People who are addicted to opiates are searching for anything to help them deal with their miserable withdrawal symptoms. When an addict becomes desperate to stop their withdrawal symptoms, they will try almost anything. I've talked to many addicts who are looking to stop their withdrawals and search the internet for a quick fix. They watch a Youtube video or read an article they find in Google and think they found the magic cure. Many have tried unique and creative ways to get clean and have been successful with them. People have even taken illegal drugs, and other medications that have also helped them to get clean. The problem is the risks involved, and that not all "cures" work for everyone. There are a lot of variables involved.
My main concern with addicts using other medications is that may replace one drug for another. Someone may use a Benzo such as Xanax to get off of opiates, but then find themselves addicted to Xanax. I always recommend people to go the cleanest, all natural route to sobriety. I hear all types of crazy ideas from people I talk to who think they have found the cure. My main question I ask is, "would you risk taking a drug that may help you get clean, but could also possibly kill you?" This is a very interesting topic because I hear a lot of people talking about it and asking me my opinions about different drugs.
If you have spent time researching ways to get clean on the internet, you are bound to come across information on Ibogaine. What is Ibogaine and why is it so controversial? Ibogaine is a hallucinogenic compound derived from the roots of a West African shrub, sometimes used as a treatment for heroin or cocaine addiction. The theory behind how it helps people addicted to opiates is that it supposedly resets opiate receptors in the brain. As usual, there is always a catch. The drug can make you hallucinate and it can kill you as well. It is also not a permanent "cure." Ibogaine is said to help with the withdrawal symptoms and cravings for only about 30 days. After the 30 days it is up to the recovering addict to make the right life choices and live their life in a manner that will keep them clean.
Ibogaine is NOT legal in the United States and is considered a Scheduled I - Controlled Substance. In fact it is only "unregulated" in Canada, Mexico, Norway, Germany and New Zealand because it is a dangerous compound that makes you see and feel things that aren't there. The treatment facilities that do provide Ibogaine treatment cost thousands of dollars and do not take insurance. Flying to a foreign country to a clinic not regulated by the FDA to take a psychedelic drug that can potentially kill you, is not a risk I would recommend. Though opiate withdrawals may be uncomfortable, they will not kill you as long as you stay hydrated and eat. I can not see the benefits of taking something that can potentially end your life in order to get off of opiates.
Unfortunately there will always be people who can afford alternative treatments who are willing to risk their lives to get clean. Many addicts are living their life on a day to day basis and are just one hit away from overdosing and dying. Someone who has nothing left to lose and is willing to risk their life to get clean for 30 days may look at Ibogaine as a necessary step for them. To me personally, I would never go that route because of the dangers and risks that are associated with it. There are many other safe options out there for recovery. Of course many are not easy. You need to have the desire to work at your recovery rather than to rely on a psychedelic drug to "cure" your addiction to opiates. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as an addiction "cure." The only thing that will keep someone out of the grave is a work ethic to live their life daily free of drugs. If you or someone you know is addicted to opiates, please seek professional treatment immediately.