The United States is witnessing the largest resurgence of heroin use in history: an increase of 66 percent over the last decade.
In the early 1900’s about 300,000 Americans were addicted to some form of opiate. Heroin quickly became the one of choice.
Congress responded to the growing heroin epidemic by opening the first opiate treatment centers, aka “Narcotics Farms” in the 1930’s. The centers were little more than prison-like asylums with a success rate of seven percent.
In the early 1950’s Dr. Marie E. Nyswander developed the idea of “opiate maintenance.” She suggesting heroin addicts should remain on some form of opiate indefinitely in order to avoid relapse.
This lead to the development of methadone which is widely used to treat heroin addiction today. Of course, heroin addicts are encouraged to stay on methadone long-term or indefinitely as incomplete detoxification comes with a high risk of relapse.
However, an island resort in Thailand offers a very different approach to ending both heroin and methadone addiction. The Ibogaine Treatment Center, run by Victor Cracknell and Mike Picone, offers addicts a dose of the psychoactive drug, Ibogaine. Despite the intense 24-hour trip that has to be closely monitored, the founders claim their patients come out of the experience “rewired”– no longer dependent on any drug, claiming an unheard of success rate of 80 percent.
Click here to watch the original piece, “Ibogaine, Psychedelic Salvation” produced by Coconuts Bangkok.
Click here for more about Coconuts Media.