According to the Centers for Drug and Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from opiate overdose. This includes not only illegal street drugs such as heroin, but prescription opiates such as oxycodone and codeine. This rate has actually quadrupled since 1999, and it will likely increase over the next few years. We are in the midst of an opiate addiction epidemic due in part to how addictive opiates can be. Fortunately, there is a relatively new treatment available that could help ease people off of addictive opiates. It is known as ibogaine therapy, and even though it is not without its own controversies, it has proven to help people overcome their opiate addictions.
What is Ibogaine?
Ibogaine is a naturally-occurring psychoactive substance found in the root bark of the African shrub Tabernanthe Iboga. Although it is not currently approved for medical uses in the United States, anecdotal reports state that a single use of ibogaine can reduce cravings for many kinds of drugs, including alcohol and opiates. Research has also shown that ibogaine treatment can reduce withdrawal symptoms for those addicted to opiates.
Ibogaine’s anti-addictive properties were accidentally discovered in 1962 when a group of college students studied the effects of various psychoactive drugs, which were not illegal at the time. Ibogaine itself was tested by a 19 year-old heroin addict named Howard Lotsof. Lotsof took a dose of ibogaine expecting it to have effects similar to other psychoactive drugs, but he found that it greatly reduced his craving for heroin. During the six months after Lotsof took this dose of ibogaine, he stopped using heroin, cocaine, and all other drugs. Others in Lotsof’s research group had similar experiences after taking ibogaine.
Lotsof later went on to found NDA International in 1986, where he obtained patents for the use of ibogaine in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction under the name Endabuse. Ibogaine therapy was initially administered to patients in Holland, but research on the drug and its effectiveness at treating opiate addiction began in the United States in the 1990s. Concerns over the cardiotoxicity effects of ibogaine therapy caused this research to formally come to an end, but ibogaine treatment is still being administered, with many patients reporting a complete recovery from their addiction.
How Ibogaine Treatment Works
Before ibogaine treatment can be administered, patients must first undergo an evaluation to determine whether or not they are suitable candidates. This involves an electrocardiogram as well as many other medical tests to determine if a patient is healthy enough for ibogaine therapy.
An ibogaine treatment is typically administered in a darkened room in the form of a pill. Many patients vomit within the first few hours of taking ibogaine. Ataxia, or difficulty with movement and coordination, is also common in patients who first take the pill.
The effects of ibogaine can be divided into three stages. The first is the acute stage, which begins one to three hours after the dose of ibogaine is administered and can last up to eight hours. During this stage, patients typically experience visions that have been compared to waking dreams. The second stage is the evaluative stage. This begins about four hours after the ingestion of the ibogaine and can last between eight and 20 hours. Patients report feeling reflective and focused on their inner subjective experiences during this time.
The final stage of ibogaine’s effects begins 12 to 24 hours after ingestion and can last for more than three days. The psychoactive effects of the ibogaine begin to lessen and the patient starts to return to normal. Many patients report having trouble sleeping during this time, although they also report having a break from the withdrawal symptoms that stem from their opiate addiction.
Patients receive heavy counseling in the period after their ibogaine treatment. They go through a period where their cravings for opiates and other drugs lessen along with their withdrawal symptoms, which gives them the chance to give attention to the underlying psychological causes of their addiction. Since nearly every case of substance abuse and drug addiction stems from other causes, it is very important that these causes be addressed while cravings and withdrawal symptoms are supressed.
How Well Does Ibogaine Therapy Work?
Although there is little hard evidence that ibogaine therapy really works for people who want to cure themselves of their opiate addiction, the research that has been completed has been promising. Ibogaine has been shown to reduce self-administration of heroin in opiate-dependent rats in many research trials, and anecdotal evidence has suggested that it can suppress opiate cravings at least temporarily in humans. With extra therapy, ibogaine treatments could indeed be the key to fighting the current opioid epidemic. Unfortunately, there is little solid evidence about the long-term effects of ibogaine treatment. This kind of therapy is still relatively new, even though ibogaine has been used in Bwiti religious ceremonies for years.
The biggest hurdle that ibogaine therapy has to overcome in the United States is the fact that the drug still has not been approved for treating addiction. This is why ibogaine treatment centers are located outside of the country. Ibogaine Central currently has treatment centers in the Bahamas and in Baja, Mexico.
What You Should Expect from the Treatment
Although Ibogaine treatment has slowly gained prominence in the medical industry in targeting substance addiction problems, opting to undergo in such treatment must not be taken lightly. Sufficient preparation is a must before undergoing ibogaine and this includes knowing fully what the chosen ibogaine center offers before, during and after the treatment.
Trusted ibogaine centers and specialists provide the following services and medical support:
Pre-Ibogaine Treatment – This stage of the Ibogaine treatment can make the difference between a successful ibogaine experience, which brings significant changes in the individual’s life, and a simple detox, which can only cause relapse.
Effective Ibogaine Detoxification – Right now, if you are looking for ibogaine treatment centers on the Internet, you see that everybody claims to be the best and they offer this and that. In choosing a treatment center, it very important that you gather facts from previous clients, from reviews and people you trust. Do not be fooloed by online ibogaine sellers who do not specialize in administering the treatment.
Aftercare Treatment – The only way to ensure that you do not fall of the wagon and go back to using drugs, Ibogaine aftercare must be in your treatment program. The detox is not some kind of overnight miracle that will magically improve your life as soon as the effects of the ibogaine wear off. This treatment program needs support all throughout the process and this means that your chosen Ibogaine treatment center must provide aftercare programs that will fortify the effects of the Ibogaine treatment you had. This will sure a long-terms and even a lifetime freedom from your destructive drug habits.
Is Ibogaine Therapy Right for You?
No medical treatment is appropriate for everybody, and ibogaine therapy is no exception. Large doses of ibogaine have been shown to be proarrhythmic, which can result in severe cardiovascular problems. As we said before, many patients vomit hours after ingesting ibogaine pills as part of their treatment, and a loss of coordination is also common. That is why the presence of experienced medical staff is important during the therapy. Ibogaine Central partners with ibogaine centers with doctors who can help determine if this treatment really is right for you.
The biggest advantage of using ibogaine to treat opiate addiction is that it can suppress the cravings for your drug of choice long enough to undergo therapy and address the true cause of your substance abuse problem. It has been proven to be highly effective in treating the physical symptoms of substance abuse, but that is only part of overcoming addiction.
Regardless of whether or not ibogaine treatment is right for you, you should never hesitate if you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse. Contact Ibogaine Central today to schedule an appointment so you can begin the process of overcoming your addiction and reclaiming your life.