Friday, September 3, 2010

Have You Heard of Ibogaine Therapy?


This morning I learned something new in the realm of opiate addiction treatment. It's actually quite interesting and I think anyone who has an issue with opiate dependence may find it intriguing as well. And I must give credit to my younger brother, Sam, who made me aware of this controversial and fascinating therapy. Some of you may have heard of it before, or like myself, know you should have but didn't pay enough attention. If you've read any Hunter S. Thompson you have read about it and just let it slip through your mind like so many other things. Anyone who reads my blog somewhat regularly may know that I've been struggling with, first a heroin addiction, and now a methadone addiction for many years. I have been on methadone for seven years and was a successful H addict for about five years prior to that. I desperately wish to be free of the burden of dependence. I don't want to medicate myself everyday with something that has so much power over me.
But despite my many efforts at complete detox I have never yet been able to entirely overcome my addiction. I have come pretty far though. I am now on only 33mg of methadone a day and I come down 1mg a week. I am more or less only on it now because it helps to treat my extreme anxiety. But I would much rather find other methods of lowering my anxiety which do not require me to be tied to a clinic, unable to live a normal life. I will continue to smoke marijuana daily because that does not affect my life negatively in the way that my methadone dependency does. And it also does a great deal to limit my level of anxiety in day to day activities. Something as simple as going grocery shopping can produce nausea, sweating, my cheeks will burn and my throat flutters. I race through the store, often forgetting items I need and I limit my interaction with people as much as possible. I'm not like that when I'm high. But there has to be another way to make life less anxiety inducing.
Since I am always interested to find a promising possibility when it comes to recovery, I was thrilled when my brother mentioned this newish therapy. It is called Ibogaine Treatment and it's a little freaky but I think it could be right for someone like myself who has been trying for so long to be clean. It's basically intense therapy but the talk therapy is assisted by the use of a "naturally occurring psychoactive substance found", actually, "in a number of plants" but especially those in the Tabernathe iboga species. Apparently, ingestion of the active chemicals in this plant produce minor hallucinations and deep introspection causing patients to understand the root causes of their addiction. But it's not only that, it gets even crazier. It is claimed by doctors and patients alike that after a short period of time ingesting this drug, patients notice that the withdrawal symptoms of their opiate dependency are no longer discernible to them. Something about the chemical structure of this plant is able to heal the broken pathways of our brains and reset the way we create dopamine and other "feel-good" type chemicals that we need to lead healthy, happy lives. People who have experienced this treatment say they feel the way they did before they became addicted, they don't get cravings and their depression has been alleviated. It seems almost too good to be true.
But there are clinics being operated in many countries around the world. Of course, the United States is not one of them because we like to keep beneficial medical treatments out of the hands of the public if we think it may, in any way, interfere with the ability to make mucho money off the black market drug trade and the subsequent influx of cash into law enforcement and politics. The US is also notorious for fearing anything which opens the mind to internal exploration and introspection. Because then, of course, people begin to question what the hell is going on in the world and that's just a fricken nuisance for those trying to make a living off of the raping of our natural resources and the destruction of our souls.
So I guess my point is that I think this therapy is worth researching further. I am guessing, especially because I have not been able to find any info on cost, that it is somewhat prohibitive. I have wanted for years to go away to a recovery retreat and not come home until I have healed myself. But that's damned expensive. Once a person takes their very last mg. of methadone it can still take up to several more months before they can sleep through the night, eat without feeling sick; before the constant aching in their bones begins to subside, before the body temp regulates itself and there is not a constant feeling of dread hanging over them. But traditional detox programs don't keep patients more than two weeks because insurance doesn't cover it. So the way it stands now is that rich people get way more of a chance to get clean than poor people. But I've been thinking of taking advantage of living with my mother and trying to save up enough to send myself to a really nice private clinic so I can really focus on fully detoxing from the methadone and then doing some really intense therapy so I can get on with my life. I think it could be really amazing for me. So I can get down really low as I'm saving up and then go when I would really need the most help.
So I've included some links to information about this Ibogaine treatment. I have read a lot of it but not all of it. I plan to do quite a lot more research on this method of recovery. I think it could help to allow me to do what I really want in my life. I want to heal myself so that I can help others who suffer from the same afflictions heal themselves. And I think people are more effective as healers if they are accepting of themselves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibogaine

http://www.ibogaine.desk.nl/


11 comments:

Maureen said...

