Good News! There are Natural Alternatives to Treating Opiate Withdrawal. Ibogaine is One of Them.

By Amanda Warren

Opiate addiction has become so widespread in the U.S. that President Trump declared it a national emergency in August 2017.  It has been covered extensively by many media sources including CBS 60 Minutes.  It is now commonly referred to as “The Opioid Crisis.”

Elected officials in many states have filed lawsuits against drug companies because of high rates of heroin addiction.

Some only become addicted after doctors have prescribed them with opiates because of sickness or injury.  It may be impossible to understand the severity of withdrawal symptoms until you experience it firsthand.

In January 2015, there was a respiratory virus going around and I seemed to have caught it.  However, I’d never experienced anything like this before.  I didn’t have asthma but it felt like someone was sitting on my chest.  I couldn’t believe how hard it was for me to breathe.  Everything I’d experienced before then was above the neck or “upper respiratory.”

I developed a rumbly wet cough from all the phlegm.  It took a few days before I realized there must be fluid in my lungs and chest.  My husband bought me the most expensive medicine at the drugstore.  Money wasted.

I didn’t want to take prescription cough medicine because I knew it would make me terribly depressed.  Three years earlier, I had to take it for a week when drugstore cough syrup wouldn’t work.  I still had some of it left.  I started taking it and it helped.

I went to my doctor a few days later.  She told me to take Mucinex and she wrote me a prescription for more cough medicine.  I was surprised when she couldn’t just call it in.  She had to print out a piece of paper with large official bold lettering and some kind of registration code.  I mentioned to my husband that it seemed like a big production just to get cough medicine.  He said it was because there was codeine in it.  My cough medicine was big money on the street.

The pharmacy supplied me with an enormous bottle – bigger than what they gave me years earlier.  It was actually intimidating and I hoped I wouldn’t need all of it.  I read the directions – take every 4-6 hours or as needed.  It wore out every 4-6 hours so that’s how much I took for about 10 days.  The Mucinex cleared out my lungs but I now had a painful dry cough.  I could barely talk because of it.

I finally agreed to take antibiotics because my husband and doctor were terrified I would get pneumonia or bronchitis.  This had never even crossed my mind because I’d never had anything like that before.

Eventually I could go for longer periods without taking the cough medicine.  I was so happy when I only needed one teaspoon before I went to bed.

After about 30 days, I was confident I would no longer cough all night.  I didn’t think anything of it when I just stopped taking it.  I didn’t even tell my husband.  The bottle was still half full.

The next morning, I felt pretty rough.  I did my usual routine anyway because I thought I’d be able to shake this off.  Nope.  Over the next couple of days, I felt worse.  I had hot flashes, cold flashes, dizziness, nausea, intestinal mayhem.  I was also freaking out because I figured I must be sick again.  I would wait for my husband to leave for work and then I would sob off and on until he came home.

After a few days of this with no improvement, I told him what was going on.  I was so upset because I had finally stopped taking the cough medicine which had made me so depressed.  He looked at me in pure disbelief.  He said I couldn’t just stop taking prescription cough medicine like that.  I was in withdrawal.  People went to clinics for this type of thing.

I went online and looked it up.  He was right.  I had to start taking it again and then wean myself off of it for the next 3 weeks.  I also still had all the same horrible symptoms while doing so.

My husband and I have always been very conscious about what we eat.  We have filtered water – even in our shower.  We exercise.  My doctor was big on “food as medicine” and so were we.  But she never suggested any natural remedies to help with withdrawal.  I didn’t think to contact our health food store and asked them about it either.  It wasn’t until after I told the store owner what happened that I learned there was a natural form of Mucinex.

Many of us live in communities where we witness or experience the devastating effects of opiate addiction on a daily basis.  We have family members, friends, and friends of friends who are struggling with it or have loved ones who are.

It’s good to know there are natural options for withdrawal.  Ibogaine is one of them.

Ibogaine is extracted from an African root called Tabernanthe Iboga. It has long been recognized for its powerful psychoactive effects and for its use in traditional shamanistic rituals. However, more recently it has been increasingly studied as a holistic method for alleviating the withdrawal symptoms of opiate addiction, as well as potentially curing addiction altogether.

Waking Times commented on some of the studies that have attracted attention and seem to offer solid evidence that Ibogaine should be pursued more widely for treatment:

Remarkably, there is a natural medicine for treating opioid addiction which immediately stops withdrawals and detoxes opioids from the body, and also produces a deep spiritual experience that helps an addict to stay sober by showing them the source and reason for their addictive behavior and inspiring them to remain clean.


Clearly, far more education is needed, so we would all be wise to learn as much as we can about how Ibogaine can help alleviate the spreading crisis of opioid addiction.

If you or someone you know is being threatened by addition, you can start here at Experience Ibogaine treatment centers to learn more. 

Image credit: Waking Times

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