The heroin and opioid crisis in the United States continues to worsen as 50,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2017. Sadly, this all started decades ago as this number has increased exponentially since at least 1979. As a result, many of those who are addicted to these substances, along with those who care about them, are desperate to receive treatment for opioids and heroin.
Those seeking treatment want to find one that will work for them. They want to turn their lives around and leave this part of it in their rear-view mirrors. Some look to heroin rehab California during this challenging time in their lives while others consider alternative options.
One of the treatment options that many are considering is ibogaine. However, ibogaine should not be a choice for treatment as this psychoactive substance is not legal for use in the United States. It has been listed as a Schedule I drug, the same category that LSD and magic mushrooms are in, with no plans in place for that to change. In fact, it’s also not legal for use in places like Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. But it is legal in Brazil, Costa Rica, Gabon, Guatemala, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and South Africa, and many Americans are crossing the border to Mexico to receive ibogaine treatment there.
How Does Ibogaine Serve as Heroin Treatment?
Since ibogaine is a psychedelic, taking it results in the user experiencing significant psychological effects for several hours. The first phase of ibogaine usage results in vivid images of past memories as well as images of things that did not occur – hallucinations – going through the user’s mind. Some experience being in visual landscapes at this time.
The next phase is the mind moving into a more reflective and analyzing state. Attention is directed at evaluating the experiences and many prefer as little environmental stimuli during this phase as it’s easy to become agitated or annoyed by distractions.
In the hours following this, the user gradually returns his or her focus to the external environment. Incorporating what happened into their day-to-day lives usually takes place over the coming days and weeks.
A number of people report that, after taking ibogaine, their craving for heroin and other opioids decreased.
Dangers of Ibogaine
The most apparent danger of ibogaine is that there has been little testing of it due to its illegality in the United States, so the exact level of safety and danger associated with taking ibogaine is not clear.
However, there have been a troubling number of deaths associated with it. From 1990-2008, 19 people have died within 76 hours of taking ibogaine, and it should be noted that this is most likely a very inaccurate figure. Since the drug is completely unregulated in the United States and mostly unregulated throughout the world, it is very likely that the total number of deaths is significantly higher.
Those who reacted fatally to ibogaine, in most cases, have had pre-existing liver or cardiac conditions. Most notably, it can slow the individual’s heart rate to dangerously slow levels. If an individual is currently withdrawing from alcohol or other drugs, that can also result in death.
In total, experts estimate that one out of every 400 people dies after taking ibogaine. With how unregulated this type of treatment is, checking for those types of conditions before it is administered is often unfortunately not done. For example, an electrocardiogram can determine what heart conditions many patients may have, but this is often not done prior to the treatment. In fact, many of those who are providing this substance as a treatment for opioid use have no medical qualifications whatsoever.
It should also be noted that some patients procure ibogaine on their own and then treat themselves with it at home or in another clearly unregulated setting and end up dying or suffering significant reactions to it without having any medically trained individuals on hand to treat them.
Heroin Rehab California Provides Safer Alternatives
The safest way to receive treatment for heroin, and especially withdrawal from heroin is in a regulated environment. Not only will heroin rehab California offer treatments that have been tried and tested, but it will also be in an environment that helps prevent any negative side effects. The caring staff at our rehab center are trained and ready to handle any unexpected situations that might result as the treatment is being undertaken.
It’s also important to ensure that the withdrawal process is safe. The individual who was suffering from addiction should be able to fully address what might have caused them to become addicted and how to turn their focus to more healthy activities.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to opioids, contact Ocean Hills Recovery as we want to assist you on your road to recovery and provide safe and effective treatment.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.