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AUSTRALIAN WHO DIED IN IBOGAINE DRUGS PROGRAMME SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN TREATED

THAI IBOGAINE DEATH SCANDAL 



ONE WOMAN TO BE DEPORTED FOR MANSLAUGHTER – BUT TWO OTHERS SHOULD BE CHARGED TOO


A 33-year-old Australian man, who allegedly died while undergoing treatment with the hallucinogenic drug Ibogaine on the Thai holiday island of Koh Phangan produced medical reports to the people running the programme which showed that he should not even have been offered treatment, an investigation has shown.


Brodie Noel Smith from Mandurah, West Australia, almost certainly died because the people running the unregistered programme were not only unqualified to do so without medical supervision, but gave scant regard to the conditions under which the drug should be administered.

Ibogaine, taken from the drug of the Iboga tree and used in tribal rituals in Gabon, West Africa, has been proven to have a success rate against drug addiction, say experts. But it should be administered with caution.

But in Thailand the programme was offered by two American’s from Buffalo, New York State, who have been described as little more than ‘snake oil salesmen’ aided by a woman, a former go-go dancer who ran an escort service in Hoover, Alabama – who last week was arrested by police for deportation back to home where she faces after absconding from a five year sentence for manslaughter.

Kelly Miller

Police on Koh Phangan failed to investigate the death of Brodie Smith, who was accompanied in his treatment by his girlfriend Kara Spark.

Not only did they not appear to acknowledge that Brodie was undergoing Ibogaine treatment – but they accepted statements by Americans Simon Picone and Victor Cracknell that he had shot himself up with a drug before Victor Cracknell allegedly visited him as ‘an old friend’ to take him on a tour around the island.

Cracknell and Picone were offering the treatment in a guest house on Koh Phangan with Kelly Lynn Miller, from Bessemer, Alabama, acting as nurse and greeter.

In a statement to Brodie’s next of kin, his mother Dianne Tucker, from Halls Creek, Kimberley, West Australia Jonathan Dickinson, Director of the Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance, which is independently investigating the death said:

Victor Cracknell – no angel

“There is one important detail that has left an unanswered question in our communication with the providers. Regardless of whether or not Brodie was given Ibogaine, he was accepted for treatment, and was on site preparing to be treated. However, the medical tests that Brodie submitted to them showed that he had a prolonged QTc interval.  

The QT is the measurement of the time interval between two points on the electrical beat of the heart. If these are too long, it causes a cardiac arrhythmia, which can be fatal. Ibogaine is known to prolong the QT interval, so it is very important to first check patients to make sure that their QT is not already approaching a dangerous range. In Brodie’s case, his QTc interval was not only long; it was “prolonged” according the FDA definition of prolonged QTc interval. 

Mike Picone – selling colloidal gold

The fatalities that have occurred with Ibogaine treatment have been studied, and there is consensus in the medical community that they only occur in the presence of pre-existing heart conditions, severe liver malfunction, or co-administration of other illicit drugs. 

Ibogaine physiologically resets tolerance to opiates and other drugs, so there have also been cases of overdose when people who use drugs after treatment take the same dose they were accustomed to taking. It is an important part of a provider’s duty to avoid potential harm by informing patients that if they choose to use drugs, they must take a dose that a drug-naive person would take, as though they were new users. 

Brodie and Kara Spark

In Brodie’s case, without the toxicology reports showing he had ibogaine and/or noribogaine in his system, we can’t say defensibly that this is what might have happened.  

But, we do have serious questions as to why Brodie was on-site awaiting treatment in the first place. His QTc may have been prolonged by the methamphetamine use, but regardless, he should have been excluded for treatment until this was under control. If they did not consider this aspect of the electrocardiogram, we’re not sure what part of it they did consider. It is by far the simplest detail that one needs to take into consideration.” 

Cracknell and Picone are believed to have left the island after the circumstances surrounding Brodie’s death were first published on this site. A complaint has been made with Thailand’s Ministry of Health which regulates all medical clinics and programmes.”

Both Kara Spark his girlfriend and Brodie’s mother Dianne Tucker have asked the Australian government to intervene to press an investigation of Picone and Cracknell for manslaughter – but it is believed they have long since left the island.

Said Kara: ”  I will always remember this and I will never re-cover from this. I have lost everything, all my hopes and dreams. They are to blame, I don’t understand how people could be so horrible and cruel and to not feel guilty or remorseful makes me sick.”

LINKS:

THE SCANDAL OF THE KOH PHANGAN DRUGS PROGRAMME

COVER UP ON KOH PHANGAN – THE MISSING WITNESS STATEMENT

UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF IBOGAINE A YOUNG WOMAN FLEES KOH PHANGAN

HOW COCONUTS TV PROMOTED AN UNREGISTERD DRUGS PROGRAMME

About the Author

Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond is a British independent journalist and occasional television documentary maker. He is a former Fleet Street, London, journalist having worked at the Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, News of the World, Observer and The Times.

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