The Opiate Epidemic and the Need for Psychedelic Medicine

The Opiate Epidemic and the Need for Psychedelic Medicine

In the wake of the most serious drug epidemic America has ever seen, the need for addiction treatment that works has never been greater. Opioid addiction (mainly prescription pills and heroin) has skyrocketed over the past decade. Heroin-related deaths have more than quadrupled since 2010. And while effective treatment for this deadly epidemic is now needed more than ever, traditional drug rehab programs only work a small percentage of the time. And it’s not just drug rehab that isn’t working. People seeking treatment for alcohol addiction in traditional rehab facilities are finding themselves returning time and time again. It’s estimated that 40-60 percent of people who attend rehab will relapse. And with most drug and alcohol rehabilitation based around the 12-step programs, many people are being left behind. There’s got to be another way. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and the 12-step principles around which this program is based, was founded way back in 1935. It has since become tightly woven into the foundation of traditional addiction treatment in the US. Of the countless treatment centers and rehabs available to treat drug and alcohol addiction, most are loosely based upon the ideals AA upholds. While statistics on the success rates of AA are hard to come by, there’s evidence that shows they are not very effective for long-term sobriety. And while most people think of AA as the one and only solution to addiction, they only believe this because it’s all they have really been exposed to. The problem is, we lack exposure to alternative methods. When people choose to get treatment for addiction, they’re obviously looking to end their addiction for good. No one wants to...
The New History of Psychedelic Medicine

The New History of Psychedelic Medicine

Psychedelic medicine has made huge advances in the past decade. Psilocybin treats anxiety and depression, and MDMA is making amazing progress treating PTSD. Ayahuasca is something almost everyone’s heard of, and ibogaine’s becoming one of the most sought after addiction treatments. As we move steadily into the new millennium we’re starting to see a lot more people take notice of this. The Early History of Psychedelic Medicine Research on psychedelics isn’t anything new. Before the 1960s, psychedelics weren’t just studied, they were respected. LSD showed great promise in treating addiction and was studied for its efficacy against many different psychological disorders. Long before this, however, psychedelic plants were being used in various ritual ceremonies and among various native tribes around the world. There’s also strong evidence that cultural use of psychotropic plants has been happening for centuries. Peyote has been used ceremonially since 1000BC and is an integral part of Native American culture. Psilocybin is central to Aztec tribes. How long psychedelic mushrooms were used by them is unknown because Roman Catholic missionaries destroyed most records in Mexico. Rock paintings of mushrooms and temples dedicated to mushroom gods go back to 7000BC, however. The history of psychedelics is long. And if those stand behind the medicinal benefits they offer can continue to research these beneficial effects, their history is far from over. The “Recent” History of Psychedelic Medicine During the mid-20th century, chemists and other scientists started taking more interest in natural psychedelic substances and began to make new synthetic compounds that imitated what was found in nature. They then gave them to their friends. The very early days of...
ibogaine infographic

ibogaine infographic

Treating addiction with ibogaine: a natural, scientifically proven approach. A team of researchers from the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry and the Yale School of Medicine conducted a retrospective survey on patients who completed Crossroads’ addiction treatment program. Data was collected over the course of 4 years on a sample of 101 patients. This survey has the largest sample size amongst all Ibogaine outcome studies, and the majority of patients were opioid-addicted individuals. Among opioid-addicted individuals in this survey: 86% of patients indicated that Ibogaine treatment was better than other addiction treatments they’ve tried in the past. 82% said Ibogaine was effective at interrupting their addiction. 81% reported withdrawal symptoms were eliminated or drastically reduced after one Ibogaine treatment. 62% of patients had a spiritually significant experience on Ibogaine. What is ibogaine? Ibogaine is known as the Addiction Interruptor. It is the primary active alkaloid in the Iboga bush which is native to West Central Africa. It is a potent entheogenic substance with a long history of medicinal and ceremonial use. More recently it has gained popularity for its success in treating addiction, particularly opioid addiction. Ibogaine is effective in interrupting addictions to a number of substances including heroin, opioid or narcotic pain medications, amphetamines, cocaine, alcohol, and nicotine. (Brown). How are mystical experiences occassioned by ibogaine therapeutic in reversing addiction? Ibogaine and other psychedelic plant medicines reliably induce mystical experiences that are often described as some of the peak spiritual experiences in a person’s life (Griffiths). Crossroads patients often report experiencing mystical states of oneness and transcendence of the self, a feeling of ego-death and rebirth, and...
Could Ketamine Be the Answer for Alcohol Addiction?

