Unfortunately, the death toll from opiate and heroin addiction continues to rise. What started out in many cases as merely a treatment for pain, maybe a broken bone, maybe an operation, or maybe just pain from joints or muscles, turns into an all out, full blown addiction–uncontrollable and deadly. Time and time again we hear of athletes and celebrities falling prey to addiction and overdose from opiate. But what about the other 81 deaths a day related to opiate and heroin overdose? Too many stories to tell?
If Ibogaine treatment shows so much promise, then why is Ibogaine illegal in the United States?
Ibogaine: A Brief History
Ibogaine first got its negative connotation, oddly enough, in the 1930’s with olympic athletes. The french were selling Ibogaine as a medical treatment and olympic athletes began using it as a performance enhancement drug. It wasn’t until the early 1960’s that Howard Lotsof discovered the medicinal properties of Ibogaine in relationship to his opiate addiction, he was at the time a heroin addict.
But it was too late. By the mid 1960’s the FDA had made up its mind, and Ibogaine became a schedule 1 drug–illegal to sell or even research in the USA.
And to this day Ibogaine continues to remain a schedule 1 drug in the USA. Declared to have no medicinal value and to be extremely addictive.
Well if the FDA says so it must be true, right?
Opiates: How Did We Get Here?
There is almost nothing with stronger addictive traits than opiates. In fact, according to drugwarfacts.org statistics the only thing that comes close to heroin is nicotine.
But opiates like heroin are responsible for overdose deaths every day. And opiate overdoses are the worst possible, resulting often in death.
Originally, opiates were only prescribed to cancer patients and the terminally ill. But, in 1997, Perdue Pharma began its mission to get opiate based drugs into more hands, not just cancer patients. Cancer patients didn’t provide a growing market for them, so treating other issues with opiates became the money maker.
Now these pills have spun out of control and we find ourselves in an epidemic.
But no matter how we got here, the question, “is where are we going?” Of course we can take the pills away, but addicts will find heroin. Of course we can outlaw heroin, but the heroin trade will still grow.
And some people really need opiates, or some form of potent pain relief, to survive.
But our answer seems to be jail time. But, no matter how many times you throw an addict in jail you still don’t treat the central cause of their addiction. Addiction is more powerful than its consequences.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to any problem. The best thing we can do is offer multiple options that work. If Suboxone works, great. If quitting cold turkey works, amazing. Even if something as odd as drinking a gallon of milk everyday before noon deters your cravings and helps you get off drugs, then good for you.
So, why not Ibogaine?
Is Ibogaine still illegal because of athletic abuse? I doubt it. Maybe Ibogaine got it’s negative connotations from olympic athletes but today even drugs like caffeine have been regulated by the Olympic rules.
What about its high potential for abuse? There is none. Ibogaine has almost zero potential for abuse.
What about dangerous side effects of Ibogaine treatment? With proper screening there is little risk of death. Even then, the risk of death associated with Ibogaine is much lower than any opiate on the market–including Suboxone and Methadone.
Even if Ibogaine does have some small window of risk it wouldn’t take much time for the top minds in the drug industry to substantially reduce the little risk that is currently there.
There is no reason Ibogaine should be illegal in the USA, especially for medical testing and treatment purposes.
But so far the government has made no such moves. The epidemic continues to grow. Our problem isn’t getting smaller, it’s getting more dangerous by the minute.
And by the time you are done reading this another person will have died from opiate overdose.