Drugs - Ibogaine: Rite of Passage
Ibogaine is a substance that is derived from the root of an African plant that grows in Gabon. This plant is originally used during initiations of the Bwiti culture, but in the sixties the anti-addictive properties of this psychoactive substance were discovered by Howard Lotsof. Ibogaine is surrounded by controversy. The decisions about the use of Ibogaine in the treatment of addiction appear to be made on political and economical, rather than rational basis. Despite the results that show the efficacy of Ibogaine, the pharmaceutical companies and the government show no interest and stay skeptical. Ibogaine has provided us with more insight in the mechanisms of addiction and the question if it needs to be used for treating this huge western problem gets more and more acknowledgment. Cy (34) has been using a mixture of heroine and amphetamine for about 11 years, but his three children and his ambitions are more valuable to him. Kicking his addiction is a tough job for him. It reveals all his suppressed emotions. Moussavou (22) lives in the village Mitoné in Gabon. For her the traditional African initiation is part of healing process. She suffered from an illness for more than a year and she hopes that eating the holy plant will be the starting point of a new phase in her life. This 50 minute documentary shows the different aspects of this special substance by means of personal experiences and explanations of ex-addicts, treatment providers and experts.