Scott W. Stern, LCSW
Psychotherapist, Empowerment Professional
|Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM||comments (2)|
Ibogaine, Known and Researched Since the 1960's, is Touted By Some To Be a Cure for Drug Addiction.
Ibogaine, illegal in United States, has been used for years in other countries. It is a compound derived from the Iboga plant and is a very powerful hallucinogen. It is described as a journey inside one's mind where thoughts are clear to the addicted client. It is used on average of 1-3 times in the course of Ibogaine treatment according to patient and provider sources.
Farhad Garda, owner of Ibogaine Therapy House in Za, South Africa commented "I have been administering Ibogaine for 6 years. It's ability to "interrupt" the addiction cycle is beyond question."
On its LinkedIn site, pharmaceutical distributor, Ibogaine Pharma Ltd notes "Ibogaine is a new therapy for chemical dependence that eliminates physical withdrawal signs and interrupts drug craving behavior. It is both a therapeutic and psychoactive addiction-breaker. It helps in breaking both drug and alcohol addictions."
The Cross Section of Addiction and Politics
Unfortunately, the United States began to research the drug about 50 years ago, but made a decision not to pursue studies on its effectiveness.
It is also a very expensive procedure.
We need more research done to determine whether a cure for addiction has been suppressed or if it is just hype.
Many Americans fly to other locations where the drug is legal, such as Canada, Mexico and South Africa.
In Gabon, iboga is seen as a sacred medicine (the original word boghaga literally means “to care for”). Sometimes referred to as the “Holy Wood”, each community has a nganga (chief healer) who is responsible for leading ceremonies of initiation and other healing ceremonies. Iboga has been used as a sacrament by the Bwiti for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
In 1864 a French doctor is the first Westerner to discover the root and bring it to France, where a botanist names it Tabernanathe iboga H. bn (as is often done, he gave the plant his initials, because clearly he discovered it even though African people have been using it intentionally for eons).
But it’s not until 1901 that two French scientists extract the easiest alkaloid to produce from the plant and name it ibogaine. Ibogaine then goes through several manifestations as a prescription drug to combat fatigue in low doses under the name Lambarene, which remains on the market until ibogaine is eventually banned in the United States in the 1960’s.
(A Personal Favorite and Brutally Honest Depiction of Topical Issues)
Helping to raise public awareness about Ibogaine while keeping up with the changing political and psychiatric times, Viacom and Showtime's "Homeland" educated its viewers last season of Alternative Drug Treatments Occurring Outside the United States.
While Claire Daines delivered a brilliant portrayal of a CIA agent with ipolar Disorder, Mandy Patinkin provided an excellent performance of a drug addicted CIA Director in withdrawal who turns to Ibogaine for a rapid detoxification.
By introducing the mainstream public to alternative drug treatment suppressed in the US due to politics and money, perhaps rumors that the United States will resume research on Ibogaine are more likely to come true.