With opiate addiction rates on the rise and a public health crisis declared in the U.S, more clinical professionals are relying on opiate antagonists and long-lasting blockers to treat severe heroin and opiate addiction.
Drugs like Buprenorphine, Suboxone, and Methadone are being doled out by the fistful to opiate-addicted patients as a treatment for their addictions.
While some say this is just replacing one addiction for another, others call it an amazing treatment option. However, one thing is clear—after years of being on these long-acting opiates, those who are using these drugs still feel like addicts.
They still feel awful.
And they still feel out of touch with their humanity.
At some point in time, many of those struggling with these medications seek treatment for their addiction.
This leads many addicts to look into ibogaine treatment for prescription drug addictions and wondering if ibogaine can help them address their addictions.
Let us look at how Ibogaine works in the brain to better understand the impact it can have on treating addiction to these long-acting opiate blockers.
Drugs like Buprenorphine, Suboxone, and Methadone are classified as “Antagonist drugs.” This is for a few reasons. First, this class of drugs are made to be “sticky” on the brain’s receptors. They’re also made to have high half-lives so they stay in the body for a long time.
These two properties are the reason doctors prescribe antagonist drugs for opiate addiction.
By binding to the receptors, the receptors become occupied. When an addict tries to use other opiate drugs, they have almost no effect on the brain’s receptors.
A regular opiate, like heroin, will fill the receptor and then leave. However, these blockers are made to hold onto the receptor for a much longer time. Thus, they’re described as “sticky.”
And, because the half-life is longer, there’s more of the drug being released into the body for a much longer time.
When one blocker is done and leaves the body, there are more blockers in the system that can stick to receptors and keep the cycle going.
The longer someone takes these drugs, the more of the drug is in the system. For those looking to get off of these drugs, this is a huge problem.
That’s because it usually takes 30-60 days for the body to filter out all of these drugs—depending on how long the addict has been using. Even though heroin and short-acting opiates have more acute withdrawals in the short term, they only take 3-7 days for the body to get rid of the drug completely.
Antagonist drugs take nearly 10 times longer—meaning the withdrawal lasts nearly 10 times longer.
Ibogaine and Opiate Receptors
Ibogaine works on the same receptors as opiates. These are the receptors damaged from drug use, and ibogaine renews and resets these receptors in the brain.
During the Ibogaine experience, Ibogaine converts into Noribogaine and binds to these MU or opioid receptors. This is the process Ibogaine uses to interrupt and heal the brain from addiction. However, opiate blockers make it impossible for the ibogaine to do its job and reset these opioid receptors.
During treatment, often the addict taking Suboxone may still feel like the ibogaine is working. This is because ibogaine works not only on the opiate receptor but on other receptors as well.
So, the addict may still “trip.” They may still feel the after-effects of Ibogaine.
And putting those two together, the addict may think he or she is through the worst of the Suboxone withdrawal phase.
But sure enough, as the aftereffects of ibogaine begin to wear off, the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms from these drugs start to creep back in slowly.
This is why it’s imperative that any addict using antagonist drugs waits as long as possible, usually 30-45 days minimum is recommended, before taking ibogaine. The longer, the better, and the higher the chance the body has completely cleared out all opioid antagonists.
Ibogaine suboxone treatment isn’t for everyone.
However, those struggling with opiate blocking medication may find Ibogaine to be an effective treatment. At Experience Ibogaine, we have treated thousands of individuals who were addicted to Suboxone, Methadone, and other opiate blockers.
After these individuals successfully switched or stopped using these opiate blockers, usually for 30-60 days, many of them found a drastic reduction in their withdrawal symptoms through the use of ibogaine.
Each individual is different. Different periods will need to be in place due to age, health, and time spent on these medications. Even then, every individual’s physiology is different, and ibogaine treatment may work differently from person to person.
If you’ve tried other methods to get off these medications without success, ibogaine may be the best alternative method. And ibogaine isn’t only for those struggling with drug addictions. It can also be beneficial in treating depression, mental health issues, and PTSD.
Finding complete sobriety from these medications is possible, and addicts will feel better when they’re completely clean.