A white powder extracted from an African rootbark has been shown to cure addictions — including heroin, cocaine, and methadone — within 48 hours. It is a natural addiction treatment that almost no one has heard of.
We all know the steep price of addiction — ruined lives and shattered families, orphaned children, violent crime, crowded jails, and abject human misery. There’s a compound called ibogaine that may quite possibly be the solution.
According to ibogaine advocate Eric Taub, there are 140 million drug addicts in the world. Yet most of those people have never heard about the one drug that could help them overcome addiction in 48 hours, with no withdrawal symptoms.
Many hail ibogaine as the greatest pharmaceutical discovery of the late 20th century. But others warn that it’s turning out to be another story of a visionary healer getting thwarted at a great cost to humanity and medical progress.
The Accidental Discovery of the Anti-Addictive Effects of Ibogaine
In 1962, a 19-year-old heroin addict from the Bronx, New York named Howard Lotsof experimented with ibogaine for the first time. He’d heard about it as a mildly hallucinogenic white powder from a West African root.
Lotsof was searching for a new “high”, but he discovered something far more profound. Thirty hours after the effects of Ibogaine wore off, he had no craving whatsoever for heroin. Not only that … he had no withdrawal symptoms.
According to a report in the New York Times, after his experience, Lotsof gave ibogaine to 6 friends who were also addicted to heroin — and 5 of them stopped using heroin completely, saying their desire for heroin had been extinguished after just 1 use.
Thus began Lotsof’s lifelong campaign, and he soon became ibogaine’s chief crusader. He strove tirelessly to get public officials, pharmaceutical companies, and independent researchers to investigate its incredible anti-addictive properties.
In March 2009, he was honored for his discovery of ibogaine’s anti-addictive effects during an ibogaine conference in Mexico.
But What is Ibogaine?
Ibogaine is the name given to the oral preparation of an alkaloid extracted from the root of the African shrub Tabernanthe Iboga. Traditional Gabonese Bwiti societies of Gabon and Cameroon have long used ibogaine as a hallucinogenic substance in initiation ceremonies.
While ibogaine is legal or completely uncontrolled throughout most of the world, it is illegal in the U.S. because it was classified as a hallucinogen in 1969. But thanks to Lotsof’s efforts, it’s at least being investigated as a treatment for many types of addiction including . . .
- Crack cocaine
The 30-Hour Therapy for the Underlying Causes of Addiction
Researchers aren’t sure of the mechanism which makes ibogaine such a useful tool for helping addicts reverse years of destructive behavior.
Many who’ve experienced ibogaine’s effects say the drug imparts a kind of 30-hour “therapy” during which the user deals with underlying causes of addiction, and is confronted with a feeling of responsibility for his or her own life.
Regardless of exactly how it works, taking ibogaine has been shown to typically deliver 3 key results:
- A massive reduction of withdrawal symptoms resulting in a nearly painless detoxification process
- A period of diminished cravings lasting anywhere from 1 week to several months
- A potential understanding and resolution of the issues behind the addictive behavior (due to its psychoactive nature)
That’s why many addicts who’ve tried ibogaine call it a miracle treatment.
Dr. Carl Anderson of McLean Hospital in Virginia says addiction may stem from a lack of communication between the two hemispheres of the brain — and ibogaine treatment restores those communication pathways.
This matches the general scientific theory that ibogaine’s efficacy comes from its unique molecular structure. According the theory, Ibogaine blocks the addictive dependency feedback loop in the brain through interaction with certain neurological receptor sites.
Challenges for Future Researchers
Since Lotsof’s discovery, mainstream researchers have taken up the ibogaine cause — but they’ve faced challenges.
Dr. Kenneth Alper, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at the New York University School of Medicine, says issues like contractual disputes, lack of funding, and a lack of controlled studies make it hard for medical professionals to gather concrete evidence on ibogaine.
Even with the challenges, studies of ibogaine’s efficacy, and development of treatment programs — informal and formal — are on the rise around the globe. According to an article on ibogaine in the London Times, most ibogaine treatment takes place in Panama, St. Kitts, Costa Rica, and Italy, with miraculous stories of breaking addiction’s bonds being reported by former addicts.
Dr. Ken Alper says he has no problem with the “spacier” descriptions of the ibogaine experience. “I crossed the threshold of belief,” he says, “when I saw a young man go down to Panama on 70mg of methadone a day, and come back on nothing. And he was comfortable. Pharmacologically, I don’t know any other substance that can do that.”
Howard Lotsof died in February of 2010, but he leaves behind quite a legacy. “[His] accomplishments are all the more extraordinary,” says Dr. Alper, “in view of the fact that Mr. Lotsof . . . was without a doctoral-level degree.”
More information on ibogaine treatmentcan be found quickly and easily online. However, as with any drug substance — legal or illegal — risks do exist and consumers should be informed and cautious.
Ibogaine has known side effects of its own, and there have been 12 documented fatalities loosely associated with ibogaine ingestion.
Those considering ibogaine therapy to combat addiction would be well advised to seek out the supervision of an experienced practitioner in a legitimate facility.