Detox or Die

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Published on 29th January 2016 by

Detox or Die is a 2004 BBC documentary by filmmaker David Graham Scott. The film follows Scott’s own attempt to rid himself of his addiction to drugs by undertaking Ibogaine treatment. Scott spent four years hooked on heroin, and a further twelve on legally prescribed heroin substitute methadone. His addiction is managed but methadone is notoriously difficult to stop, with only 4% of people subscribed methadone successfully being able to go from methadone to clean.

The film was filmed over a five year period. Before undertaking the treatment he shows the viewer the murky world that he inhabited whilst using, at one point relapsing and taking a fix of heroin with some associates, and he lays bare on camera his desperation to get completely clean. Ibogaine treatment is controversial, unregulated, and even potential lethal. There have been several recorded deaths of participants dying after taking the drug and suffering withdrawal.

Unlike conventional treatments and detoxes, Ibogaine treatment claims to completely clear withdrawal symptoms in just one day. Scott undertakes the horrific 36 hour detox despite being petrified of potential death, and ultimately comes out of the other side having successfully kicked his twelve year methadone dependency. David Graham Scott returned to the subject of Ibogaine with the award winning feature length documentary Iboga Nights.

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