According to new research analysis , published on July 21, 2010 in Popular Science, a drug called Ibogaine may be capable of treating the scourge of drug and alcohol addiction, which affects an estimated seven million people in the US alone, and accounts for over $180 billion in costs, related to health care, crime, and lost productivity. Ibogaine, which is derived from the African Tabernathe iboga plant is itself a powerful hallucinogenic and psychedelic drug.
That is part of the problem, because that makes it a Schedule 1 drug, which, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, means that it has no medicinal value and has a high potential for being abused. Therefore, research in the US is quite difficult.
Ibogaine research outside of the country in places like Mexico and Europe show promising results, according to some. Morphine addicted rats are able to quit for weeks with after being treated with ibogaine. Hundreds of addicts who have received it claim that it has helped them quit far more easily than having to go “cold turkey”.
However, some patients have died from overdoses in the Netherlands, which may have made large government research organizations, such as the US National Institute of Drug Addiction (NIDA), gun shy, potentially delaying the amount of time that it will take to get regulatory approval by over a decade, according to experts.
Much work remains to be done to understand the exact effect of the drug. Presently, it is believed that the drug binds to nicotine receptors, which also seems to reduce cravings for drugs from heroin to alcohol.
Almost no part of the world is untouched the problem of drug use. In Albuquerque, for example, the drug use problem is fairly typical, compared to the nation as a whole, when it comes to drugs like alcohol, heroin, and methamphetamine, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). New Mexico, along with 14 other states has already legalized the use of medical marijuana, so theoretically, it is possible that the states could also start bypassing the federal government when it comes to drugs like Ibogaine.
July 21, 2010
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