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Searching for Innovative Addiction Treatment

with Hirpal Hundial, Director of Clinical Services at Universal Ibogaine

Original premiere date: 30 September 2022

The numbers are staggering – almost five people a day in BC are dying from what the Coroners Service calls “illicit drug toxicity,” also known as opioid deaths. That adds up to 1,095 people from January 1, 2022 to the end of June.

Hirpal Hundial says, “There has been nothing transformative or innovative in the field of addiction medicine to assist people going through detoxification for the last 25 years.” The current solution is to switch users from their opioid of choice to an opioid agonist therapy like suboxone or methadone, both of which research demonstrates produce marginal benefits. Hundial says, “Time is up – we need access to innovative and transformative solutions, otherwise there will continue to be escalating numbers of deaths.”

One such alternative is ibogaine, a psychoactive substance that shows promise in the treatment of opioid users. In New Zealand where the use of ibogaine is legal, a study available online at the National Library of Medicine reported that “a single ibogaine treatment reduced opioid withdrawal symptoms and achieved opioid cessation or sustained reduced use in dependent individuals as measured over 12 months.”

The report went on to say, “Ibogaine`s legal availability in New Zealand may offer improved outcomes where legislation supports treatment providers to work closely with other health professionals.” The same is not true in Canada.

We invited Hirpal Hundial, the Director of Clinical Services at Universal Ibogaine, to join us for a Conversation That Matters about the risks and the benefits of ibogaine in addressing one of our biggest health challenges.

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