The Ibogaine Solution: A Plant Medicine Successfully Used to Overcome Addiction
There is good news for people who are struggling to rid themselves of an opioid addiction. It is called Ibogaine, and it is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance that has been successfully used all over the world as “addiction interrupter”. It is found naturally in a plant source, known as iboga (usually Tabernanthe iboga), which has been used by traditional communities in West Africa for ritualistic and healing purposes for centuries.
How Does Ibogaine Work?
First, Ibogaine helps eliminate withdrawals by latching on to neuro-receptors and interrupting the body’s craving for opioids. With a single flood dose of this plant medicine a person goes from full blown withdrawal symptons, and shortly after taking this plant medicine, they will be gone. This allows the person’s body to start producing neurotransmitters on their own again. This plant interrupts the system long enough so the person can’t feel withdrawal pain and also allow the body’s neurotransmitter levels to become balanced once again.
Yes, Ibogaine is a huge component of an alternative recovery approach, but it’s only the beginning, an important first step, an opportunity to go in a different direction. People who are dependent on substances, don’t live the healthiest lifestyles. They’ve bogged down their system with toxic chemicals from food, cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs. Recovery is multifaceted. It’s not just doing one thing and getting a solution, but it’s about assessing and changing most things that have become your life. It is eliminating the aspects of a dependent lifestyle and moving toward independence, health and wellness.
You Are What You Eat
Most treatment professionals don’t place a great emphasis on diet or discuss diet as preventative care. It is assumed that as long as someone isn’t using their drug of choice, we shouldn’t worry about diet. That kind of thinking can be harmful and short sighted.
The biggest diet concern for recovering folks is the use of sugar. It is a powerful substance that is as difficult to eliminate as any other drug. Sugar acts as a stimulant, a legal stimulant at that. Some can relate to the power of its addictive nature. Let’s say you decide to go on a diet. Somewhere down the line you decide to have a cheat day. The next day after that cheat day, it’s easier for someone to justify cheating again the next day because their brain was exposed to sugar. People who have been dependent on drugs usually don’t make good food decisions. That’s not difficult to understand. But sugar is a drug, and someone who constantly overwhelms their system with it is also susceptible to making poor decisions, albeit not as severe as someone addicted to hard drugs, poor decisions nonetheless.
If you pay attention to the eating habits of most people in recovery, they are often consuming a lot of sugar. It’s in the cigarettes they smoke, the gallons of soda they gulp, and the fast food and snacks they consume. It’s no surprise why either. They are in rehab or having a dreary recovery experience. They aren’t feeling so happy about their situation. It makes sense then to overload your system with sugar to get short bursts of happiness. It’s the only way they can change or chemically alter their mood. They might not be aware of it, but they are using sugar as a crutch to help stabilize their mood because of the situation they are in and the horrible stigma that is placed upon them.
We have to reintroduce real food into the system of those individuals who are striving for recovery. The palette of most Americans can’t stand organic healthy foods because their taste buds have been so over saturated with salts, fats, sugars, and other processed chemicals. But it’s essential to get back to eating real food. Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’, even stated, “let thy food be thy medicine”. Every medical professional in America still takes the Hippocratic oath to do no harm, but they are unable to see the harm they are imposing on these people that need help the most. Food is a very integral part of staying healthy and making sound decisions.
Ibogaine followed by healthy food is a great start, but the approach that saved my life wasn’t restricted to any one modality of treatment. One of the most common side effects of anyone using opiates is constipation. It can be painful, and you can go many days with using the bathroom. So, the holistic recovery program I was in understood this, and they incorporated organic coffee enemas to help remove the sludge and waste that builds up in the colon and intestines from years of abuse and constipation. It’s very similar to the technique that Dr. Maxwell Gerson used to rid people of tuberculosis and cancer in the late 1800’s. The coffee enema also stimulates the liver and helps produce more bile aiding in digestion.
Aside from that, The holistic program incorporated other treatments to help assist the body through a rapid detox process. Each day consisted of a deep tissue massage, an hour in the sauna, an hour in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, ionic salt baths, and an amino acid IV drip. All of these things help the body eliminate all toxic material as well as restoring your body and brain chemistry back to what it was prior to the drug dependency.
As a result of the holistic methods I’ve described, a person once dependent on drugs will now be feeling better than they can remember. They no longer will crave drugs to feel good, and they will not want that amazing feeling of healthiness and balance to end. When you’re in a positive place of healing where you are given everything the body needs to thrive and are surrounded with positive, supportive people, recovery is easy!