Ibogaine has been around for quite awhile now, and I was going to go have it done. Made arrangements back in 1998, only to not have a stong enough heart to under go treatment. I had suffered a "silent" heartATTACK, due to that damn drug Paxil! I was 43 at the time, and wanted so badly to do the treatment. Howard Lotsoff who recently passed away wrote a book on it. Howard is considared the 1st one whom came upon the iboga plant in Africa. Was luckey enough to meet Howard & his wife Norma back in 2001. If you have about $5 to 6 K you can under go treatment in Mexico, I could go on and on about how great Ibogaine is, from what I have heard. I do actually know a guy that did the treatment only to relapse, back on the methadone! ( he didn't stay long enough or needed more than one dose of ibogaine , this was in 1998 too ) Lots of advances since 1998. We even lost plane fare to go on the trip to Florida, where I was going to go for the treatment, however my EKG wasn't good enough, my heart may of given out, I assume. Anyhow, I am also on methadone, detoxing myself though, at my own pace. I am fortunate enough to go to the "clinic" every 28th day, and they don't test for pot either. I feel very fortunate to attend such a GREAT clinic. (if you want to considar clinics good ) Take care and GOOD LUCK!!
GOD BLESS US ALL
Peace,
Maureen

Maureen said...

BTW, Hi Nellie, forgot to say hello, was so interested in your ibogaine post. Started a "blog" myself, one post. Been really busy, and need to start writing more!! Have so very much to say and share with whomever! Your title is so fitting! ( don't take that word the wrong way either, alright) lol
Peace,
Maureen

Anonymous said...

I've been reading about you feeling stuck both in personal and work life. You obviouslt don't see the connection to smoking pot every day, but I'd bet a million dollars if you continue to get high every day in 5 years you will still be living at home and either not working or be at a menial job. There are many other ways to deal with anxiety-- for one, you could go to therapy now, but obviously it's earlier to smoke pot every day and wonder why you're not productive.

BMelonsLemonade said...

I know a girl from Canada who did this treatment. She did not say you hallucinate mildly. She said she tripped herder than she has ever tripped in her life, and that she came face to face with her personal dark demons...and battled them. She said it was terrifying. But, she is still clean today.

PopkornoStar said...

Ibogaine. Maybe it's a good idea but not this is the case, when you're just replacing one drug for another?

Nellie said...

Maureen - Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I was totally looking for someone like yourself who had had some experience with it. I was reticent to contact any of the treatment centers which offer the treatment because I'm not ready to commit, mostly because of money and I didn't want to feel pressured. But if you say it's only about five or six grand to go to a center in Mexico, that's doable. I think I could save up that much once I get a job. I thought it was going to be like twenty-five grand or something, I didn't even want to ask. But now I feel less intimidated. But I would like to do more research on it myself first. But from what you've said it seems like you have to pretty healthy to undergo the therapy. I've been trying to exercise more and take better care of myself. So hopefully I would qualify for treatment. Anyway, I would love to hear more about your own path of recovery. I am always interested in other people who are on methadone. I find it intriguing to compare circumstances. Hope to see you around again.

Nellie

Nellie said...

Anonymous - I appreciate your point of view. I'm sorry that my life and the way I've decided to live it makes you so upset. We can't all be so perfect like you. Well, I'm assuming you must be perfect since you feel you have the right to judge others; but I will never know for sure who you are since you don't even have the courage to back your judgments up by identifying yourself. At least I have the courage to stand behind who I am, as imperfect as that may be.

Nellie said...

BMelonsLemonade - Thanks for your comment. I am interested to hear what people's actual experiences were. I was wondering if that was the case, it seemed like perhaps a mild trip was too good to be true. I haven't always been the biggest fan of hallucinogens but the fact that the whole thing is done with a therapist who you have worked with prior to tripping and through the trip makes me think that I might be okay. I think it might be scary though, like you said. Tripping is intense and I guess I can see how this could work. I'm very interested to learn more. If you ever get a chance to ask your friend about her experience could you ask how it worked for her as far as the physical symptoms? Because they say that the trip, like, makes them disappear. As if the ibogaine has changed the chemical make up of the patient. Did that happen for her? I'm skeptical. But I would love more info if you come across any. Stop by any time and thanks for commenting.

Nellie

Nellie said...

Popkorno Star - Hmmm, I think I know what you're asking/saying. I'll give it a go anyhow. I think maybe you misunderstood how cool ibogaine is. You don't have to take it long term like methadone and other opiate replacement therapies. That's what is so interesting to me. I've been on methadone for seven years and have been slowly trying to taper so I can ultimately get off of it. Ibogaine is an alternative which is administered one to several times over a period of time that seems like it is no more than a month from what I've read. You take it, have a guided epiphany stemming from episodes of deep introspection and then, Boom!, you're better. So I would be able to STOP replacing one drug for another which is what I'm doing now with methadone and am very tired of doing. Okay, so perhaps I simplified the whole thing a bit, but you get the point, eh?

Nellie

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Interesting stuff, Nellie. I hope you can find a way to make it work for you.

Love,

SB

Jeannie said...

This sounds worth pursuing! In the mean time - try GABA from the health store for anxiety. It has made such a difference for me. It worked well pretty much right away but over time, even moreso. I find I don't even need to take it every day any more.

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