Drug Addiction and Ibogaine Treatments

Addiction and Substance Abuse

Author: Derek Williams - Contact: -
Published: 2010/06/28 - Updated: 2015/01/15
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Ibogaine is intended as a single administration drug not a maintenance drug like Methadone.


Drug Addiction Treatments: Is there hope for the future

Drug addiction has caused a lot of havoc for society for generations. Two scientists from Bordeaux have teamed up to try and figure out what the primary biological cause for addiction really is. Something called LTD could be the answer.

Main Digest

Drug addiction plagues our society yet new treatments for drug addiction rarely are invented or discovered. A question some scientists have been asking themselves recently is "Why do some people become drug addicts, yet most can stop using drugs with little trouble". Two researchers in Bordeaux, Pier Vicenzo Piazzo and Olivier Manzoni, have been trying to figure this out. According to some of their preliminary findings, neuro plasticity of certain synapses in the brain can be permanently effected by excessive drug use. Some people seem to have brains that are more likely to remain permanently changed and resistant to return to normal after extended exposure to drugs. This is known as anaplasticity.

There are other animals besides humans that consume drugs, but addiction is far more common among humans than other species.

Addiction has been demonstrated to occur in rats as well as humans in several lab studies. Rats that are trained to self administer cocaine can sometimes exhibit addictive behavior patterns that are seen in human drug addicts. A similarity between humans and rats is that in both species addiction seems to afflict a minority of the population. Rat studies have led to the development of a mammalian model of addiction that attempts to understand the underlying biological causes of addiction.

The teams of both Manzoni and Piazzo seem to be on to something.

Since starting their collaboration they feel they've discovered the actual biological mechanism responsible for people developing addictions. The question of why some develop terrible addictions, but others can quit using drugs relatively easily seems closer to being answered than ever before.

When an animal such as a rat or a human consumes drugs that are psychoactive, some very significant changes happen to the underlying brain chemistry of the individual. The question has always been what exact brain chemistry changes are most involved in the development of an addiction.

The two teams have developed a model that may explain this phenomenon.

In developing this model, the two researchers have studied a large group of animals that have taken drugs, but only a few of which became addicted. After comparing the addicted and non addicted groups, the researchers were able to determine that the addicted group was suffering from an apparent permanent disability to form what's known as long term depression (LTD). LTD is the term for the ability of brain cells to reduce their activity when over stimulated. Without this ability, it becomes very hard for animals or humans to stop drug use. Behavior regarding use of the drug becomes more and more rigid and consequently difficult to stop.

While it is unlikely that the research from Piazzo and Manzoni will lead to new treatments for treating drug addiction anytime soon, there is a very promising treatment for drug addiction using Ibogaine that can help addicts break the rigid thought patterns resulting from LTD. Ibogaine was not synthesized in a lab, but comes from the root of an African shrub. It is mildly hallucinogenic and completely illegal in the United States. However, when it comes to treating addiction it is the only thing that has been discovered that has shown any efficacy for treating addiction specifically.

Ibogaine was first discovered to stop opiate withdrawal symptoms by a Heroin addict named Howard Lotsof in 1962.

Originally obtaining Ibogaine from a friend in order to get high, Howard ingested the Ibogaine expecting a psychedelic experience lasting 36 hours. While the drug did deliver such a result, the trip was not to Howard's particular liking and he sat curious as to why anybody would ever take the drug after the effects wore off and he was left exhausted from the experience. Three hours after awakening from what Howard thought would have been a week long slumber, he was refreshed and shocked to not be going through Heroin withdrawal. Another surprising change was that he did not want to use Heroin anymore. This effect was duplicated in several of the addicted friends Howard went on to give Ibogaine. At that point the Ibogaine underground was born, but it was made illegal soon after along with many other psychedelics in the 60's.

Here are some of the benefits that Ibogaine can deliver to addicted people:

Deborah Mash has been researching Ibogaine at the University of Miami medical school since the early 90's. While the FDA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse were originally interested in the project, they backed out for unknown reasons. It is Deborah's contention that further research will depend on funding from the pharmaceutical companies before anything can move forward. Although many of the drug companies have been contacted regarding Ibogaine for treating addiction, none of them have been interested.

The following reasons are commonly given for their lack of interest:

The future of Ibogaine is not certain.

Only increased awareness of the treatment can lead to change. At the rate things are going it could be many decades before Ibogaine becomes a mainstream treatment. In the mean time rehabs continue to deliver dismal results and millions are dying.

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Cite This Page (APA): Derek Williams. (2010, June 28 - Last revised: 2015, January 15). Drug Addiction and Ibogaine Treatments. Disabled World. Retrieved July 21, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/medical/pharmaceutical/addiction/addict-Ibogaine.php

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