Ibogaine is a hallucinogenic drug promoted by certain fringe groups to interrupt both physical dependence and psychological craving to a broad range of drugs including narcotics, stimulants, alcohol, and nicotine. To date, there have never been any controlled studies showing it to be effective, and it is not accepted as a treatment by physicians, pharmacists, or addictionologist. There have also been several deaths related to ibogaine use, which causes tachycardia and long QT syndrome. The drug is an illegal Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, and the foreign facilities in which it is administered from tend to have little oversight, and range from motel rooms to one moderately-sized rehabilitation center.
Advances in medical research have given addiction specialists new insight into the treatment of alcoholism. However, the Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report states that alcohol abuse remains the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States, despite innovations in behavioral health modification, psychotherapy, and addiction medication. The following studies and statistics reflect the power of this disease:
While detox is often looked upon as one of the most difficult aspects of the recovery process, addicts aren’t in the clear once they make it through withdrawal.5The real work of recovery takes place post-detox in the therapeutic portion of treatment. In therapy, both individual and group, recovering addicts uncover the root causes behind their substance abuse, helping them to address these issues so they don’t cause them to return to substance abuse at a later date.3
You’ll want to be thorough while searching for the substance abuse treatment program that is right for you. Not all rehabs are equal, so it’s important that you know what you’re looking for. Not everyone will benefit from the same type of rehab so some priorities may depend on the individual’s preferences, but some standard things to look for include:
Therapeutic communities, which are highly structured programs in which patients remain at a residence, typically for 6 to 12 months. The entire community, including treatment staff and those in recovery, act as key agents of change, influencing the patient’s attitudes, understanding, and behaviors associated with drug use. Read more about therapeutic communities in the Therapeutic Communities Research Report at https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/therapeutic-communities.
Within the framework of the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), substance dependence is redefined as a drug addiction, and can be diagnosed without the occurrence of a withdrawal syndrome. It was described accordingly: "When an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed. Compulsive and repetitive use may result in tolerance to the effect of the drug and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped. This, along with Substance Abuse are considered Substance Use Disorders." In the DSM-5 (released in 2013), substance abuse and substance dependence have been merged into the category of substance use disorders and they no longer exist as individual diagnosis.
It’s commonly known that even after the completion of a treatment program, the temptation to drink again is a lifelong challenge. However, in addition to coping skills and medication, treatment also gives the patient a vast network of contacts – a therapist, a sponsor from a support group, etc. – who make it their priority to talk the addict out of a potential relapse. Being accountable to someone who understands the challenge of trying to remain sober after treatment helps counter the fear and frustration that can be a part of that challenge.
The specific medicines prescribed will vary depending upon your own particular experience of withdrawal and the symptoms you are manifesting, and it may be that certain medications will not be appropriate depending on your substance of abuse or your own personal health history; an experienced medical professional will be able to make those decisions to ensure you go through withdrawal as safely as possible. What happens in rehab?