According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 2,000,000 people in the United States alone are addicted to prescription opiates. This doesn’t even include the number of people that are addicted to heroin! I believe that addiction is by far this nation’s number one health problem.
While most of our society continues to view opiate addiction as a moral deficiency (and likely will continue to do so), it is in fact a disease. According to the disease model of medicine, for something to be a disease there has to be an organ affected and symptoms that go along with it.
Dr. Kevin Mccauley has proven with undeniable research that in addiction, the organ affected is the brain, though the symptoms look like badness (lying, stealing, cheating etc.). According to Dr. Mccauley: Addiction is a dysregulation of the midbrain dopamine (pleasure) system due to unmanaged stress resulting in decreased functioning, specifically: 1) loss of control 2) craving 3) persistent drug use despite negative consequences.
While most of our nation is spending their time judging people with opiate addiction as lacking moral fiber and will power, I’ve chosen to dedicate much of my free time to researching all the available treatment options with the highest percentage of success, due to traditional rehab and 12-step meetings failing miserably to put any kind of a dent into this monstrous health epidemic.
There is a root that grows in Africa called iboga, which contains an alkaloid called ibogaine, which can likely lower the number of 2 million addicted stated above to the thousands. Ibogaine has been placed in the Schedule 1 drugs category, meaning it is believed to have no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse.
This is due to it being the most powerful hallucinogen known to man! But ibogaine has been shown to not only completely stop opioid withdrawal, it also completely resets the persons brain chemistry, restoring their opioid receptors to a pre-addicted state! As a result, the person usually does not experience cravings or post acute withdrawal syndrome.
Many ibogaine users report that they also have a spiritual awakening along with feeling great physically. Scientists are currently trying to create a form of ibogaine that has no psychedelic properties. If they accomplish this, I believe the opioid addiction plague will be decreased to the sound of a mere whisper.
In 2009, there were about 15,000 deaths from prescription opiate overdoses, more than cocaine and heroin combined! I’m sure the number has radically spiked since then, and it’s growing everyday.
We can continue to shun these people and judge them for lacking a backbone, or we can stand behind them and decide that we are not going to put up with it anymore. We can finally give this nation wide health crisis the attention and dedication it deserves…otherwise many thousands of people will continue to die, many of them teenagers and kids in their early 20’s with their whole lives ahead of them.