Over the past decade or so, prescription pill and heroin use have become mainstream.
Meth use is again on the rise and there are over 15 million people in the US alone who have a problem with alcohol abuse.
Addiction is everywhere, and it can happen to anyone at any time. It doesn’t discriminate in the slightest. And it doesn’t care whether or not you get the help you need.
Finding the right addiction treatment however, is vital when it comes to experiencing lasting freedom. And just as each addiction is completely different, approaches to the way addiction is treated can differ greatly as well.
Not every person addicted to drugs or alcohol is going to find the freedom they’re looking for in one specific modality of treatment, which is why it’s imperative that they know all options available.
Ibogaine for Addiction Recovery
One such option that many people aren’t aware of takes a completely different approach to the many traditional types of addiction treatments available…and it’s found in a hallucinogenic root native to Africa.
Ibogaine is one of the most powerful psychedelic substances known and happens to be one of the most powerful addiction treatments that can be found.
The potential of Ibogaine to treat substance abuse is unprecedented and is something that should be considered by any addict seeking treatment.
Derived from Tabernanthe iboga, a shrub that grows in abundance in the Gabon and Congo regions of West Central Africa, Ibogaine has been used for thousands of years.
It is fundamental amongst the Bwiti tribe of Africa, where it is used as a powerful spiritual conduit that provides deep mental and emotional healing. Also used in rites of passage ceremonies, it is a plant that is sacred and held in extremely high regard.
Ibogaine is also held sacred amongst those who have seen the power it contains to help people overcome even the strongest of addictions. Addictions like those to heroin can be so difficult to quit that the only way out for some is an accidental overdose.
While Ibogaine works particularly well for opiate addiction (excellent for the heroin epidemic facing America), it’s also shown to be extremely effective in treating other addictions.
From cocaine and crack to opiates and alcohol, Ibogaine has the potential to help those who suffer at the hands of addiction to finally find their freedom.
How Ibogaine Was Discovered as a Treatment for Heroin Addiction
The healing power Ibogaine contains to treat addiction was discovered quite accidently in 1962 when19 year-old heroin addict Howard Lostof was looking for a new high.
According to Lostof, a chemist friend pulled a small vial out of a drug-filled freezer and told him he thought he’d be interested in trying it.
When Lostof asked what it was, his friend informed him that it was an African hallucinogen that would last 36 hours.
Up for a new high, Lostof agreed and proceeded to take the ibogaine. Last 36 hours it did indeed, and at the end of this two-day hallucinatory journey all Lostof could think was that he was extremely exhausted and would never do the drug again.
He proceeded outside to take a walk when he realized that he wasn’t experiencing any narcotic withdrawal.
Looking around him he then realized something profound. According to Lostof, “I looked at this large tree in front of me and I looked at the clouds in the sky and I realized for the first time in my life I wasn’t frightened and perceived that my whole life had been full of fear.”
How exactly though, does a strong hallucinogen help put an end to addiction? While some people would speculate that taking a “drug” to end a drug addiction is somewhat of a catch-22, psychedelics were widely used for their healing benefits for years before deemed illegal by the DEA.
Ibogaine is no exception, and when used in conjunction with psychotherapy after treatment has ended, has shown to be unprecedented for helping addicts recover for good.
How Ibogaine Works
Ibogaine works in three separate segments and is usually administered when withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. From beginning to end, Ibogaine most often lasts for 36-48 hours. It can prove to be one of the most visionary stimulating hallucinatory experiences one will ever experience.
From the first couple hours when ibogaine begins to connect to the brain to the final hours spent in quiet contemplation, ibogaine has shown to be a journey where the addicted mind, body and spirit are set free.
Studies on ibogaine that have been conducted show that drug and opiate cravings are reduced in as little as 1-2 hours.
Complete termination of physical withdrawal is found 24-48 hours after ibogaine has been taken. A huge plus for heroin users who face some of the worst withdrawals an addict will ever experience.
It’s believed ibogaine works so well on physical addiction because it activates the glial cell line-derived neurotropic factor (GDNF) pathway.
In our brain for every neuron we have there are ten glial cells. These tiny cells (about one-tenth the size of a neuron) play a big role when it comes to neutralizing addiction.
They’re responsible for normalizing glutamatergic neurotransmission and the metabolism of neurotransmitters in the brain, both of which are severely damaged by drug abuse.
When these areas are stimulated through GDNF however (something which ibogaine is responsible for), addiction is stabilized, and physical withdrawal ceases to exist.
While this occurs in the brain and physical body, the mind is preparing itself to enter a deeply altered state of consciousness, which is where the second segment of an experience with Ibogaine begins.
An experience with ibogaine can uncover past traumas and memories that have been deeply buried within the psyche for years and is a reality that does and does not make sense all at the same time.
During Ibogaine treatment, memories are uncovered and addicts are offered a way to better understand their addiction.
Getting this far inside the subconscious mind and traveling through this psychedelic visual journey introduces the addict to a place they can truly begin to heal.
This second phase of Ibogaine can last up to ten hours, helping the patient personally uncover what is necessary to heal on their own unique journey.
The deep psychological healing most often takes place in the final phase of treatment, when Ibogaine urges the addict to process the memories they recently uncovered.
It is here one realizes why they’ve reached their current addicted state…and in this powerful realization there is hope.
Ibogaine is a strong agent for change and encourages one to find forgiveness for both themselves and others, something vital in helping one move past the guilt and anger so often inspired by addiction.
Those who have successfully completed Ibogaine treatment find that it opens the door out of the darkness and allows them to find clarity in a future that no longer looms in despair but instead bright with promise for a new tomorrow.
Thank you for reading.
If you feel like you may benefit from an Energy Medicine Healing session please visit Work With Misha.
Misha Almira is a shamanic healer. meditation teacher, and full time blogger.