Addiction is a growing problem in the United States. Current estimates state that over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 have an addiction — and those addictions don’t even include tobacco. Although many people seek medical and psychological treatment for their addictions, these methods often prove unsuccessful. But one treatment may hold the key to breaking the addictive cycle: ibogaine therapy.
Derived from an African shrub, ibogaine is a substance that has been used for decades. More recently, it’s become more well-known as a treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms and addictive cravings. Ibogaine is unique in that it can be used to treat many different types of addictions: alcohol, heroin and opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, and nicotine. Not only can an ibogaine detox be much more bearable, but it can also allow an addict to examine his or her behavioral history and identify the factors that form and feed these addictions.
So why isn’t ibogaine treatment for opiate addiction used more often?
Although it’s used legally in several countries, ibogaine is considered to be an illegal schedule 1 drug in the United States. And while many addicts have reported that their time in ibogaine treatment centers has allowed them to overcome their addictions, this anecdotal evidence is no substitute for measurable scientific data. However, there are ibogaine clinics around the world that allow patients to safely undergo the administration of the drug, despite its risks.
What are some of the risks of getting help at an ibogaine treatment center?
It’s difficult to gauge the risk of ibogaine due to the lack of research data on its use. In 2007, one research group found that fatalities occur at a rate of every one in 300. Because of this, all patients should have their physical and mental health evaluated prior to undergoing treatment and should seek treatment only at ibogaine treatment centers that are adequately equipped with experienced staff members and life-saving medical equipment. Ibogaine treatment does pose a risk of complications, so vital signs should be monitored at all times during treatment, and clinics should ideally have portable defibrillators on hand.
How do I know if ibogaine is right for me?
If you have a history of cancer, seizures, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, MS, migraines, dementia, cardiac conditions, untreated high blood pressure, IBS, Cron’s, kidney stones, kidney disease, live disease, lung diseases (such as asthma, emphysema, or bronchitis), unmanaged diabetes, strokes, vascular disease, emotional or psychiatric disorders, you should not undergo ibogaine treatment therapy. Pregnant women should also refrain from this treatment. But if you pass your medical evaluation, you should be a good candidate for this treatment. It can free you from addiction in a way that no other treatment can. For all its risks, ibogaine could save your life.