Last Updated on January 15, 2017 by Dr. Alberto Solà

Ibogaine, Isolation and Addiction

Addiction and isolation are two states which are often inter-related and simultaneously present in individuals seeking treatment for drug dependence. People who are addicted to drugs usually keep their habits to themselves, especially after the initial period of experimentation is over, and you’ve become a daily user of a given substance.

Drug dependent individuals are an extremely marginalized strata of society, who suffer from a medical condition which has been criminalized within most countries on Earth and carries a significant social stigma far beyond the harm that any given molecule actually does. When someone regularly commits felonies every time they obtain and ingest a drug, they are being pushed further and further away from what are considered societal norms and standards of behavior. Criminalizing drug use serves to further disenfranchise and isolate that segment of the drug-using populace which obtains their drugs from street sources — as opposed to those who get their molecules from MDs and pick up their script at a pharmacy.

The physical impact of drug dependence may be identical for a person who injects relatively pure, high-quality heroin, as someone who is addicted to a prescription drug such as OxyContin; but the stigma places upon the heroin user is much higher than a person who is simply addicted to prescription pills that their doctor gave them in the first place.

Medically it makes very little difference where you source the molecules your body is dependent upon, but within present-day society, there is a significant difference between drug-dependent individuals. Those who are addicted to street drugs, are driven even further away from feeling like they’re part of a greater whole and belong to “society.” It becomes much more difficult to reach people who are used to isolation and hiding.

Addiction Leads to Isolation

Isolation becomes the norm for drug-dependent individuals who have been through the revolving door of drug addiction treatment and met with repeated failure to maintain their sobriety. When you first try to get clean, there is usually support from friends and family. By the time you’ve failed 10-15 times in a row, nobody really wants to hear that your last chance, at your final detox, worked out for 5 days before you relapsed. Really, you’re doing your friends and family a favor by keeping the truth from them, because if they knew what was really happening, it would be harder on them, is the overall rationale.

Mental health professionals generally believe that addictive patterns and traits will start emerging in youth and early adolescence. People who do not feel like they are part of a peer group, are self-conscious and lack self-esteem, have a significantly higher risk of becoming drug addicts later in life. There are many genetic and environmental variables that come into play which predispose a given individual to becoming drug-dependent, and not all people from similar backgrounds will become addicted, but generally speaking: early trauma, physical or verbal abuse in the home, and unstable family life, are all the building blocks of isolation and addiction.

If you want to regain and maintain your sobriety, then processing and coming to terms with the people and events that have hurt and damaged you in the past, is a basic prerequisite on the road to recovery. Remaining in denial about past issues or pretending that they don’t exist by burying them in your subconscious, leads to a progressive escalation of your symptoms and the need to self-medicate becomes stronger as time passes until eventually you’ll give in, and be back on the treadmill of drug-dependence.

Ibogaine Provides an Effective Perspective-Shift

Ibogaine treatment is extremely effective at consistently producing a complete physical reset for drug dependent individuals. Ibogaine will eradicate your drug dependence. It’s more than just a detox, but it falls short of being a “cure.” Cure implies that some substance or force outside of yourself will do all the work for you, and “heal” whatever is wrong with you. Ibogaine is a catalyst, not a cure. It will not fundamentally change who and what you are, and it cannot re-write and edit your past, so that your whole life is changed and you become someone else. You have to do this part.

The good news is, in addition to providing an effective detox from a wide spectrum of addictive drugs and addictive disorders, ibogaine can and often does, produce a perspective shift in individuals which allows you to view yourself and your life’s situation in a more objective manner. You’re better able to process and integrate experiences that have caused you pain, and begin the process of healing, instead of burying all of this in denial and self-medicating your life away.

When you feel depressed, ashamed, tired, lonely, and in pain, then it’s natural to turn to anything which makes these uncomfortable feelings go away. A better solution, which may seem out of reach most of the time, but becomes easier after ibogaine, is to process how you’re feeling and work through these feelings to decrease their power over your life, release them, and move on.

Post-ibogaine, it’s very important to have some kind of realistic aftercare plan in place. You need some kind of support system comprised of a therapist you feel comfortable talking with, coupled with some kind of group support system. If you hate the 12-steps, well, maybe you don’t. Perhaps you hate the groups that you’ve come into contact with so far. Try a different meeting with a different collection of people. If you’re still not getting anything of it and find yourself unable to take what you find useful and leave the rest, then try something else, SMART meetings are gaining in popularity and becoming available in most major cities. Chances are if you are committed to your own process of recovery, you will eventually find some kind of situation where you feel comfortable; but it won’t happen without some sort of effort on your part.

If you’d like further information about what ibogaine treatment can do for you and your situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.