Addiction affects over 20 million Americans over 12 years of age. This number is excluding those whose addiction is to tobacco. Perhaps it won’t be so surprising to addicts, who have stated in interviews that illegal drugs are often cheaper to buy than a six pack of beer. A single dose of cocaine can be bought for $3.00 in the United States. In part because of this, there are 2.6 million addicts who are dependent on both alcohol and illicit drugs. More likely, however, this dependence is simply due to the fact that addiction is far easier to come by than overcome.
Every day, 100 people will die from drug overdoses. A staggering number that has tripled in the past two decades alone. Fatal drug overdoses account for more deaths than car accidents. In one year, upwards of 5 million emergency room visits are caused by drugs. If you or someone close to you has a drug addiction, chances are you don’t need to hear the brutal facts to know how dangerous addiction can be. You probably also don’t need us to tell you how hard drug treatment can be. So we won’t. Instead, we’ll tell you about one of the drug treatment options available and how it can help.
From its discovery to how it works, here are six fast facts about ibogaine drug treatment:
- It comes from the root bark of an African shrub.
In its early years, ibogaine was used in religious ceremonies among tribes in West Africa. It was never very popular as far as recreational drugs go, but since the 1960s has become quite popular in helping addicts through drug treatment.
- It’s drug treatment properties were discovered on accident by a college kid in the 60s.
Ibogaine has been used in drug treatment since the 1960s after a 19 year old heroine addict inadvertently discovered its potential. Howard Lotsof stumbled upon ibogaine’s ability to alleviate cravings while experimenting with psychedelic drugs in college. He was part of a group of fellow students whose common interest was experimenting with various drugs and recording their experiences. After his first dose of ibogaine, Lotsof stopped using all other drugs for six months. Many of the other group members experienced the same effect.
Over twenty years later, Lotsof founded NDA International, though which he began selling ibogaine to addicts in Holland.
- It works by alleviating cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
As Lotsof discovered over half a century ago, ibogaine has the unique property of alleviating drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It can eliminate upwards of 98% of opiate withdrawal symptoms and significantly reduce symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), the second stage of withdrawal. Ibogaine does this by effectively resetting the opiate receptor sites of the brain. Ibogaine is the only substance known to be able to do this, and how exactly it accomplishes it is still unknown. Ibogaine also evens out dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, adrenaline, and other imbalances in the brain to a pre-addicted level.
- It doesn’t cause dependency.
Unlike similar treatment methods, such as suboxone or methadone, ibogaine does not cause dependency. Addicts have been known to emerge from ibogaine drug treatment 36 hours after taking ibogaine to experience no physical dependence on it.
- It can also help alleviate depression.
Along with drug treatment, there had been an increase in using ibogaine for depression and other mood disorders. It’s been found that ibogaine can help induce greater mental clarity, helping those suffering from depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other similar mood disorders to view their experiences in a more objective light. With a more objective, clearer outlook, it can be easier to find the closure needed to recover. Ibogaine is also believed to help restore balance to the brain’s chemistry by modulating certain neurotransmitter systems while protecting dopamine receptors.
- It’s not a cure, but it can be the help you need.
While there is no fast and easy cure for drug addiction, ibogaine treatment comes as close as any drug treatment out there. Ibogaine is by no means a cure for drug addiction, but it can be the catalyst. Ibogaine can give you the boost you need to overcome your addiction once and for all.
Considering 6.8 million addicts also suffer from mental illness, this can prove a unique side effect of ibogaine treatment for opiate addiction.