Posted by Steps to Recovery on January 21, 2013

Several years ago I lived in a small camp in Baja California, Mexico. Quiet, quaint, beautiful, cheap and only about 15 miles from the US border, it was amazing. I’ll never forget that place, the great times I had there, the amazing friends I made there…Or many of the interesting things I learned there.

A few houses down from me on the same street lived an interesting couple. Over time we made friends and it became obvious that they were working on some kind of project. A documentary about something. They never talked about it, and I was always curious. One particularly late night they finally spilled the beans. They were doing testing, a study….On a cure for heroin addiction.

They explained to me why heroin is so addictive, what happens to the brain when a person does it, even one time. They explained to me that there is no “cure” for this addiction, at least, legally. Then they told me about Ibogaine. Some kind of root from Africa that cures heroin addiction, after just 1 treatment! Somehow, this Ibogaine would permanently fill the receptors in the brain that scream out for heroin, keeping an addict an addict. They told me that the treatment, however, was illegal in the US, because Ibogaine is considered a drug itself.

Eventually, their landlord got wind of something going on in their house, and kicked them out, stating that a business could not be run from that location. They moved out of our town and I have not seen either one of them since.

Then, thanks to a FaceBook friend of mine who posted a link, I came across this article: Why Thousands Are Turning to a Psychedelic Plant from Africa for Release from Severe Addictions | Drugs | AlterNet which is about….IBOGAINE! Check it out, and if you’re inspired, follow the link and read more….LOTS more.

Here’s how the miracle works. The conventional approach to treating opiate addiction is to employ a substitution therapy like methadone or suboxone, maintenance drugs that keep the addict addicted to a less potent, more manageable opiate analog. This means that the only available treatment does not actually stop the addiction. So what’s the point?

Ibogaine works, it is believed, by filling in the receptor sites that the opiate molecules once sought, ending the craving for the drug, while at the same time metabolizing in the liver intonoribogaine, which is thought to have powerful detoxifying and anti-depressant properties. The million dollar jackpot is that ibogaine can eliminate the exceedingly painful and dangerous opiate withdrawal process, sometimes in a single dose. In effect, it has the power to hit the reset button on the brain’s neurotransmitter mechanism.

Ibogaine has never been popular as a recreational drug regardless of its legal status. There is not a single recorded case of ibogaine addiction anywhere. Those who use it do so infrequently, because, like ayahuasca or peyote, it takes a toll on the mind, body and spirit, never mind that most folks don’t consider vomiting and diarrhea to be particularly social activities. Only two iboga-related arrests are known to have occurred in the U.S., and 20 people are on record as having died within 72 hours of taking ibogaine, mostly due to either heart complications or drug contraindications.

This specific focus on the treatment of addiction is what distinguishes the ibogaine underground from other psychedelic subcultures, like the rapidly growing ayahuasca community. Writing on the “ibogaine medical subculture” for the Journal of Ethno-Pharmacology, Alper and Lotsof describe the underground as, “…homes, hotel rooms and private clinics in North America and Europe, [where] individuals in increasing numbers are taking ibogaine in what has been termed ‘a vast uncontrolled experiment.’”

Because a safe and legal alternative is not available in the U.S, the ibogistas have been forced on to more tolerant legal climes in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Europe in order to avoid becoming de facto criminals. For those who remain in the states as lay-providers, they role the dice every time they take an addict’s life into their hands, but they feel, unequivocally, that the medicine is safe and the risk is worth it.— Why Thousands Are Turning to a Psychedelic Plant from Africa for Release from Severe Addictions | Drugs | AlterNet

Could this Ibogaine cure the uncurable? What do YOU think??