Returning to the US from an Ibogaine Treatment in Mexico can be very challenging and risky for the newly recovering individual. When a person comes back, they are still in a vulnerable state. Yes they are not dependent on drugs, and are living healthier life, but they are not out of the woods yet. It takes some time to build up their strength and will power to say no in certain situations they might be put in.
Getting your life back is a complete lifestyle change. You can’t keep your old drug contacts in your phone and expect to get better. You have to eliminate every source of negativity in your life. And that can be hard sometimes, because that source of negativity can be a close friend, family member, or a significant other. That inability to let go of that source of negativity during your vulnerable state of recovery may be your demise.
Importance of Aftercare
After going through an Ibogaine detox, the importance of finding quality aftercare that is both complementary to the Ibogaine experience and highly personalized cannot be overstated.
Finding a place that integrates many of the holistic modalities such as exercise, yoga, meditation, reiki with psychotherapeutic work such as cognitive behavioral therapy and Relapse Prevention specifically designed for Ibogaine clients is going to be the key when choosing the right aftercare program for you.
So why would someone need aftercare once they’ve done Ibogaine?
The reason is simple in that Ibogaine is not a cure for addiction but rather a remarkable way to start the recovery process. Ibogaine does a lot of wonderful things besides acting as a detox agent such as restoring the brain’s neurotransmitter levels and helping to resolve long established traumas. What Ibogaine doesn’t do is erase the memories that are conditioned to drug use. These are the so-called “people, places and things”. Aftercare at a location that isn’t associated with previous drug use gives someone a reprieve for their triggers until they can develop the internal controls to deal with them.
In addition, Ibogaine doesn’t undo years of avoiding life’s responsibilities. Those skills have to be learned or re-learned depending on the severity of one’s addiction. And lastly, Ibogaine Aftercare is important because many of the old self-defeating thoughts and behaviors associated with addictive drug use are still there in one form or another.
Being in a place of support and understanding is crucial to staying sober. The environment you come back to must be open to your way of life in order for you to truly thrive. And that might mean living with another family member for a period of time. A lot of trauma comes from within the house you live in, so to go back to that environment would only undo everything you worked so hard to accomplish. Positive nurturing environment is a must.
Get Busy Living
The final part is to stay busy. When you aren’t doing drugs, you find that you’ll have a lot of time on your hands. And as the old adage goes, idle hands are the devil’s playground. Stay busy! There are many things one can do. In my case, I didn’t know how to cook, but I knew I needed to learn. So every day I watched videos on learning how to cook and prepare healthy meals, because I understood that it was vital to staying healthy.
Most people I know that are dependent on substances are actually very talented. They’ve given up their passion and skills for drugs, so now that they are off of them, they can get back to what was making them happy, whether that’s writing, taking pictures, hiking, making music, or painting. Setting goals and sticking to them is probably the hardest and most important thing one can do when they return home. It gives them something to focus on and work towards.
What I know is what I’ve experienced personally along with the basic physiological evidence to back it up. I’ve tried both methods of treatment, the one size fits all method of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), and the natural method using Ibogaine as a catalyst.
I was on the same dose of suboxone for over two years, living in my mom’s basement, delivering pizzas, and partying. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t using heroin, but it didn’t stop me from using other drugs. My life had no direction, and I was just walking in circles. Fed up with my life was, I learned about this plant called Ibogaine, and I got my life back. Not only that, but it motivated me to quit delivering pizzas, move out of my mom’s house, and leave everyone and everything I knew to move across the country and pursue my goals of becoming a massage therapist, so I can help others heal naturally with the power of touch.
It’s no secret that this plant is effective. But it’s not as simple as just taking this plant medicine. Holistic, natural recovery requires an entire lifestyle change. And more importantly than that, people need to know that this option exists. People are killing themselves because they feel that they are hopeless and doomed for the rest of their lives. worse yet, their only form of support, their family, feel the same way. We can’t give up on them! These people are better off stimulating the society than becoming victims of it. The parents need to know that they can help their kids because right now they feel like they can’t do anything except ride it out until they get that inevitable phone call stating the news they don’t want to hear.
People dependent on drugs need to know this exists too because they themselves have wanted to get better, and then are victimized when they do, so there is no trust in the help that is offered. They need to know of other solutions, so when they do come to conclusion that they do want to live and get their life back, they have a solution that works and one they can trust.
Parents can want their kids to get better, but it won’t do any good until that person dependent on drugs comes to the conclusion that they are ready to change their life.
And the life change I recommend with all my heart begins with Ibogaine.