Could this drug help millions of American addicts?

Heroin addicts and alcoholics have said ibogaine helped them kick addiction, so why is it illegal in the United States?

When Paul O’Heron arrived in Cancun from Missouri in early April, the 29-year-old drug addict hadn’t been clean for 12 years.

“I was sick of having to use every waking moment of my life to try to find drugs,” he told America Tonight. “I was able to see the damage that it did to my family, especially to my twin sister, who was having horrible nightmares about me overdosing and getting that call that I’m dead.”

But his frustration and drive to get clean were no match for his long-term abuse of some of the most addictive substances in the world. Beginning by snorting Ritalin at age 14, he quickly moved on to cocaine, meth, Oxycontin and, eventually, heroin.

O’Heron was losing hope. He had been in rehab four times, but relapsed immediately after each time. Now, he wanted to try something new, even drastic. Researching online, he read about ibogaine, a naturally occurring psychoactive drug derived from a West African plant.