Ibogaine is a natural hallucinogen that has been shown to immediately stop all drug cravings for heroin and other barbiturates as well as alcohol cravings in alcoholics. It improves an addict’s chances of staying clean for life. Research began in the early 60s into Ibogaine’s potential use as a rehabilitation therapy for addicts but was abandoned after fears were raised over the safety of the drug. The FDA banned Ibogaine in 1967 due to its hallucinogenic properties. In 1995, researchers at the University of Miami managed to get permission from the FDA to study Ibogaine’s effects on addicts but the funding eventually fell through. Big Pharma, and specifically the manufacturers of Methadone are thought to have had a hand in ensuring Ibogaine remains illegal so as to ensure their drug remains the number one treatment for heroin addiction.
Advocates of Ibogaine point out that far fewer side effects have been linked to the hallucinogen than to other rehabilitative drugs such as Methadone. Current treatments for substance addiction are largely ineffective and only one new drug known as Buprenorphine has been developed in the last two decades to treat opiate addiction. Many patients often find themselves becoming addicted to the substitute drug during treatment. Ibogaine requires that the patient take only one dose before cravings begin to subside, and treatment is far less expensive than the traditional options. Ibogaine is available in other countries such as the Netherlands, Norway, UK, Mexico, Canada and South Africa.
History of Ibogaine
Ibogaine is a natural hallucinogen that is derived from the Iboga plant. It can be harvested from any plant in the Apocynaceae family. A synthetic version of Ibogaine was created and patented in 1956, but was deemed too expensive to be made available for commercial use. Ibogaine has been used by African tribes for centuries and forms part of a ‘coming of age’ ritual for young men. Howard P. Lotsof is credited with bringing the drug to the western world after stumbling across it accidentally. Lotsof, a New Yorker and heroin addict, took Ibogaine in order to experience its hallucinogenic effects. After his experience ended, he realized that he no longer craved heroin and had none of the typical withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, trembling and sweating. Lotsof experimented with other heroin users to try and replicate the effects and found that Ibogaine completely eliminated the desire for opiates. He then attempted to found a company in the US in order to further investigate Ibogaine, but was forced to relocate to Holland after the FDA banned the drug.
How Does Ibogaine Work?
Ibogaine works by blocking receptors in the brain that are responsible for cravings. When cravings are eliminated, the body is no longer subjected to the often severe withdrawal process that is associated with heroin addiction. Those who have undergone Ibogaine therapy often report that the first few hours is filled with visions and hallucinations caused by the drug’s psychoactive properties. This is then followed by a period of deep introspection where the addict is able to confront and overcome any emotional issues they have that have caused their drug addiction.
Most of the evidence that supports Ibogaine’s use as a therapy for opiate addicts is anecdotal as controlled medical trials have yet to be carried out. Respected neurologist Deborah Mash at the University of Miami originally began trials into Ibogaine in the 90s but was shut down through lack of funding. She then moved her research to St Kitts in the Caribbean where she opened a private research center. Mash claims to have collected clinical evidence on over 300 patients who were given Ibogaine to deal with cravings to heroin, cocaine and alcohol. Her findings report that 70% of patients went into remission after treatment and many of those were able to stay clean. Mash is now attempting to isolate a substance known as Noribogaine, a natural compound created in the liver by Ibogaine. Mash believes that this substance is responsible for blocking the cravings and could offer relief without the psychedelic trip that comes with Ibogaine. She is attempting to secure funds for this research from the private sector.
Other Uses of Ibogaine
As well as curing addiction, Ibogaine is also said to help with chronic pain management as small doses are thought to have similar effects as morphine. A clinic in Mexico known as Ibogaquest offers Ibogaine treatment to deal with disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders, phobias and depression. As with most psychedelic drugs, many users report feelings of euphoria and a sense of coming closer to one’s own self. Hallucinogenic drugs often leave users with a feeling of spiritual growth and a new perspective on life. However, this experience, known as a bad trip, can sometimes be negative depending on what anxieties and fears the person holds within themselves. Ibogaine treatment should always be supervised by a knowledgeable and trained health practitioner.
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