Ibogaine and the Benefits of Alternative Addiction Treatment
Ibogaine and the Benefits of Alternative Addiction Treatment
Over the last decade, drug overdose has become one of the leading causes of death in America. And, with the US declaring a state of emergency, it seems that the opioid crisis isn’t going away anytime soon.
Addiction is not a form of weakness, nor is it something that people actively pursue. Many individuals are seeking help for their addiction with traditional rehabilitation models, but they don’t always work. Holistic methods, like Ibogaine, are helping many addicts break their addiction cycle and move forward in a positive way.
The Current Drug Problem
Opiate addiction is on the rise. But our current system of treatment is not evolving to address this problem.
Many of the treatment methods and facilities in the US revolve around the same core concept—Alcoholics Anonymous. And while it may have its benefits, Alcoholics Anonymous it doesn’t work for everyone.
This means that many addicts get caught in a cycle—in and out of treatment—that doesn’t seem to get them anywhere. Many addicts are left looking for alternative options that can offer new approaches that work for them.
Ibogaine is just one of these holistic alternative treatments. But Ibogaine treats addiction differently by addressing the physical withdrawal symptoms as well as the underlying causes of the addiction.
What is Ibogaine?
Ibogaine is an alkaloid extracted from the Tabernathe Iboga plant (and other species in the Apocynaceae family) found in Africa. The Iboga plant has been used for centuries to induce a dream-like state and promote spiritual healing.
The Bwiti in Africa have long believed that consuming the Iboga plant allows them to get in touch with themselves and reach a deeper state of being. Rituals, spiritual rites of passage, and other ceremonies are a big part of the Bwiti religion, and they use Iboga as the key ingredient in their spiritual growth and development.
Ibogaine as a Drug Treatment
Recent use of Iboga has its roots in 1900s Europe, where Ibogaine was first extracted from the Iboga root bark. At first, it was only taken in very small doses and classified as a stimulant—mostly being used by athletes.
In the 1960s, a young heroin addict named Howard Lotsof was exploring psychedelic drugs He was given a dose of Ibogaine by one of his friends. However, he did not expect the Ibogaine to affect his heroin dependence.
After only a few hours, Lotsof no longer felt the need for heroin, nor did he experience any withdrawal symptoms from not using. This was an astounding byproduct of what he considered to be one of the most spiritual experiences of his entire life.
He found that Ibogaine had completely freed him from his heroin addiction, and so he began testing this outcome by giving Ibogaine to his friends who were also heroin addicts.
He went on to study Ibogaine and scientifically research its effects on addiction for the rest of his life. His tests repeatedly demonstrated how profound an impact Ibogaine could have for the world of addiction.
So, what was this impact?
How it Works
Losof, as well as other psychedelic scientific associations, have shown conclusively that Ibogaine has a great deal of promise in targeting heroin and opiate withdrawal symptoms.
While not everything is known about how Ibogaine works, it has been shown to essentially rewire the brain—renewing neural function and minimizing, if not eliminating, the negative effects that opiates have on the brain.
When we become dependent on a substance, the chemicals in the substance replace many of the ones our brain produces naturally. This means that the brain is dependent on a higher volume of chemical intake than it can normally produce.
If we stop taking the addictive substance, the brain’s chemical balance is thrown off, and, while the neurological pathways in the brain adjust, we go into withdrawals.
Heroin and opiate withdrawals are some of the most severe. They can include things like vomiting, nausea, fevers, and extreme body aches—not to mention depression, anxiety, and other major negative emotions.
However, with Ibogaine, the chemical functions of the brain appear to completely reset. This means that receptors are returned to their normal state and there is no need for the brain to adjust. This drastically reduces, and often completely eliminates, withdrawals symptoms.
But Ibogaine goes even a step further.
Ibogaine’s Psychedelic Effects on Trauma
While Ibogaine is targeting the physical withdrawal symptoms, it also puts most addicts in a profound psychedelic state. This is often referred to as a “dream-like state” that allows addicts a unique type of introspection—often directly related to their lives and their addiction.
During this time, addicts often confront decisions they have made regarding their addiction. They also can find therapeutic benefits from facing trauma and other negative experiences in their lives. In this way, Ibogaine can often address the root of the problem, reasons the addict has become an addict in the first place.
No other drug treatment can work on both of these levels to treat addiction.
Is Ibogaine Safe?
Just like with any other treatment, there are risks associated with the use of Ibogaine. The safest way to undergo Ibogaine treatment is with a trained and licensed physician in a modern medical facility.
Proper prescreening and medical testing are necessary to lower the risk of negative side effects associated with Ibogaine. It is never recommended that anyone use Ibogaine without proper medical supervision and prescreening.
Doing What’s Right for You
The most important thing to remember is that achieving sobriety is possible. Every individual is different and will need to find their unique path to recovery. Ibogaine is considered a very extreme treatment, and may not be for everyone. However, it has shown promise in treating withdrawal symptoms and has successfully helped many addicts stay sober for extended periods of time.
Ibogaine is a detox, and an effective one. Combining Ibogaine therapy with proper aftercare and success planning will help increase the chances of success for any addict. Take the time to educate yourself on the options available to you and discuss them with a professional.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Never give up hope. Success and long-term sobriety are possible. Take the time to find the treatment that works best for you or your loved one.
This piece was kindly written by Aeden Smith-Ahearn, thanks so much for contributing to the site!Google+