Addiction is a condition that impacts body, mind, and spirit. It comes from the Latin word addictus, meaning “a debt slave,” a person who has been bound as a slave to his creditor. Many people have described themselves as “enslaved” by their opioid addiction. Addiction cannot be healed by pills and detox alone because they do not address the underlying root cause, which, according to addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté, is always trauma.
Ibogaine, the Addiction Interruptor
Ibogaine is a natural medicine for addiction that comes from the root bark of the iboga tree. It not only can interrupt addiction and eliminate withdrawal, it can also repair brain tissue damaged by prolonged opioid use. On a human level, an ibogaine treatment, combined with an integration plan can bring back a sense of wholeness and purpose to a person suffering from opioid addiction, offering them a real second chance at reclaiming life. Plant medicines like iboga can act as chemical doorways to direct unitive experience. They can be instrumental in being able to deal with the shadows and traumas of life on the psychological and spiritual level, where the wound resides.The iboga experience is a return to the root, not just the root cause of one’s problems, but the root source of one’s strength. This makes it a gift to humanity, especially during an opioid epidemic.
These are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin; synthetic opioids such as fentanyl; and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, and many others.
What Are the Risk Factors of Iboga?
This treatment is not for everybody. People with cardiac issues may be at risk of arrhythmia during the treatment. The best clinics will do rigorous pre-screenings, which may include blood tests, EKGs, and health intake data. During the treatment they will monitor the client’s heart rate and pulse throughout the procedure. They will recommend nutritional pre-care and integration aftercare. However, because of ibogaine’s illegal status, there are no medical regulations for its use, and there is a risk of fatality for those with certain cardiac issues or other contra-indications if not administered properly. That being said, the death rate from overdose is so much greater that even as it now stands, ibogaine treatments are our best hope. These risk factors would be greatly mitigated if people could have access to iboga in a safe, legal, therapeutic environment within the United States, and if medical research and best practices were freely available.
Tragically Illegal in the Country that Needs It Most
The tragedy of parents losing a child to overdose, rising levels of psychological distress, moral depravity, and cultural destruction can all be attributed to this one thing: lack of legal access to the plants that are organic chemical cocktails designed by nature to put you directly in touch with your subconscious and superconscious. Just like food gives you nutrition for your body, entheogenic plants can give you nutrition for your mind and spirit.
We are dealing with centuries of cultural prohibition, compounded by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which made no distinction between shamanic substances with a long history of religious and medicinal use like iboga and harmful narcotics like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. They were thrown indiscriminately into a category defined by the DEA as a schedule I controlled substance, with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” and severe criminal consequences for their possession, ingestion, and sale. iboga is clearly mistakenly classified in this category.
A Powerful Medicine for Addiction and Trauma Not a Recreational Drug
Evidence confirms that there is nothing recreational about an iboga treatment. The experience lasts up to 36 hours and requires an in-patient procedure, either in a clinic or in a retreat center. While ibogaine works on a physiological level to repair brain tissue and neurons, on a psycho-spiritual level, it commonly presents one with a starkly honest life review that allows one to understand the roots of one’s illness or situation. For a person struggling for years with opioid addiction, it’s as though they have become their own doctor and metaphysician, empowered to understand and instantly heal years of dysfunction.