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.