Polysubstance Abuse Disorders and Ibogaine
Polysubstance abuse is the term used when an individual is physically and/or psychologically addicted to multiple drugs. Polysubstance abuse is relatively common in the drug-dependent populace, and often occurs when multiple drugs are stacked together in an attempt to enhance their effects or mitigate withdrawal or tolerance to other molecules.
An example of a polysubstance abuse disorder would be someone who shoots speedballs and combines heroin (or other opioids) with cocaine (or other stimulants). Aside from illicit “street” drugs, combining alcohol with prescription medications is a problem that affects an estimated 19% of older Americans, with a full 25% of the aging population within the US being prescribed medications that have the potential for abuse and addiction.
A study published in 2000 with statistical data on 243,523 individuals who had been admitted to detox for opiate treatment and heroin use, an estimated 57.3% were polysubstance drug users. In addition to this, many — if not most — patients who suffer from polysubstance abuse disorders, are self-medicating co-occuring mental issues, which creates an extremely complex puzzle that can be difficult to untangle utilizing conventional treatment methods.
Ibogaine Treatment for Polysubstance Abuse Disorders
The initial phase of treatment for polysubstance abuse disorders is the detoxification process. It’s not possible to effectively diagnose and manage co-occuring disorders while a patient is using a wide spectrum of addictive substances simultaneously. The detox process can become extremely complex due to the huge number of variables introduced by multiple drugs of abuse and the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions that occur.
Fortunately ibogaine is extremely effective for a wide spectrum of opioids and stimulants, and can provide an effective, extremely rapid, and painless detox from multiple substances simultaneously. Although ibogaine efficacy is very high, it is extremely important that you are honest with your clinicians with regards to what drugs you are taking. Withdrawal and abrupt cessation of use with some drugs such as benzodiazaphines and alcohol can be extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening.
At Clear Sky Recovery we can reset addiction and tolerance to multiple substances simultaneously, bringing our guests back to a pre-addictive state and allowing the healing process to begin. However, aftercare and ongoing treatment and support are critical for attaining a positive long-term outcome. If you are used to taking a wide spectrum of drugs to self-medicate all your problems, even after you’re “clean” and no longer physically addicted, it is not possible for any short-term, one or two week long detox program to completely change years or decades of maladaptive patterns of behavior and underlying mental health issues.
Clear Sky utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to empower patients to identify and transform negative and irrational thoughts and ideations into realistic, empowering and positive thoughts and patterns of behavior. Over a thousands published outcome studies exist on the successful application of CBT for substance abuse and psychiatric disorders.
Know What to Expect and Understand that Healing is an Individual Process
Despite the mantra of the 12-steps, that everybody who is addicted is the same; this is simply not true. Who and what you are, is not the summation of your symptoms and what molecules you happen to be addicted to. While this is a part of you, the question is: who do you want to become?
While many addicted individuals believe that drug dependence is at the core of their problems, the reality is that for most drug-dependent individuals, drug abuse is the solution to their problems; not the cause. After receiving ibogaine treatment, along with multiple booster doses, your physical dependence will be eradicated. The spiritual aspects of ibogaine treatment and the perspective shift that often occurs for patients allowing a different view into yourself and your everyday state of consciousness, are invaluable tools … but in and of themselves, this is not enough to maintain sobriety without building upon this foundation with personal effort and work.
Individual and group support post-ibogaine treatment is absolutely necessary for almost all individuals. What exactly these support-systems entail is dependent upon the individual needs of every patient. What works wonders for one person, may have little or no efficacy for someone else with a similar background and prior addiction to the same molecules. Whatever road you choose to follow on your journey through recovery, you’re going to need some help, and be able to talk with someone you trust when dealing with life without self-medicating away all your problems.
Much as it took some time to attain the state you were in prior to ibogaine treatment, it will take some time to form new, positive, and empowering patterns of behavior and better responses to situations that produce stress and anxiety. The world is a highly imperfect place and it’s not realistic to expect a perfect outcome without some kind of aftercare program in place post-ibogaine treatment.
Additionally, depending on what your co-occurring disorders happen to be, some guests will quite likely need more conventional medications to help deal with common underlying problems such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD and a wide spectrum of other Axis I and II conditions that may be applicable.
Whatever path you follow post-ibogaine treatment, every single patient we have ever worked with during a period of time spanning two decades has responded favorably to improving their overall health, eating better food, and getting some form of daily exercise. Physical activity is extremely important and creates immediate and lasting changes in how you’re feeling about yourself and the world in general. Exercise releases endorphins so you feel good, reduces stress and anxiety, and can have a lasting impact on helping you maintain a drug-free existence moving forward.
If you or a loved one are suffering form polysubstance abuse disorders, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and learn more about what ibogaine treatment can do for your unique situation.