Even Gwyneth Paltrow is on board

Quick notes:

  • Ibogaine has recently been studied on its effectiveness to treat mental health issues and addiction disorders.

  • Scientists aren’t sure if this drug can actually treat addiction or if it just interrupts the withdrawal symptoms for a short time.

  • The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of a nasal spray that contains the drug known as Special K to treat depression.

People usually fall into one of two camps when it comes to psychedelics, you either believe in them or you don’t. Gwyneth Paltrow, the actress and CEO of wellness company Goop, recently told The New York Times that she believes using psychedelics to treat mental health and addiction may become more mainstream in the near future.

When it comes to the drug, ibogaine, she may be onto something. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about ibogaine, psychedelics, and their mental health benefits.

What is Ibogaine?

Ibogaine is derived from a plant found in the rainforests of Africa. Ibogaine has recently been studied fo its effectiveness to treat mental health issues and addiction disorders.

Ibogaine can help someone who may normally experience withdrawal symptoms by curbing these reactions. It works by altering the brain chemistry so that the person can no longer feel the effects of withdrawal.

Scientists aren’t sure if this drug can actually treat addiction or if it just interrupts the withdrawal symptoms for a short time.

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How Ibogaine works

Addiction is considered a chronic condition and has long-term effects on the reward centers of our brain. When Ibogaine is taken, a compound called noribogaine is created.

The part of our brains that is affected by addictive behaviors and drug-seeking tendencies gets targeted by noribogaine and rewired. The brain is then able to restructure itself back to what it was before the triggers for addiction set in.

The purpose of using ibogaine is to help prevent addiction cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms. This can act as a detox so that the body no longer craves the substance.

In order for this detox to be successful, there are other factors that must be considered such as a person’s mental state and their living environment. If your body no longer craves a substance but the person goes back to a lifestyle where drug or alcohol abuse is prevalent, they can still slip back into old habits.

Are hallucinogens the answer?

Hallucinogens are known for putting people in an alternate mental state. People who use them report feeling transcendent, calmer, and more connected spiritually.

Paltrow was referring to hallucinogens helping people connect to other universes, and believe it or not, there is some science behind this. Hallucinogens may help people with anxiety feel more centered and able to cope with stressful situations.

Psychedelic drugs such as MDMA, mushrooms, and LSD while used in conjunction with psychotherapy can improve people’s symptoms from things like post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety.

While there is still a lot of research to be done, these drugs are being looked at as an alternative to antidepressants. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of a nasal spray that contains the drug known as Special K to treat depression.

Despite the early promise of psychedelics and hallucinogens, these drugs aren’t enough to help cure an addition or treat anxiety or depression. Without the proper treatment and care from a mental health professional, patterns can be repeated and the use of additional drugs can have an adverse effect.

According to americanadditioncenters.org, ibogaine had a 50-80% chance of being successful in treating meth addiction symptoms; however, if the people recovering returned to their previous environment, there saw a 90% relapse rate.

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