Addiction recovery is a long winding road which requires a myriad of support from several people and institutions. While online counseling and the assistance of a professional recovery coach goes a long way, some people need physical help as well. Sometimes this comes in the form of medication.

There’s a variety of medicines used to treat opiate addiction, but one which has received a lot of attention over the past decade is Ibogaine. At Recovery Coaching Alliance, we believe that being informed is the best form of defence against relapse. One of the ways we help our clients stay informed is sharing information on potential pitfalls and potential aids.

Molecular Structure of Ibogaine

Molecular Structure of Ibogaine for opiate addiction

When you know everything to know about recovery, you have the most educated chance of overcoming addictions regularly. The addiction recovery process takes place over a lifetime, but finding small victories makes it easier to take it from once step to the next. For some Ibogaine is such a victory.

Here, we’ll discuss Ibogaine treatment for opiate addiction, how it works, and why it’s not something frequently used in the United States.

What is Ibogaine and Where does it Come From?

A natural substance from a plant called Ibogaine, Ibogaine is a psychoactive stimulant used traditionally as a form of pain management. Now, it’s turned to most frequently as an aid to manage the symptoms of withdrawal experienced by opioid users. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies writes, “Ibogaine is a psychoactive alkaloid naturally occurring in the West African shrub ibogaine. While ibogaine is a mild stimulant in small doses, in larger doses it induces a profound psychedelic state…People with problem substance use have found that larger doses of ibogaine can significantly reduce withdrawal from opiates and temporarily eliminate substance-related cravings.”

Ibogaine plant

Research has suggested that Ibogaine has the potential to assist addicts in maintaining a healthy recovery, however the dosage and administration of the plant is tricky. Too little and it may not create the necessary reaction to overcome withdrawal symptoms. Too much and hallucinogenic qualities may take over.

Ibogaine is best used under the direct supervision of a medical professional and in the exact dosage for your weight, height and age. Not everybody overcoming addiction will encounter Ibogaine treatment, or even need it.

How is Ibogaine Used to Treat Opiate Addiction?

Ibogaine seems to have a reaction internally which, like drugs or alcohol, alter the state of dependency in the brain. For those who have only reached the stage of dependency this could play a huge role in the rehabilitation process. For those who are suffering from full-on addiction, it decreases the extremity of reactions to withdrawal and makes it easier to make informed decisions.

The brain is a powerful tool, and throughout addiction and the recovery process your brain goes through several changes. According to the American Addiction Centers, “The addiction model of disease describes the condition as chronic due to long-term changes to the reward centers of the brain. When a person takes ibogaine, the drug is converted into a compound called noribogaine, which targets the areas of the brain affected by drug-seeking and addictive behaviors. Noribogaine “rewires” these areas, allowing the brain to restructure itself to a state similar to before addiction was triggered.” This change in the pleasure center provides the clear thinking necessary to break through feelings of withdrawal and need and reassess the situation.

Potential Side Effects of Ibogaine

Like most medicinal tools, natural or otherwise, Ibogaine has some side effects to consider. These include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Respiratory problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety

Ibogaine shouldn’t be mixed with other medications and shouldn’t be considered if you suffer from a heart, blood or lung condition which could worsen under its influence. If you already suffer from anxiety or depression, Ibogaine may not be for you.

If you use Ibogaine and experience any side effects, you should speak to a doctor immediately and halt treatment until otherwise informed. All medications, no matter their purpose, have the potential for a negative effect if used improperly.

Why isn’t Ibogaine Used Openly?

Currently in the U.S. Ibogaine isn’t an approved drug to treat opioid addiction, yet many research publications have voiced its success. So, why is it that Ibogaine is still rarely provided in Western medicine? The Ibogaine Alliance writes, “In any treatment offered for substance use disorders, there are a large number of variables that make it difficult to predict the success of treatment. This is partially because people’s needs and goals when entering treatment vary dramatically based on their personality, age, gender, employment status, and other social factors.”

Before using Ibogaine you should consult with a physician and consider current medications, illnesses, and current medical condition to ensure you are a good candidate.

Alternative Forms of Treatment

Ibogaine treatment is certainly something to think about, but even with medication, addiction recovery is tough to face alone. Most recovery experts recommend seeking some form of therapy, even if it is online drug and alcohol counseling. Addiction help online comes in many forms and opens doors to a safe and discreet support many in recovery crave. Healthline writes, “Behavioral counseling. Psychologists trained in drug addiction work with individuals and help ease them into their new, drug-free lives. You can feel safe and secure and know that what you say is kept in a confidential environmental. You should look for someone you feel comfortable with.”

At Recovery Coaching Alliance we offer multiple services including online drug counseling, our online substance abuse counseling experts are trained and experienced with personal and professional cases of alcoholism or drug abuse and the steps to recovery. They work closely with you to develop realistic goals and supports to dissuade the potential for relapse.

When you choose an online addiction counseling service, you immediately improve your chances for a successful recovery. Having somebody to lean on long after rehabilitation prevents future slips and moments of desperation.

For more information on Recovery Coaching Alliance, or to hear about medical options like Ibogaine, contact us today.