Mark Twain once famously said that, ‘truth is stranger than fiction.’ That pretty much sums up my thoughts on how we treat addiction here in the U.S. There are things about our healthcare that make me think I’m looking at ou
Plant Based Medicines That Can Change Addiction
Treatment As We Know It
Mark Twain once famously said that, ‘truth is stranger than fiction.’ That pretty much
sums up my thoughts on how we treat addiction here in the U.S. There are things about
our healthcare that make me think I’m looking at our system through Lewis Carroll’s
‘looking glass’ where nothing is quite what it seems. It’s as if I’m in some strange parallel
universe where everything is backwards.
A perfect example of this is the way the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies drugs. The Controlled Substances
Act (CSA) of 1970 established five different schedules or categories of controlled
substances, numbered I–V, with I being the most dangerous and V the least.
The criteria determining the different Schedules are based on three factors:
• Potential for abuse: How likely is this drug to be abused?
• Accepted medical use: Is this drug used as a treatment in the United States?
• Safety and potential for addiction: Is this drug safe? How likely is this drug to
cause addiction? What kinds of addiction?
Seems straight forward enough, right? However, this is where truth and fiction collide and
form a new surreal coexistence.
In the early 70’s, Cannabis/Marijuana, Ibogaine and a host of other substances were
designated as schedule one drugs. I always found this peculiar for a few reasons. First and
foremost, Ibogaine has never been found to be addictive and cannabis is far less addictive
than schedule 2 opioids. Moreover, comparatively very little research had been done at
the time to determine if these substances held any medical value. And because they were
categorized as schedule one substances – the most restrictive of all the drug categories –
it became much more difficult for researchers to access and test the substances to see if
they hold any beneficial qualities.
Humanity is blessed in that there hav