants in Africa, is one of the most controversial opioid addiction treatments available. Currently illegal in America, the drug is used to alleviate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and curb addiction. Treatment with ibogaine requires only one-time administration compared to daily replacement therapies like buprenorphine or methadone.
Ibogaine has been categorized as a Schedule I drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. Illegal across the nation, the FDA does not attribute any medicinal value to this drug and other hallucinogens like LSD and magic mushrooms. Using it, even under medical supervision, may lead to a number of side effects like hallucinations, seizures and sometimes, even fatal cardiac complications.
In spite of the dangers involved, a disturbing trend shows a number of drug abuse treatment clinics in Mexico offering the treatment. While some of these clinics are regulated, majority of them are unregulated, making the medical expertise that they offer, doubtful. Experts feel that more research is needed to establish the success of ibogaine as a treatment option for opioid addiction.
Curbing risks of opioid addiction
Using a psychoactive substance to treat opioid addiction can increase the problem by either worsening the existing condition leading to another one. Helping people gain a broader understanding about the risks associated with prescription abuse may work as an effective measure to reduce their likelihood of misusing opioids. In case a person is already battling an addiction to opioids, he/she should seek professional intervention immediately to attain sobriety.
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