In the early 1960s, before Howard Lotsof discovered Ibogaine treatment for addiction, psychedelic drugs were very prevalent. The hippy movement was underway, and those seeking unique and exotic drugs could often find them.
Young Howard Lotsof, like many at the time, was interested in experimenting with whatever psychoactive drugs he could get his hands on. Lotsof was a multi-drug user and a multi-drug addict. But his worst addiction was to heroin.
He got his hands on Ibogaine from a friend of his who was a chemist. He was told by this friend that Ibogaine was intense, and the trip lasted 36 hours. Lotsof, being open minded, took the Ibogaine and prepared for the psychedelic experience.
Once the Ibogaine had worn off. Lotsof, lying on his bed, realized he had no withdrawal symptoms from having not used heroin for days.
Heroin is a drug known for its severely harsh and displeasing drug withdrawals symptoms. After about 12-24 hours of not using heroin, withdrawal symptoms begin to set in and increase until the addict is in full withdrawal.
After this experience, Lotsof gave Ibogaine to a few of his friends who were also heroin addicts. He wanted to test the results and see if Ibogaine did, in fact, interrupt his heroin addiction, or if it was just by some unknown miracle that his heroin withdrawals were gone.
Sure enough, Ibogaine had the same effect on every heroin addict that Lotsof gave the drug too. Withdrawal symptoms were overcome almost immediately upon ingesting Ibogaine.
So, Lotsof began turning to the scientistic community in order to develop new studies on Ibogaine and its effects on addiction. This turned out, however, to be much more difficult than he thought.
Scientists that Ignore Science
Ibogaine was not the only psychedelic drug during the 1960s to gain momentum. LSD, psilocybin, and other psychedelic medications were being tested thoroughly by many psychiatrists and scientists in the USA.
However, this did not have any effect on what the FDA was planning to do. By the late 1960s, Ibogaine, and other psychedelics, were completely banned from personal and scientific use. Lotsof, now graduated from college, had to begin his research on Ibogaine in Amsterdam because it had become too difficult to get approval for studies in the USA. In his own words, here is how Lotsof, his studies, and his treatment model were viewed by those studying drug addiction in the United States.
“It took me from 1984 to 1991, through the leadership of three different directors at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, to finally get them to take a serious look at Ibogaine. Now, imagine that you are a doctor, you spend 12 years getting your education, you spend 15 years in the field becoming an expert, and then the last thing your going to want to hear is some former heroin addict went and discovered the effective medication that you are looking for. So, there was enormous resistance.”
Even after the NIDA looked at Ibogaine, it still did not have the impact that Lotsof expected. Financial and other setbacks made it impossible to continue studying Ibogaine in the USA, and Ibogaine became seemingly dead as an addiction treatment option in the eyes of scientists and authorities in the USA.
Lotsof continued to study Ibogaine in Amsterdam and founded the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance which still promotes Ibogaine treatment studying and testing today.
Howard Lotsof and Ibogaine – His Final Days
In 2009, Howard Lotsof was the honoree at the first Ibogaine Provider and Facilitator Conference where his work was publicly recognized by many of those who had continued in the footsteps of Lotsof himself. These were the providers, the clinics, and the scientists that continued to promote and study Ibogaine on the global stage.
On January 31, 2010, at age 66, Howard Lotsof died of liver cancer.
Lotsof’s research has helped tens of thousands of addicts find freedom from addiction and, in the future, millions will be saved from ongoing research on Ibogaine treatment as it continues to grow.
A Heroin Epidemic
Lotsof saw Ibogaine as a drug of salvation. To go from being a heroin addict one day, to being completely clean the next, was fascinating to Lotsof. He knew the world needed Ibogaine, and he dedicated his life to it.
We live in an opiate epidemic of extreme proportions today, and the problem continues to get worse. Many individuals find themselves moving from prescription pills to heroin because of the quicker high and cheaper cost. And with more opiate related deaths every year, we are in desperate need to find more effective methods of treating this disease.
But the government moves slow and the drug companies are making too much money. It’s not in the best interest of the drug companies to look into Ibogaine (actual cures), so the government is really our only solution.
Currently, in the USA, Ibogaine is considered a Schedule 1 drug–meaning it is considered to have no medical value and a high abuse potential.
Yet, no matter what argument drug companies and doctors want to make, there clearly is no argument as to whether Ibogaine has medicinal value or not. They may say that Ibogaine is dangerous, but that doesn’t discredit the healing abilities it has.
And if Ibogaine can be discredited based on a small risk of complications, where does that put opiate medications that cause hospitalization, overdose, and death on a daily basis.
As Lotsof said in so many words, their hubris keeps them from seeing the solution.
Other Ways to Treat Disease
Being lumped in with Ibogaine is Marijuana, MDMA, LSD, Psilocybin, Ayahuasca, and others–all psychedelic drugs that have been proven to have major healing benefits when it comes to addiction, PTSD, and mental health.
And, as opiates remain the number one choice for doctors and medical professionals to treat pain with few other options, more and more addicts are made every day. Many of those prescribed these medications get hooked with little or no education on the addictive nature of the prescriptions they are being given.
No matter what the answer is, opiates are obviously causing major addiction issues in the USA. Whether an addict chooses to be an addict or not isn’t the point, the point is that once someone is addicted, they need help to find freedom from that addiction.
And Ibogaine treatment centers may be the best option for those who are struggling.
Howard Lotsof and his Legacy
Howard Lotsof continued to treat addiction and study Ibogaine through his entire life. He died in 2010 but his legacy will live on forever.