Notes on progress in the New Zealand ibogaine study

Exploring differential outcomes across providers and studies at 12-months post treatment

Geoff Noller, PhD

This 12-month post treatment follow-up study commenced in New Zealand in 2011, following ibogaine becoming available as a prescribable non-approved medicine, for opioid dependence.

Mirroring its recently completed sister study, undertaken through a Mexican clinic by US anthropologist Thomas Kingsley-Brown, the New Zealand study sought to recruit 20-30 participants and follow their treatment outcomes for 12 months.

This presentation reports progress in the New Zealand study, with two months remaining for recruitment and currently 13 subjects having been enrolled. Of the 6 formally completed to date, 4 are currently opioid-free. Therefore there are notable successes. Overall, however, the variety of outcomes in this study suggests there are specific variables other than ibogaine treatment itself that contribute to successful recovery. The presentation explores how harnessing these might allow ibogaine to gain greater traction as a treatment modality.

Dr. Geoff Noller has a background in social science and qualitative research. He commenced his PhD at Otago University’s Anthropology Department, completing his thesis (Cannabis in New Zealand) with the Otago University Medical School’s Department of Psychological Medicine in 2007.

Geoff is a self-employed consultant specialising in substance use research, contracting to universities, government and the private sector. He has undertaken ethnographic fieldwork in New Zealand, Australia and the Caribbean, presenting his work at international conferences and symposia (Australia, Europe and the Caribbean) and national fora.

He is currently involved in several projects including:

Principal Investigator: Observational study of the long-term efficacy of ibogaine-assisted therapy in participants with opioid addiction;

Coordinating Investigator / Project Manager: Prevalence of HIV, and Hepatitis B and C among New Zealand needle exchange attendees.

Geoff has recently developed an interest in synthetic cannabinoids and is presently preparing a report on harms associated with these New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) for the New Zealand industry.

Projects under development include New Zealand’s first research examining the use of medicinal cannabis. Titled An Anthropological Study Observing the Impact of Medicinal Cannabis in Recipients That Have Been Assessed with Having a Medical Need, this project is in the planning stage and currently seeking funding.

Geoff also works as an expert witness in court cases involving drug use, particularly cannabis.

He lives in Dunedin, Atoearoa / New Zealand, with his two children.

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