Psychedelic Drugs used to Treat Addiction???
New research gives hope to millions to have a normal life
Not the Swinging '60's
Photo Credit: playbuzz
When you say the word, "Psychedelic", most people think of Hippies popping LSD in the 1960's. Others will think of "Magic Mushrooms" and their active ingredient, Psilocybin.
Ibogaine made from the root bark of some West African plants, is also a powerful psychedelic drug and has shown to be very effective in treating heroin addicts. The drug works by re-setting those sections of the brain that are associated with addiction. For many patients, using Ibogaine is the first step in ridding themselves from a life time of drug addiction.
Although Ibogaine is classed as an illegal drug in the United States, clinical treatment is available in nearby Mexico. So far the results look promising with much lower failure rates than conventional treatment alone. Patients who follow through with appropriate after care, half way houses and 12 step programs seem to have the greatest chance for success.
Treatment Continues to Fail
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World wide there are an estimated 12 Million intravenous drug users, the majority of whom are addicted to Heroin. In the United States, Heroin use has reached a 20 year high, with approximately 460,000 users, doubling in the last 10 years.
The total cost to society is around $200 Billion Dollars per year.
Those to entering drug rehabilitation programs, usually drop out of those programs at a rates of between 60% to 90%. Addicts who fail, face drastically shortened life spans compared to the rest of the population as a whole.
Heroin kills around 13,000 people a year in the United States, accounting for the vast majority of drug related deaths.
Using Drugs to Fight Drug Addiction
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While alternative treatments, such as Methadone can work to prevent addiction, critics argue that addicts are simply trading one drug addiction for another.
With advancements in the science of the brain, medical professionals are increasing their understanding of what is actually occurring inside the mind of the addict.
This new understanding of the brain has lead some in the science and medical professions to investigate whether psychedelic drugs can be used to treat opioid addiction.
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Dr. Geoff Noller, in New Zealand reports that in his preliminary study, 11 out of the 14 patients stayed off opiates for a year after one treatment with the psychedelic drug, Ibogaine. Although the majority of these patients were addicted to Methadone and not Heroin, the results are promising none the less.
Dr. Geoff Noller
Photo Credit: https://geoffnoller.com/
Not A Cure
Ibogaine is not a cure, but in conjunction with long term support, it has the potential to reduce relapse and to increase the low success rates that are currently the norm.
Clinical trials have been approved in the United States and similar efforts are underway in the Netherlands.
Photo Credit: NicotineMonkey
In addition to treating opioid addiction, other psychedelic drugs have shown promise treating alcoholism and even cigarette smoking.
Testing and clinical trials continue and perhaps one day, could lead to a cure for the addictions that have plagued millions.
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