You are currently viewing African Shrub May Be Used For Addiction Treatment
Fresh turmeric root, and ground spice - shallow depth of field

African Shrub May Be Used For Addiction Treatment

This week, some addiction recovery headlines came from a very unlikely place. Namely the Bloomberg financial site, which happened to be covering the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. According to reports from the summit, one particular session focused on a unique African shrub that is being touted as a treatment solution for opioid abuse.

The substance in question is called ibogaine and is known to contain hallucinogenic effects. A notable startup (backed by billionaire investor Peter Thiel) has reportedly been doing heavy research into its properties and its possible ability to help people conquer their addiction issues.

The company is named Atai Life Sciences and according to its co-founder, Christian Angermayer, the scientists working there have seen encouraging effects during some intense recovery trials.

“In some circles, psychedelics sucha ibogaine are still associated with escape from the real world and irresponsible extravagance,” Angermayer told Davos attendees. “With FDA-controlled studies, we will come to see that their most powerful use brings people to mental health and sober sanity in a medical setting.”

Comparisons have already been made with substances like magic mushrooms, which themselves have been touted as recovery tools. The thought would be that psychedelics such as these can disrupt particular cravings and steer people away from deep dependencies.

Angermayer added that ibogaine essentially works as an “addiction interrupter” that can reset brain chemistry. Bloomberg pointed out that it has been thought of as a healing agent for centuries (dating back to the dawn of certain African tribes).

Across Europe, ibogaine has been incorporated into some notable recovery regimens. Several clinics have begun embracing it, claiming that it is more effective during withdrawals than a substance like methadone.

The experience is described as “a sobering trip” which brings on visualizations of the negative consequences of drug abuse. Typically, patients are monitored for 24 straight hours after ingesting ibogaine to ensure safety. Aside from the hallucinogenic risks, the shrub has had some ties to heart issues.

The fact that ibogaine has the backing of a financial giant like Peter Thiel is encouraging. He has been part of some of the century’s biggest business successes and, with his funding and expertise, there is hope that this could hold some promise.

Of course in the interim, we always recommend reaching out to proper treatment centers if an addiction has invaded your life. Because, while new developments like this are exciting, tried and true methods can be very effective too.