Ibogaine May Help Treat Addiction
The United States has been battling an unprecedented growth in heroin use and overdose deaths, which has developed into a public health crisis. With more than 50,000 Americans succumbing to a heroin overdose in 2015 alone, the epidemic seems far from control. While federal authorities have been making continuous efforts to curb the rising trend of heroin abuse, scientists are also working their way out to develop new treatment strategies that can cure heroin addiction as painlessly as possible.
Ibogaine, a commonly occurring psychoactive substance found in plants of the Apocynaceae family, is an outcome of one such effort by the experts. It has appeared as a ray of hope for millions of people grappling with heroin addiction and overdose. Widely praised for its use in the treatment of opioid addiction, Ibogaine is an effective way to deal with an addiction to opioids, which are often considered the most difficult drugs to deal with. Ibogaine normally works by disrupting the pattern formed by opioid addiction in the brain.
The substance has been found to create an intense psychedelic experience in the user, which ordinarily lasts for 24-36 hours, or even more. The treatment with Ibogaine not only helps the patients to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings but also enables them to reverse their drug-using behaviors.
How does Ibogaine operate?
Besides opioid addiction, Ibogaine is useful in treating other dependencies as well, including alcohol, Suboxone, methadone, and various stimulants. It works by disrupting the addiction pattern created by the opioid in the brain. As the user consumes an opioid, it binds with the receptors in the brain. Regular use of such drugs makes the brain crave for it, due to which the user experiences an amplified urge to use the drug now and then. However, Ibogaine acts on the areas of the brain involved in drug cravings and then takes them back to their initial state, consequently eliminating withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
According to the users who have undergone the treatment, just one session is sufficient to combat severe opioid addiction. With a single dosage of Ibogaine, the user manages to experience a psychedelic state for about 30 hours. Often, during this stage, users gain significant insights into their addictive behavior, which further helps control the devastating habit. Often the first session itself marks the end of addiction. Nevertheless, the users are recommended to continue with counseling and to seek help from support groups to circumvent a relapse.
Recognizing risks associated with Ibogaine
Ibogaine has been classified as a Schedule I drug in the U.S., implying its use as illegal. Although the drug is currently not advocated for medical use in the country, scientists have demonstrated the benefits of Ibogaine in managing opioid addiction. Consequently, it should be used under medical supervision only after thoroughly weighing the pros and cons.
Recovery road map
Treating those who are addicted to prescription drugs, particularly opioids, should be the primary aim of any recovery program. Although the recent data shows that the number of abusers has diminished, the problem continues.