Could Ketamine Be the Answer for Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is the most widespread form of substance abuse disorders. Not only is alcohol legal, but it is typically encouraged as a way to relax and have a good time. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), there are over 15 million people in the US alone that abuse alcohol on a regular basis. And while there are countless rehab options to treat alcoholism, it’s widely known that traditional rehab doesn’t always work. The very programs that have been touted to tame the alcoholic mind for almost a hundred years (think AA and other 12-step programs) only come with a 5-10 percent success rate. And when it comes to something as important as overcoming an addiction to alcohol, the last thing anyone wants to be is a statistic. It’s reasons such as these that have countless people turning to alternative forms of treatment to overcome addictions to alcohol and other substances. Can Ketamine Help with Alcohol Addiction? Research is in the works that could help countless people suffering from alcoholism overcome their addiction for good. Some scientists are suggesting that ketamine (currently considered a recreational drug) could be an excellent aid in the treatment of alcohol addiction. Researchers at the University College of London (UCL) are testing whether or not ketamine can be effective in changing negative patterns of behavior associated with alcoholism by erasing the memories and triggers that lead to substance abuse and addiction. While results from these tests won’t be published for more than a year, researchers behind the study remain hopeful. The research that began in 2016 has showed promise...
Marijuana for PTSD: Why Vets Want Legalization

Marijuana for PTSD: Why Vets Want Legalization

The effects of war can have lasting impact on those involved. It’s estimated that some 20 percent of people returning from war suffer from some serious psychological trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an extremely severe anxiety condition, is something that can progress after a person has experienced an upsetting and disturbing incident. War, and engaging in active combat, is one of the major reasons people develop this often-incapacitating condition. What are the Symptoms of PTSD? The symptoms of PTSD can be debilitating. Insomnia, sleep deprivation, depression, stress, and anxiety become common. Nightmares and flashbacks are normal and can lead to severe fear and panic. Typical symptoms of PTSD include: Being easily startled Experiencing severe guilt or worry Depression Frequently feeling intense and on-edge Loss of interest in activities a person once enjoyed Insomnia or difficulty sleeping Fearful thoughts Flashbacks People suffering from PTSD will often unwillingly play the traumatic incidents they’ve experienced repeatedly in their mind. They simply cannot turn off the memories of the event that has triggered their PTSD. This can lead to serious emotional imbalance, keeping a person in a painful cycle that can eventually ruin their life. Because PTSD can be completely debilitating, even with the medicine prescribed to take away a person’s pain, many vets are turning towards alternatives to help with some of the crippling feelings associated with PTSD. Medical marijuana has shown great promise in helping treat the symptoms that accompany PTSD…without leaving people addicted and suffering from negative side effects. For the countless people who suffer from PTSD, marijuana has shown to bring tremendous relief to the terrible symptoms associated with...
Bad Trips Gone Good: What We Can Learn from a Difficult Psychedelic Experience

Bad Trips Gone Good: What We Can Learn from a Difficult Psychedelic Experience

While taking psychedelics for a medicinal or spiritual experience can be an extremely enlightening and healing experience, there is always the probability that what a person goes through isn’t what they’d hoped for. A negative psychedelic experience can be extremely frightening, and truly show a person the aspects of their subconscious they’d rather leave alone. What a Bad Trip is Here to Teach Us The effects of a “bad trip” can last for days or even weeks after the experience, leaving a person wondering if psychedelic medicine actually holds the potential for healing so many people claim. A negative psychedelic experience, however, can be a blessing in disguise. Having an adverse reaction to psychedelics can show a person the emotional and psychological issues they carry that need to be healed. It’s the negative things a person goes through during a bad trip that are most often the problems they need to address the most. Psychedelics are powerful conduits for change, and, when used for healing, they can bring up some very serious emotions and feelings. Having this insight can make it a lot easier to see the positive side when something like this occurs. After all, it’s often through difficulty that we experience tremendous change. The only way out is through–and a challenging psychedelic experience is here to show a person exactly the problems they need to work out in order to experience the healing they need. This understanding can make a tremendous difference when looking for insight through psychedelic healing. Do You Need to Have a Difficult Experience to Heal? While having a difficult experience on psychedelics can offer more awareness of the...
The Crossroads Treatment Center is now the Crossroads Research Initiative, a single source compiling psychedelic research data, offering expert consultations, clinical guidance, case studies and best practices for integrative psychedelic medicine.
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