Ibogaine: A Natural Alternative Approach to Addiction

| May 21, 2018
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Ibogaine: A Natural Alternative Approach to Addiction

by Aeden Smith-Ahearn,
Guest writer, BodyMindSoulSpirit.com

The United States has never had such a visible problem with addiction as it does right now. In the midst of an epidemic, this problem threatens to trap an entire generation in a never-ending cycle of drug use and treatment.

Examining Addiction

Heroin and opiate addictions have grown exponentially as drugs have become cheaper and more available. When doctors first began prescribing painkillers on wider scale—they had no idea it would contribute to a massive drug habit that would snowball in America.

New regulations have cut down on prescribing practices, but many of those addicts are turning to heroin and illegal drugs to keep their addictions going.

Heroin and opiates have the power to chemically hijack the brain, and to create a dependence that quickly leads to a life-consuming addiction.

It’s estimated that over 100 people die every day in America from drug overdose. Many of these from heroin and prescription narcotics.

In certain areas, it’s not uncommon for police and first responders to be called out to overdose scenes that number in the double digits in a single day.

Treatment can only work if the addict is prepared to accept help. Even if they’re ready, the methods still may not work for them because of just how strong these addictions can be.

With a lack of alternatives, and a fear of withdrawals, many addicts turn back to their drug addiction not by choice. This has led many to seek hope in alternative treatment options like Ibogaine.

What is Ibogaine?

Ibogaine is a natural extracted alkaloid from the Tabernanthe Iboga plant that grows wild throughout Africa. The tribes of West Africa discovered that ingesting the bark of this shrub allowed them to enter into a deeply introspective and spiritual mental state.

The powerful psychedelic properties of Ibogaine made it incredibly valuable to the Bwiti tribe in particular.

They built much of their religion and belief systems around the effects of Ibogaine—making it an integral part of their rites of passage and healing rituals.

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The pigmy tribes that inhabited the area before the Bwiti were thought to have been the first group of people to discover the plant’s psychedelic effects. As more tribes moved into the area—the original pigmies shared the information with the newcomers.

Ibogaine was used for thousands of years in Africa, before it made its way to Europe and North America.

Ibogaine Throughout History

It wasn’t until the 19th century that French explorers became so intrigued by the effects of the Ibogaine on the native peoples of Africa, that they decided to bring it back to Europe.

In France, they discovered that ingesting small amounts of Ibogaine had a stimulating effect that increased their alertness and mental activity.

During the first years of the 20th century, two French scientists discovered how to separate the Ibogaine alkaloid from the Iboga plant itself—creating a medication that was sold under the name Lambarene until the 1960’s.

In 1962, a 19-year-old heroin addict named Howard Lotsof inadvertently discovered Ibogaine’s ability to fight addiction.

Lotsof was doing what many young people were doing at the height of the psychedelic era—experimenting with new drugs. He tried a high dose of Ibogaine and had an intense psychedelic experience that often comes from taking Ibogaine.

As the effects of the Ibogaine wore off, Lotsof discovered that his withdrawal symptoms for heroin simply weren’t there. To his surprise, Lotof found himself free of his addiction.

He shared Ibogaine with some of his friends also suffering from heroin addiction, and they discovered that Ibogaine had the same effect.

Lotsof wasted no time informing the scientific community of the way that Ibogaine could be used to fight addiction. Unfortunately, the US classified Ibogaine as a schedule I drug before any real progress was made.

Now, Ibogaine can be found in treatment centers in various countries around the world where addicts travel to use Ibogaine for their various addictions.

Ibogaine and Addiction

Treatment with Ibogaine has been proven to eliminate anywhere from 80-100 percent of withdrawal symptoms within a single treatment.

Ibogaine’s therapeutic effects come in two different forms. First, Ibogaine targets the brain and the physical addiction. Secondly, Ibogaine helps treat the psyche during the psychedelic experience that an addict often goes through.

The Physical Effects of Ibogaine

When an addict becomes physically addicted to something, their body becomes dependent on the substance to maintain certain chemical levels in the brain. When levels of the drug start to fall, the brain sends out distress signals to the rest of the body.

These distress signals—called withdrawal—translate into physical symptoms that can include fever, body aches, nausea, vomiting, seizures, cold sweats, and severe depression.

Heroin and opiates, in particular, can mimic natural “feel good” chemicals in the brain. They plug in to the receptors in the brain to stimulate the natural reward pathways. The individual begins to crave this reward, and requires more and more of the drug in order to have the same effect.

Ibogaine targets the damage done by drug use, and resets the brain’s natural chemical levels back to their normal state. This has the potential to eliminate the majority of withdrawals, and cuts the detoxification and recovery time drastically.

Ibogaine’s Effects on the Mind

Those suffering from addiction often have serious psychological trauma and other factors that contribute to their substance abuse.

Ibogaine induces a powerful state of introspection, in most cases, that allows addicts to confront the innermost parts of their psyche. They find themselves identifying and facing trauma that they had been trying to avoid with drugs and alcohol.

This type of deeply spiritual experience has helped some people to make the leap into a long-term state of recovery that usually takes years to achieve. By addressing this trauma in a unique way, many addicts are able to move forward in a more positive way which can help lead to lasting sobriety and overall success.

Is Treatment Safe?

Any medical treatment comes with its own set of risks. It’s very important that you speak to a trained medical professional before making any decisions.

This method should only be used in a controlled environment under the strict observation of trained medical staff.

Is Ibogaine for You?

Addiction is deeply personal, as is the method of treatment you choose. Ibogaine may not be right for everyone, and requires serious consideration.

The most important step is seeking help. It is not always easy. However, if you truly want to change than take action today. Every addict deserves to find the life of sobriety and happiness that they deserve.

Aeden Smith-Ahearn

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Category: Natural Health

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