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People all over the United States abuse opioids. Data shows that during 12 months (May 2020 – April 2021), the estimated number of deaths from opioid overdoses was 75,673. This has increased a lot from the previous year when the number of deaths was 56,064.
Opioid addiction has to be treated in rehabilitation centers and it requires supervision from trained professionals. Otherwise, quitting the drug can be too difficult for someone with an established pattern. Although there are effective opioid treatments at the moment, people have been researching other substances too, one of them being ibogaine.
Ibogaine is said to decrease opioid cravings in addicts, but not enough research was done on the drug. It may have some side effects and may not be as effective for everyone. Therefore, at the moment, it is hard to figure out whether ibogaine will become a widely available treatment or not.
Ibogaine is a drug taken from a Western African plant. More specifically, it is harvested from the roots of Tabernanthe iboga. It is a hallucinogenic drug – therefore, it can make someone reach psychedelic states.
The substance is merely a stimulant in smaller doses, whereas in higher doses it can result in extremely powerful hallucinations. At the same time, larger doses are thought to decrease opiate cravings, as well as the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
Unfortunately, nobody knows the full extent of this drug and whether it is safe or not. A lot of studies that involved ibogaine were done on animals. Not to mention that in the past, there were also some deaths related to ibogaine.
Ibogaine is a Schedule I drug at the moment, so it is not authorized for use. While it may help with certain opioid addiction effects, it is risky. If used, it should only be done under supervision.
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How Ibogaine Works
Researchers don’t know how the substance works exactly. Right now, what is known is that it transforms into noribogaine, a compound that will target brain areas associated with addictive behavior. This is what happens once someone uses ibogaine.
Noribogaine will rewire those particular brain areas, after which the cravings and withdrawal symptoms from opioids are significantly reduced. Still, the substance may only stop someone from using opioids without actually curing addictions. Substance use disorders are not solved by taking ibogaine.
That being said, if someone wants to make a successful recovery after dealing with opioid addiction, they still have to go to drug rehabilitation and consider therapy. Ibogaine merely interrupts substance abuse and addiction. It’s nothing but a detoxing tool.
After sobering up, further addiction treatment and therapy will be necessary to ensure the individual stays sober in the long term.
Opioid drugs are very addictive. If someone uses opioids for extended periods and does it regularly, they can build a tolerance to these drugs, and the brain and body will start to crave them. As such, the person suffering from the addiction will only focus on the opioids, not caring about their education, job, family, friends, or finances.
According to statistics, back in 2019, there were 10.1 million people aged 12 years or older who misused opioids. Heroin alone was used by 745,000 people. Meanwhile, 9.7 million people abused prescription pain relievers.
Overdosing on drugs is one of the main things that lead to death in the U.S. The American society has to pay $181 billion per year in health care for drug abuse. Addiction can be terrible and quitting opioids without help is impossible most of the time.
Ibogaine For Addiction
Ibogaine has been researched a lot over the years. In the past, it was used during initiatory ceremonies by people who followed the Bwiti religion. Meanwhile, America classified it as a Schedule 1 substance – this means it’s forbidden for medical use.
However, more research needs to be done on the substance. Also, the FDA has not approved ibogaine for substance use disorder treatment either.
The first person to use ibogaine for addiction was Howard Lotsoff, who used it in order to treat his addiction to heroin. He got a patent for the capsule in 1986, and he started working towards the development of an opioid and cocaine addiction treatment with European medical experts. Some promising results appeared, but because there were funding problems and a patient taking ibogaine died, the trials were stopped.
Ibogaine has been discovered to decrease opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms, but it is not approved for use right now.
Success Rates of Ibogaine Treatment
The success rate of ibogaine treatments was 50-80 percent in medical experts who used it. At first glance, this may seem great. It looks like ibogaine may become an integral part of opioid treatments.
However, the substance may not be good for everyone who uses it. It may stop the drug use at the moment but may not be able to maintain the effects in the long term.
The rates for long-term recovery will depend on the treatment and support level that patients receive after the ibogaine treatment. As such, the 50-80 percent rates do not say too much.
There was a study done in 2017 suggesting that ibogaine may lead to opioid use decrease, full abstinence, and good psychological outcomes in the long term. 70% of the study sample relapsed after the ibogaine treatment, while 30% never touched opioids again after using ibogaine. 11% achieved abstinence too.
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Why Real Deal Can Help
Real Deal stands apart from the crowd with the treatment options offered. Our facility offers detoxification, as well as therapy for patients who have been dealing with opioid addiction.
And since you need to work towards sobriety in the long term, we also offer a sober living program that allows you to stay in a peaceful place with a friendly community. You will take regular drug tests but will also take care of yourself and learn how to function without drugs.
Opioid addiction can be challenging, and while ibogaine may decrease cravings, it is not approved for treatment right now. You have multiple other options available for treatment, though, and they are safer and more effective.