Nestled on the northeastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is the city of Cancun. A hotspot for tourism with its coral reefs and sandy beaches, Cancun has become a popular destination for Mexico’s elite as well as those Americans looking for something more challenging than the relative sobriety of their homeland. In recent years as the cartels took advantage of its location as well as the regular influx of fresh young tourists, Cancun has become as equally renowned for its drug trade, smuggling, and money laundering as it wasfor its all-inclusive hotels.
And now we can add one more item to the list of Cancun’s problems: drug rehabilitation clinics. “But what is wrong with that” you may ask. On the face of it, nothing at all, however it’s the methods that are used in the treatment that are dangerous, and in fact illegal in most western countries, hence the location in Mexico’s vice city.
Established by David Dardashti and supported by his son, Jonathan Dardashti, also known by his birth name Yehonatan Yoel, the Cancun Ibogaine Clinic is a mark on the already pitted reputation that Cancun currently holds. It welcomes drug addicts, especially those addicted to opioids such as heroin, and places them on a rehabilitation program based on the use of ibogaine. Ibogaine has never been proven as an effective means of drug treatment by any national authority either in the USA or overseas, and any research that has been conducted has not been carried out using approved medical procedures.
So what is Ibogaine?
Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive drug found in plants, specifically those of the Apocynaceae family. It has hallucinogenic properties that can cause psychological damage in some patients, and requires careful psychosocial care once prescribed, in order to avoid mentally damaging the patient, perhaps irreversibly, as some cases have shown. Statistics show that one in 300 patients die after using or being administered ibogaine.
So why is the Ibogaine Clinic Cancun allowed to operate?
The Ibogaine Clinic in Cancun operates outside the jurisdiction of US authorities and, as such rarely gets taken to task. The problem lies in the fact that Mexico is, and always was, a very separate entity to the United States and while our governments work well together on issues such as the illegal drug trade and money laundering, small illicit medical centers continue to fall under the radar.
As authorities close one Cancun Ibogaine Clinic, another will spring up across town. Usually in comfortable rented villas in Cancun’s wealthier suburbs, the clinics are not overly conspicuous to those uninitiated with their methods, indeed most people would not even consider the fact that they are even conducting business behind the tall, heavy gates of their compounds.
So what of David and Jonathan Dardashti? Will anything come of their nefarious ways? Possibly not, however the world is catching up with ibogaine treatment, just as it is with homeopathic remedies that cost a fortune and do little for you. However, unlike ibogaine, homeopathic remedies are only harmful to your wallet, not your health. Ibogaine is both financially costly and dangerous. If you, or someone you know, is considering ibogaine as an alternative to proper therapy, seek professional treatment in a proper institution and do not consider Cancun.