**I was approached by Aeden Smith who works with addicts in Mexico and is having success using Ibogaine as a treatment for some drug addictions. He shared his admiration for the blog here and asked if he could do a guest post sharing what he knows to work for him thus far. Another weapon in our arsenal against this mighty disease and another soldier here sharing what he knows, enjoy and stay blessed, my friends.
By: Aeden Smith
A Look at Ibogaine Treatment to Fight Addiction
Addiction is a condition that’s highly individualized. People start and continue using drugs for an infinite number of reasons and seeking help can be intimidating. It can also be discouraging when so many traditional treatment models are failing.
Addiction is Out of Control
The US has recognized the seriousness of addiction and it’s being called a national epidemic. People understand that there’s a problem, but most are at a loss when it comes to treatment.
Becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol can happen on a number of different levels. The mixture of psychological and physical dependencies requires a multifaceted treatment approach that can be difficult to get right.
The increasing relapse rate combined with a steadily growing number of overdose deaths has led many people to search for alternative treatment options. This includes a renewed interest in psychedelics like Ibogaine that have been proven effective in several other countries.
A Look at Ibogaine
Ibogaine is a potent psychedelic harvested from the root bark of the Tabernanthe Iboga shrub. This shrub grows wild throughout West Africa and has been used as a rite of passage and in healing rituals by native tribes for thousands of years.
The Bwiti tribe found Ibogaine’s effects to be so profound that they based many of their religious beliefs around the Ibogaine experience. This caught the attention of French explorers and traders, who took Ibogaine to France with them in the late 19th century.
Ibogaine’s Early Years
By 1912, two French scientists had managed to isolate the alkaloid in Ibogaine and discovered that small doses of the drug increased alertness and had a stimulating effect on the user.
They marketed Ibogaine as a stimulant under the name Lambarene. The medication grew in popularity and made its way to the US in the 1930s.
Here, it was used as a performance enhancing drug for Olympic athletes and in competitive sports. It didn’t take long for the athletic authorities to ban Ibogaine, and to make it a reason for disqualification if used.
The drug continued to fly under the radar until the psychedelic era of the 1960s created a renewed interest in Ibogaine’s effects.
Discovering Ibogaine’s Impact on Addiction
In 1962, a heroin addict named Howard Lotsof inadvertently discovered Ibogaine’s impact on addiction when he took it for the psychedelic experience.
After taking Ibogaine, Lotsof noticed that his withdrawal symptoms were gone, as was his craving for heroin and other opioids. This surprised him, and he invited other addicts to try Ibogaine. The results were similar and Lotof was convinced. He spent the rest of his life studying Ibogaine and the effects Ibogaine treatment can have on addiction.
It didn’t take long for Ibogaine to draw the attention of the scientific community, and tests were conducted on its impact on addiction. In spite of having promising results, the US government classified Ibogaine as a Schedule I drug in 1967.
This made its consumption illegal and classified it with other illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine. Scientists in other countries took up the torch and continued research into Ibogaine and addiction—leading to a number of positive studies and developing protocols used by Ibogaine treatment centers today.
How Does Ibogaine Fight Addiction?
Ibogaine has a profound impact on addiction due to the way that it interacts with the brain and the psyche simultaneously. This is what makes Ibogaine so effective at treating addiction.
The Physical Effects of Ibogaine
Drug addiction causes profound changes in the brain. The more an addict uses, the more dramatic this change can be.
When the addict stops using the drug, the brain and body begin to heal. During this process, the addict will feel severe withdrawals. Depression, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms are usually the result of severe withdrawal, making it very difficult for an addict to stay sober.
When a person ingests Ibogaine, it begins to target areas of the brain that have been damaged by drug use. During this healing process, Ibogaine is able to eliminate 80 to 100% of withdrawals symptoms.
What would normally take days, or even weeks for the body to do naturally, Ibogaine is able to do in an 8-12 hour period. By eliminating the withdrawal symptoms, the addict is able to make the decision to quit using drugs on their own, without the harsh withdrawal symptoms that often make it impossible for them to stop using.
The Psychological Effects of Ibogaine
Along with the physical healing that Ibogaine offers, many of those who take Ibogaine also experience an intense psychedelic experience. This is why Ibogaine is often referred to as “the waking dream.”
Not every addict who takes Ibogaine will experience this, but for those that do they often report seeing their past, present, and future. Addicts are often put face to face with the decisions they have made, and how that has affected themselves and those around them.
Many addicts also claim that Ibogaine helped them face past trauma and negative life experiences that were often the cause of the addiction to begin with. This can be a priceless therapeutic experience that can help addicts move on from those experiences in their lives that often are the cause for the addiction in the first place.
Ibogaine has also been used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and a number of mental disorders. However, studies on this are few, and in some cases Ibogaine can compound mental illness. Those looking to take Ibogaine for mental illness should approach with caution.
How Safe is Ibogaine?
Ibogaine can have negative side effects that cause heart palpitations and can be hard on the liver. Because of this, medical Ibogaine clinics conduct thorough testing to make sure that all patients are healthy enough for treatment.
Even with proper testing the risks of Ibogaine can still be present. This is why taking Ibogaine at a medical facility is considered the safest way for those interested in Ibogaine treatment.
Making the Right Choice for Your Treatment
Ibogaine cannot force a person to change. It is still up to the addict to have a deep desire to change. Ibogaine is considered a more extreme alternative to traditional rehabs and a great deal of thought and research should be done before making any medical decisions.
The ultimate goal is a happy and healthy life lived free from drugs and alcohol. There are many different options and, with determination, any addict can find a strong path to sobriety and have a happy, productive, drug free life.