VIDEO REPORT: The Heroin Cure

By: Barclay Pollak Email
By: Barclay Pollak Email

Updated Thursday November 1, 2012 --- 10:00 p.m.

" I'm not a drug dealer."

Johnny Tabaie, a recovering addict, runs an ibogaine clinic in Baja California, Mexico. Tabaie, fed up with western medicine, received an ibogaine treatment in 2007.

Sine then he claims he's helped almost 80 people kick their addiction to heroin and other substances. He also claims to have an astonishing 90% success rate.

We spoke to the 39-year-old Tabaie via Skype while Michael was in his care. He says a 7 to 10 day stay at his clinic will cost about $10,000.

Longer stays are available but cost extra. A team of doctors and nurses look after his patient's because Tabaie has no medical experience.

Once his doctor's finish administering the ibogaine treatment they go to Tabaie and he helps cleanse their body.

" My job as a healer is to teach people how to reconnect with their soul, " says Tabaie.

During the interview with Tabaie, Michael was off camera, just a few feet away. We did not speak with him but Tabaie assured us his treatment worked and it worked well.

" It's unbelievable. It's absolutely magical. It's miraculous."

We met Michael at his home, just a few days after he returned from his ibogaine treatment. Because of his prior drug convictions getting back into the U.S. was difficult. After a few days in a San Diego jail a deal was struck and Michael came home.

Michael had been clean for almost two weeks during this interview. He says 15-minutes after taking ibogaine he felt relief. However, his journey with ibogaine was just getting started.

Over the next several hours Michael would drift in and out of consciousness and hallucinate.

" The hallucination is pretty powerful. It's more like a dream that you can see in third person. "

Michael says he saw his addiction through the eyes of his friends and family and he now knew the pain that he'd caused. When Michael finally came to he was weak and groggy but he had a new found appreciation for his friends and family and he also claims he had no addiction.

Michael says, " Johnny's clinic is the real deal."

Lisa, Michael's mother, who'd taken out a second mortgage on her home for Michael's many treatments believes he's cured. She says the sparkle in his eyes is back.

" I never thought I'd see this day. That he would be healed. "

More positive and with a better outlook Michael spends his days eating right and doing something he seldom did in the past, exercising.

Now he feels like the sky is the limit. But he doesn't believe everyone is sold on his transformation.

" Everybody's nervous. Everybody is waiting because they've seen me go through traditional treatments and it works for a little while and then it doesn't work. "

You may be wondering how Michael is doing? According to the Wisconsin Court System Circuit Court Access or CCAP, Michael was recently arrested.

He's been charged with one count of possessing narcotic drugs, two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia and two counts of felony bail jumping.

Posted Thursday November 1, 2012 --- 6:00 p.m.

" I would get so high I would literally be borderline alive or dead," says Michael Parks. " I've nodded off and it's been 8 or 16 hours. I've lost days. "

Michael Parks love affair with drugs and alcohol started at a young age.

" I liked it. It was kind of a relaxation. It was an escape. "

As a teen Michael dislocated his hip in a car accident and was prescribed pain pills.

" There was an instant attraction with that," says Michael.

This started the 30-year-old's opiate addiction. At first he only used on the weekends. But weekends turned into weekdays and soon Michael couldn't afford his addiction.

According to Michael he was spending his entire paycheck and then some on pain pills. With his addiction spiraling out of control Michael turned to heroin.

"Instantly it was stronger," says Michael. " You could get high five times for the same price that you'd spend on a pill. "

Cheaper and more potent Michael's heroin addiction was born. He was using daily and says once you're hooked that's the only way to go.

" In a short time frame you're going to go from once and a while to daily. "

Michael was shooting up 10 times a day. He lost his job and sold most of his belongings for far less than they were worth. When he didn't have anything left to sell he would write bad checks. Eventually he got in trouble with the law and nearly all of his relationships deteriorated.

However, one relationship has stayed relatively in tact. Michael's mother, Lisa, has been with him every step of the way, through all seven of his attempts to get clean and his three overdoses.

Lisa says, " It's scary because when he is out on the streets and we don't know where he is at. Every time the phone rings you think it's going to be an accident of some kind. "

In October of 2011 Michael talked to his parents about ibogaine. Ibogaine comes from a plant in Africa and according to advocates it can cure opiate addiction almost overnight.

Illegal in the United States, Michael would have to go to Mexico for treatment. At first Lisa was skeptical. She couldn't imagine treating an illegal drug with another illegal drug. Plus, the price didn't sway her, $10,000 for a one week stay at a clinic.

But after another year of dealing with Michael's addiction she feels they're out of options.

" He's at a point where he can't function. So if the ibogaine doesn't work I don't really know what my answers going to be. "

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