Vermonters for Ibogaine Research Supports Expanding Opioid Treatment Options with H.387

MONTPELIER, Vermont, March 17, 2015—A new solution has been proposed for the opioid addiction problem that Governor Peter Shumlin described at length in his 2014 State of the State speech. Representative Paul Dame of Essex Junction has introduced H.387 to establish an ibogaine pilot program for substance use disorder treatment in Vermont, with Representative Joseph Troiano of Stannard co-sponsoring it. The bill was referred to the Committee on Human Services on March 10.

Ibogaine, from the Tabernanthe iboga plant native to western Central Africa, gained a reputation in the West for its ability to treat opioid and other substance use disorders when its anti-addictive properties were experienced in 1962 by Howard Lotsof. Ibogaine is not a "maintenance" drug like the ones currently used in Vermont's hub-and-spoke treatment model, methadone and buprenorphine. Ibogaine can provide a complete detoxification in 36 to 48 hours, with no withdrawal symtoms afterwards.

Ibogaine offers a fresh start that a patient can take advantage of to achieve prolonged abstinence. Like other medication-assisted treatment, success depends on the choices of the person taking it, and it is most effective when continuing care is available to support recovery. Sometimes a second ibogaine treatment is done six months later to reinforce the first.

Bonnie Scott, who founded an online working group called Vermonters for Ibogaine Research after Governor Shumlin's State of the State speech in 2014, lauds the bill's introduction. She says, "Vermont has led the U.S. on so many political issues, and has made tackling opioid dependency a priority. Different types of treatment will appeal to, and work better or worse for, different individuals. Vermonters and their physicians should have access to ibogaine as one of their treatment options." She is working with the bill's sponsors as well as ibogaine experts to clarify some of the details in H.387 to better reflect "best practices" most appropriate for this unique substance.


For more information, please contact
Bonnie Scott
Cell phone: 914-843-0288

Vermonters for Ibogaine Research