More than 1 billion people across the world are suffer from debilitating depression and ptsd and 27 million people all over the world are struggling with opioid dependence. In the United States alone, more than 11 million people misuse opioid prescriptions, and 130 people die from an opioid overdose or an opioid-related condition every day. As a matter of fact, the opioid crisis is so severe that the U.S. government has developed programs to tackle the opioid epidemic.
However, it’s not only the United States fighting the opioid misuse and abuse, but governments all over the world are addressing the opioid crisis as a severe health concern. With opioids causing severe addiction, it’s understandable why the treatment is challenging. With conventional rehab giving poor success and causing relapse in many patients, professionals and patients got interested in new and more effective alternatives.
The Iboga shrub contains many alkaloids, and ibogaine is just one to name. Raw iboga is considered to be one of the most impressive psychedelic plants out there, and many people have used it for its amazing spiritual effects. The African Bwiti religion has seen iboga as essential for generating a high level of self-awareness and introspection.
Back at the beginning of the 1900s, athletes would use ibogaine from the iboga roots as an efficient stimulant. Back then, people were only aware of its ability to excite particular pathways within the brain.
It was 1962 when Howard Lotsof, who was struggling with heroin addiction, tried ibogaine for the first time. It took a couple of hours until Lotsof experienced an epiphany and didn’t feel the need to take heroin for a whole day, without experiencing any withdrawal symptoms. Even though he expected the withdrawal symptoms, they never came.
After just one dose of ibogaine, Lotsof was able to break the heroin dependency. He also realized that his discovering is essential for other people fighting against heroin or opiate dependency.
As the conclusion had a significant impact on addiction treatment, Lotsof also concluded that further testing would be necessary. He called some of his friends dealing with heroin and opiate addiction, gave them ibogaine, and waited. The results were fantastic since none of the friends dealt with withdrawal symptoms after taking ibogaine.
It marks the beginning of an era for addiction treatment. Thanks to Lotsof’s implication and studies, scientists have become intrigued by it and its efficiency for people with opioid addiction.
Sadly, during that time, U.S. government would categorize the psychoactive substances as illicit substances. Soon enough, ibogaine was put in the Schedule 1 category, becoming a drug to be treated and not one to use for treatment. Therefore, it has become tough for scientists to study the power and efficiency of addiction treatment.
Ibogaine has a great ability to control the chemical levels in the brain. The drugs will eliminate significant amounts of chemicals that go into the brain’s neurotransmitters when a person is consuming opiates. It doesn’t take long until the brain becomes addicted to the high levels of the chemicals, which leads to pleasure and inhibits the normal functioning of the brain.
Due to the addictive effects, once the drugs are cut off, the brain starts acting erratically. Seizures, depression, and other symptoms are born when the patient no longer consumes the drugs.
Ibogaine is efficient as it can affect the chemical receptors in the brain. It’s sturdy as it can heal the neurons in mind, allowing natural chemicals to be generated. The substances will enable the brain to work healthily for controlling happiness and feelings of pleasure. Ibogaine gives time to patients going through addiction treatment. Instead of struggling with the withdrawal symptoms, patients will be able to focus on therapy and the comprehensive rehab program that they’re having.
However, ibogaine does more than only controlling the withdrawal symptoms, as it also impacts the brain on a psychological level.
Even though not all, but many patients taking ibogaine experienced a dreamlike condition. People noting this kind of experience also mention that ibogaine helped them deal with their fears, previous traumas, and overcome the deep causes of their addictions.
The psychological clarity and introspection are exceptional and only particular to ibogaine and psychedelic medicines. It’s the reason for which many professionals recommend it for treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental sicknesses.
The psychedelic abilities of ibogaine turn it into a reliable tool for addressing mental conditions. People who take ibogaine report becoming able to have an objective look at themselves as if from the outside, solving the deep causes of their problems.
Due to its nature, people taking ibogaine often reported a spiritual awakening. Ibogaine allows them to check their lives from the outside. The perspective is fundamental for a deep understanding of addiction and its effects on their lives.
The most common and immediate effect when taking ibogaine is the loss of ability to coordinate muscle movements. Dry mouth, nausea, dizziness and even vomiting may also occur.
Even if it’s not typical, a risk for heartbeat irregularities exists. For people with severe risk, ibogaine treatment may also cause cardiac arrest, becoming lethal. The Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance highlights that there’s a 1 in 400 fatality rate for ibogaine treatment.
When we take a second look at the psychological effects, ibogaine treatment seems to impact the mental capacity significantly.
Typically, an ibogaine treatment session will last for 12 hours or so, going through three main phases:
Once the patients return to their normal state, they will feel reflective, introspective, and have a new comprehension of their existence. Soon enough, they will understand and analyze their emotional well-being, becoming more aware of their choices.
There are several studies on ibogaine’s efficiency for people with addiction, and the results are encouraging. The MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) conducted studies on the long-term effectiveness of ibogaine-assisted detox for people with opiate addiction. The studies took place in New Zealand and Mexico. The preliminary results on 20% and 50% of the participants remaining sober for at least 12 months. When taking ibogaine, it’s also essential to follow addiction treatment and not to return to the environment where the opioid addiction began.
A study in Brazil revealed that 61% of the participants no longer used alcohol, cocaine, or cannabis after taking ibogaine. However, the ibogaine treatment was completed by psychotherapy and comprehensive therapy.
Just like any other treatment, ibogaine treatment doesn’t give the same results for everyone. When it comes to addiction treatment, patients should never break the addiction cold-turkey without professional supervision. Ideally, ibogaine should be administered at a reputed rehab center, where well-trained professionals supervise the patients and have the skills to help when something goes wrong.
Addiction is a complicated condition, and treatment has to be adjusted to every patient’s specifics in order to give results. There is no one-size-fits-all therapy, and ibogaine may not work for everyone. Patients should look into all options before selecting an addiction treatment center. The chance for recovery exists, but the path to recovery is different for everyone.