Alternative and holistic treatment methods have been around for thousands of years. Recently, more addicts have been turning to these ancient medicines as a potential treatment for their addictions. This is primarily due to an increase in addiction at a rate that we’ve never seen before.
Addiction at Record Breaking Rates
The US has experienced an addiction epidemic that’s endangering the lives of an entire generation. Opioid use is skyrocketing, and many are unsure of where to turn.
Traditional rehabs and treatment methods are just one solution. Unfortunately, many people aren’t getting the help they need. Although new methods of treatment do come along, they aren’t available to everyone as quickly as they need to be. This, combined with the cost of multiple stays at an inpatient rehab facility, has made addiction a life sentence for some.
What can addicts do? Many are turning to alternative solutions, such as Ibogaine, for treating these strong addictions. Even though there is still much to be learned, there is enough scientific research on Ibogaine as a treatment method to make it a valuable and viable resource.
Ibogaine as an Option
Ibogaine is a powerful psychedelic that’s derived from the root bark of the Tabernanthe Iboga plant that grows wild in West Africa. Iboga itself has been used for thousands of years by African tribal natives, mostly for spirituality and healing purposes.
The natives claim that the Iboga experience enhances their spiritual life and could treat and cure many psychological and physical problems. The Bwiti tribe actually built its entire belief system around the effects of the Iboga journey.
This is only a small indication of the power that was often associated with Ibogaine’s psychedelic effects. It wasn’t until French explorers noticed the impact that Ibogaine had on the natives that it made its way to other parts of the world.
In the 19th century, French explorers brought Iboga back from Africa and introduced it in France. In the earliest part of the 20th century, two French scientists discovered how to separate the alkaloid and create a purer form of Ibogaine.
They discovered that the medication had a stimulant effect when taken in small doses. This resulted in them marketing Ibogaine in small amounts under the name Lambarene.
Lambarene became increasingly popular in France and made its way over to the US in the 1930s. It was primarily used by Olympic athletes who discovered that it had the ability to enhance their athletic performance.
It didn’t take long for France to ban Ibogaine and classify it as a performance-enhancing drug. This didn’t stop the rest of the population from enjoying its stimulating effects, though.
In 1962, a man named Howard Lotsof was given a high dose of Ibogaine for its psychedelic properties. Lotsof was suffering from a serious addiction to heroin. After using Ibogaine, he discovered that his withdrawal symptoms were gone.
This accidental discovery caught the interest of the scientific community. Hence, testing on Ibogaine’s ability to fight addiction immediately began.
Unfortunately, the US government classified Ibogaine as a Schedule I drug in 1967. This made it illegal for consumption under any circumstances, and quickly put an end to scientific tests in the country.
Testing picked back up in the 1990s for a brief period of time before the scientific community once again lost interest. However, research continued in other countries with incredibly promising results.
Ibogaine remains illegal in the US, but there are several licensed and reputable facilities that offer Ibogaine treatment in places like Mexico and Canada.
How Ibogaine is Used to Treat Strong Drug Addictions
Addiction is a result of physical and psychological dependence to a drug or foreign substance. Ibogaine works on two levels. First, it helps alleviate withdrawal. Second, it allows the addict to get to the root of the psychological cause for drug use.
The Physical Aspects
When a person becomes physically addicted to drugs or alcohol, the brain undergoes a chemical change. This change centers around the balance of chemicals within the brain.
Prolonged use of drugs and alcohol result in the brain becoming chemically dependent on the substances to maintain the balance within the brain. If levels of the addictive substance start to fall, the person begins to experience physical symptoms known as withdrawal.
Withdrawal is extremely unpleasant and can cause a great deal of physical discomfort. Many people will continue using drugs and alcohol just to avoid these symptoms.
Ibogaine treatment therapy helps the brain by addressing the physical issues in brain receptors that were originally damaged by the use of drugs and alcohol. Within 45 minutes of oral ingestion, the Ibogaine can completely stop all withdrawal symptoms from heroin and opiates.
The entire experience last for around 12 hours. Many people report a massive reduction to physical withdrawal symptoms after the experience is complete.
Once Ibogaine has been metabolized in the body, it turns into a substance called Noribogaine. Noribogaine remains in the body for a period of up to three months, giving the brain more help as it returns to its original chemical balance.
Ibogaine effectively reset the chemical levels within the brain and helps it return to its pre-addicted state.
The Psychological Aspects
Many addictions have their roots in psychological trauma or in painful childhood memories. People who face psychological issues, and have a genetic predisposition to addiction, often struggle with serious substance abuse problems.
Ibogaine has the ability to allow many addicts to take a spiritual journey through their life and often come face to face with past traumatic experience that may cause the drug seeking behavior.
This level of connectivity is something that many psychologists work for years to achieve. Ibogaine has a way of connecting the subconscious and conscious minds with one another, allowing the addict to finally understand their drug use from a different perspective.
Many addicts are able to find insight that helps them finally deal with their addiction problems in a healthier way.
How Safe is Ibogaine?
Ibogaine carries many of the same risks as other medications and medical procedures. Thus, it’s important to work with a licensed facility employing experienced medical professionals.
Before a treatment, a provider may ask you to undergo a series of tests. This is important because Ibogaine can have a negative impact on a person’s heart if they have underlying health issues.
As well, it’s important to adhere to all recommendations from the treatment facility’s doctor. Also, you should be properly cleared for testing prior to ingesting Ibogaine. Finally, you should never take this medication anywhere but in a licensed facility under the supervision of medical professionals.
Making the Right Choice
Addiction affects each and every one of us in a very different way. Because of this, each addict must find their own individual path to recovery.
Ibogaine may not be the best choice for everyone, and it’s very important to research all of your options before choosing a single treatment path. Find what works best for you, but make sure that you’re in the hands of trusted professionals.
Make informed decisions and take the next step towards a better you.
About the Author
Aeden Smith-Ahearn is an Ibogaine treatment facilitator at Experience Ibogaine. He’s dedicated to helping people learn about Ibogaine, how it works, why it works, and how it can help change a person’s future. You can learn more about Aeden’s story here. Visit Experience Ibogaine at https://experienceibogaine.com.
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Moreover, views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Awareness Junkie or its staff.