Heroin and opiate addiction is one of the most serious and rapidly growing health problems currently facing the United States. Heroin is a very dangerous drug for a number of reasons: it is highly addictive (many experts rank it as the most addictive narcotic), and it is linked to overdose more often than almost any other drug. Because the potency of heroin can vary greatly from batch to batch, it is very easy for a person to overdose on heroin even if they consume an amount of the drug that they are used to taking.
As addiction and deaths related to this drug continue to plague many communities, addiction treatment experts continue to search for effective means of easing the transition for addicts and helping them find greater success as they strive to stay clean for the rest of their lives. One medication that many addiction counselors believe may be an effective tool in combating addiction is a drug called Ibogaine, which is in itself a mind altering substance, but that may have promising powers in combating the problem of heroin addiction.
What Is Ibogaine?
Ibogaine is a psychoactive drug that appears in certain plants. It is a mind altering drug that has the effect of putting a user into a hallucinogenic state. Ibogaine is banned in some countries because of it’s psychoactive properties, but in other countries, it is commonly used as a form of therapy for helping recovering addicts get to the root of what exactly is driving them to use.
How Is Ibogaine Used In Therapy?
It has been suggested as an aid in helping people who are addicted to drugs like heroin and methadone. The reason ibogaine may be such a useful tool in combating addiction is that it puts users into something akin to a trance that makes the user become very reflective. Some people who have undergone ibogaine therapy report seeing their lives replayed in front of them.
Others report visions of shamanistic figures that lead them to internal answers to how they may be able to stop using. Ibogaine may also have the effect of causing users to experience greatly diminished cravings after just one use, and many doctors believe that ibogaine itself is not addictive, nor does it cause withdrawal symptoms.
Ibogaine is Not Legal In the United States
The United States is currently one of the countries that has an active ban on ibogaine. It is classified as a category one drug, which is the highest narcotic classification. This means that treatments involving ibogaine are not currently legal in the United States. Some individuals seeking ibogaine therapy may leave the country and seek therapeutic services in other countries, such as Mexico.
Health officials warn, however, that these treatments are not regulated in the same way that treatments in the United States are and that illicit treatments are generally not done in tandem with treatment prescribed by a registered treatment program in the U.S.A. Other medical professionals remind potential ibogaine users that ibogaine is still a drug and a very potent one at that. Many counselors believe that treating addiction with yet another drug is not a healthy choice and that it is likely to yield permanent results.
For some patients, it may in fact create a greater risk for relapse. As more therapy and treatment centers continue to work to combat the problem of heroin and opiate addiction, it remains to be seen whether ibogaine may be reconsidered as a viable option for treating addiction. If treatment programs in other countries continue to exhibit success, perhaps the United States will reconsider its position.