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Mexico Touts Alternative Recovery Treatment

There is no denying that our country is in the midst of a full blown addiction crisis. With millions losing their lives and livelihoods to opioid dependencies, it’s understandable that people are desperate to find a “quick fix” recovery option. And apparently several unlicensed clinics in Mexico are offering just that, thanks to a controversial treatment called Ibogaine.

Now for the record, we strongly advise against going to other countries for alternative recovery options. Yes prices can be costly here for rehabilitation, but at the end of the day you know you’re in the hands of licensed professionals. Conversely, many of these Mexico facilities offer cheap enticements; exciting those close to the border to cross over.

In fact, local San Diego ABC affiliate 10 News put out an entire televised piece on the movement. Apparently, Rosarito is where a majority of these “miracle clinics” are based. Their major selling point is the Ibogaine treatment, which is illegal in the United States. Ibogaine is, in fact, a psychoactive alkaloid which comes from a West African plant called Iboga.

The reason U.S. officials have refused to accept it as a domestic treatment method has to do with its “addictive tendencies” and “high potential for abuse.” In Mexico though, Ibogaine is completely unregulated.

The Rosarito clinics dispense Ibogaine in capsule form. Once taken, patients tend to hallucinate for a 24 hour period. One 10 News interviewee (who goes by the name of Bob) discussed the experience of taking Ibogaine and how it helped him overcome his addiction.

“It pulled me out of my body and brought up these high definition bubbles that would just pop up and disappear, pop up and disappear, with images with motion video inside of them.” he explained. “It made me focus on all the negative things I had done in my life. I had really hurt my family, my friends, did awful things to people and myself.”

The theory is that people begin to see their lives differently after ingesting the drug. That experience is what sets them on the path to recovery. But Ibogaine has been shown to cause major problems for people with heart conditions and of advanced age.

Local San Diego therapist and recovery expert Nancy Knott was also interviewed for the article and spoke out strongly against the use of Ibogaine.

“This drug creates a psychosis, which can be so absolutely life-threatening,” she added. “It is also mentally threatening to a developing brain, or any brain, for that matter.”