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How American System Is Disappointing Addicts Battling Against Drugs?

Written by Adriaan Brits
Americans Battling Addiction

“Some facilities now go to great extents to provide a safer, medically supervised Ibogaine treatment in the fight against addiction. With patients claiming high success rates, facilities with mandatory screening and EKG tests put patient safety before profits.”

Addiction has no limitations and shows no boundaries or discrimination. From actors and celebrities, to medical doctors themselves—addiction shows no mercy to anyone in modern society.

And with the White House declaring the opioid epidemic a national emergency, the problem is not likely going away.

Sure, raising awareness, teaching children to stay off drugs, and limiting the flow of illegal drugs are great tools to help prevent people from becoming dependent—particularly as the opioid crisis is concerned.

But the problem of preventing addiction and the problem of treating addiction are two completely separate issues.

Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who are in the grip of addiction, fighting for their lives.

How is our current addiction system dealing with these addicts? And, what alternatives do they have for addiction treatment?

Why Are People Critical Of Current Treatment Protocols?

There are many avenues in life that can create an addict.

In some cases an individual becomes addicted in their fight against chronic pain.

Others become addicted while climbing up the ladder from one drug to another.

Regardless of how someone becomes an addict, they all still want the same thing: to find freedom from their addiction.

Many are prepared to do anything to break free as addiction takes a heavy toll on their lives and loved ones around them. But when it comes to drug treatment the consensus seems clear: Americans are feeling let down.
And they are being let down in a big way.

The first issue comes with our criminal justice system. Individuals dealing with drug addiction are labeled as criminals. This means they cannot come forward and ask for help from the very people who are sworn to help and protect them.

Even though laws in certain areas have begun to change, they are still the minority.

So, instead of the government making tougher laws against overprescribing certain prescription drugs, the drug addicts bear the brunt of the legal system.

Secondly, science-based treatment programs are in the minority.

Most traditional treatment methods today follow purely “positive-thinking” based programs. This often means sitting in a circle with other addicts, talking about addiction, and waiting out the harsh withdrawal symptoms for days or even weeks.

These traditional 12-step and abstinence-only programs are out-dated, and have been shown to be very ineffective for the majority of addicts.

Yet, despite research and scientific analysis, the majority of traditional drug rehabilitation centers still adhere strictly to these types of treatment programs.

Lastly, our current system was not designed for the challenges we face today.

With US relapse rates from these traditional approaches hovering around 90%, what may work for some does not work for others—especially when it comes to the growing opiate and heroin epidemic.

What we should be doing is helping addicts find multiple alternative treatments until they find the treatment that works for them.

During the 1960s, psychedelics were seen as ground-breaking—and beginning to show promise as a scientific approach for treating addiction.

Today, clinical MDMA studies have gained attention as a treatment for treating depression and other mental health issues. However, the FDA continues to drag its feet when it comes to psychedelic-assisted addiction treatment in the US.

Little to no research is being done. And even though current research studies have had positive results, there are still no long-term studies planned for any psychedelic substance as a treatment for addiction.

Is Ibogaine A New Way Out Of Addiction?

The most prominent and productive psychedelic treatment for heroin and opiate addiction comes from a plant in Gabon, Africa.

It’s called Ibogaine, and it is the only drug in the world that can actively interrupt addiction in the brain.

The lack of US based studies and scientific evidence means the likelihood of getting Ibogaine from your local drug treatment center is still years away. However, this had led many addicts to travel outside the US in an attempt to get clean through Ibogaine treatment.
These countries, like Mexico, South Africa, parts of Europe, and Thailand, allow Ibogaine treatment—or in some cases simply do not regulate it. For Americans, receiving Ibogaine treatment in Mexico is often the most popular option given its proximity.

Below Is A Short Documentary From Experience Ibogaine In Mexico

These Ibogaine treatment centers claim to have very high standards for the patients they treat. Medically trained staff and doctors, strict pre-screening guidelines, and modern, medically based facilities seem to be the norm.

Yet, many who have taken or want to take Ibogaine are hoping it will become more accessible, find legality in the US, and become a more mainstream treatment against the current epidemic.

But Ibogaine is not without its sordid past.

In the early days of research, there were some fatal incidents around the use of Ibogaine.

This led to the strict pre-screening guidelines that clinics currently follow.

Ibogaine is not safe for everyone. Severe heart, liver, or other major medical conditions can cause serious problems when mixed with Ibogaine.

This is where most modern Ibogaine facilities will just have to say no.

But as more and more addicts are successfully treated abroad with Ibogaine, and Ibogaine becomes a more common topic of conversation, we may in turn see the FDA approve further US-based research into Ibogaine as a treatment for addiction.

Going To Great Lengths To Prioritize Patient Safety

Experience Ibogaine Treatment Centers in Mexico is one of the leading Ibogaine institutions, and just a short ride from San Diego airport.

We spoke to Experience Ibogaine to get a better idea of the level of precautions they take to improve overall patient safety during the Ibogaine process.

Let’s consider what they share about their protocol

Their core treatment package is medically supervised at a facility with access to 24/7 nursing staff. Before any treatment takes place, patients receive pre-screening, which includes an EKG, liver testing, blood tests, and urinalysis.

They administer an Ibogaine test dose prior to treatment. Then, after everything has been checked and double checked, the Ibogaine flood dose is given.

After the Ibogaine treatment comes one on one therapy and aftercare planning. During this process all patients take a personal course based around the SMART recovery program.

Beyond just addiction treatment, the facility provides medicinal psychedelic sessions for trauma, anxiety, PTSD, and self-actualization.

Rehab Treatment In A First-Class Environment

Safety is not the only aspect they are prepared for. In order to facilitate recovery in a comfortable environment, Experience Ibogaine has a luxurious facility in a safe, gated community next to the ocean.

Patients’meals are catered and served by a private chef. There is a pool, hot tub, spa, massage facility, and guided yoga sessions.

They even offer other activities like flying drones and four-wheeling.

Providing Ibogaine Treatment Affordably

Since Ibogaine treatment is not government funded, many people take loans or have their own funds ready.

Facilities offering Ibogaine have a fine balancing act: to provide a high level of medical care and patient safety, with pleasant facilities—yet at a price that can be afforded by the majority of addicts.

Aeden Smith-Ahearn

Most Ibogaine clinics seem to be much higher in price. But, it seems Experience Ibogaine has a unique philosophy, which is well worth investigating.

This comes from Aeden Smith-Ahearn, Treatment Coordinator for Experience Ibogaine treatment centers in Mexico:“We are privileged to have very high rates of recovery. We have worked hard and diligently to earn our reputation. Our policy is to put peoples’ safety first, while at the same time providing them with a life-changing experience at a lower price than our competition.”

Conclusion

Since public trust is at an all-time low in the US, and many feel the system is failing them, alternative healing will most likely take great strides in the next decade.

Currently, mainstream medicine is not filling the need for medicinal psychedelic treatment, and scientists who are willing to study and test these methods are legally restrained in the US.

Addiction rates continue to rise. If there was ever a time to begin exploring alternative and psychoactive treatments for drug addiction, that time is now.

Image Credits
Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock.com
Inpost Image Credit: Shutterstock.com
Author

Contributor : Adriaan Brits ()

This Article Has Been Published on December 19, 2017 and Last Modified on December 12, 2018

Adriaan Brits is a key influencer in the health sector. He owns Healthy New Age Magazine and helps medical professionals and the public connect on key issues that are often overlooked by governments around the world. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

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