Ibogaine is a hallucinogen that comes from the shrub of a West African plant. It is currently illegal in the United States, but it has helped some to overcome heroin addiction. Users claim the ibogaine experience helps fight the addiction, as well as easing some of the withdrawal symptoms.
I first heard about this drug when I was still in active addiction. I remember one girl I worked with that was from Canada told me it really worked for her. She told me that she had this really intense psychological experience, where she faced many of her demons. She said the experience was terrifying, but it solidified her desire to be clean. Since then, I have followed various people who have undergone ibogaine treatment. The hallucinatory effects of this drug seem to play some role in the treatment for addiction, as one user describes experiences instructive replays of their life leading to addiction, while others reported therapeutic shamanic visions that helped them conquer their fears and negative emotions that may help drive their addictions. It has worked well for some, but others keep returning to heroin.
Raphael told nbc15.com about his experience with ibogaine. He received ibogaine treatment, reporting that shortly after the treatment all his cravings were gone. He did relapse, but he claims it was because he did not address his underlying issues. Another who received ibogaine treatment claimed it was just 12 hours before cravings ended. Dr. Brown, who treats addiction says more research needs to be done to approve this kind of treatment. He said, “It’s kind of all over the map. We need to do a little more research to determine what the potential really is.”
Image courtesy of Ibogaine.co.uk.