Addiction is a serious problem around the world and in the United States. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is an issue for more than 20 million people over the age of 12. In 2011, more than five million emergency room visits could be attributed to drug use. For 2.6 million people, their addiction to drugs is combined with an addiction to alcohol. This is a problem for more than just them and their families as 9.4 million people admitted they drove under the influence of illicit drugs in 2011. This is the reason that ibogaine therapy was developed.
How does ibogaine therapy work?
Ibogaine therapy is one way people around the world are able to recover from addictions to many drugs and alcohol. Ibogaine itself is a naturally occurring substance. It is an alkaloid that has been isolated from the Tabernanthe iboga plant. It is psychoactive and has some dissociative properties as well. It is associated with spiritual exploration and psychological introspection. Its efficacy in helping people with addictions to opiates was discovered in the 1960s. It has been effectively used for people suffering from addictions to heroin, methadone, methamphetamine, cocaine and alcohol.
Many people do not try to stop taking their drug of choice because they are afraid of the withdrawal symptoms that can be painful. Ibogaine helps prevent people from suffering from those symptoms by refreshing and resetting the opiate receptor sites in the brain. The actual mechanism of action has yet to be discovered. Scientists have not been able to find any other substances that have this effect on the brain.
Ibogaine therapy is unique in that one treatment is all that is needed to alter the brain of the addict enough to end their addiction. It is thought that ibogaine substantially alters these receptors permanently. This seems to be through the creation of nor-irbogaine, which is a metabolite of ibogaine itself. This actually works to change the basic chemistry of the brain.
Ibogaine therapy differs significantly from other treatments. Suboxone and methadone can be used to treat addiction but then the person becomes addicted to those substances and they really are just trading one addiction for another.
To recover fully from stimulant or alcohol dependency, the ibogaine therapy process takes a few days. This is because the ibogaine drug treatment takes time to reestablish the brain’s production of most of the neurotransmitters that were impacted by the addiction. The production and use of such substances as dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and adrenaline need to be reset and reestablished. The brain is effectively reset to its condition before the addiction. People feel much better physically much sooner than when any other method of detox and recovery is attempted. For most people, the process of stopping using drugs and alcohol is not a one time thing. They stop, relapse and then stop again. With ibogaine therapy, they are able to just stop once.
For people who are using antidepressants and other pharmaceutical drugs, the process takes a longer amount of time as the addiction to these substances is often more than just a physical addiction but a mental one as well. Most ibogaine treatment centers take the ibogaine therapy time to also help these people start a new healthy lifestyle to help their mind, body and spirit recover from their addictions but the process can still take much longer. For these people, the actual time it will take to fully recover can be weeks or even months. Recovery is possible.
What happens when you take ibogaine?
After it is absorbed into the body, the liver changes ibogaine into nor-ibogaine. This is a fat soluble substance. The cravings and any thoughts to use are removed. This process will take anywhere from 72 to 96 hours after ingestion for these effects to be felt by the patient. When people begin to feel the effects of the ibogaine therapy, they report a feeling of well being and calm. The substance has also been found to antidepressant properties.
Recovery from addiction to illicit drugs, pharmaceuticals or alcohol is a hard process. It is important to recognize that it is just that, a process. While ibogaine therapy shortens the process, it is not instant but it can work.