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Drug Abuse Signs and symptoms

Drug Abuse Signs and symptoms

Depending on the actual compound, drug abuse including alcohol may lead to health problems, social problems, morbidity, injuries, unprotected sex, violence, deaths, motor vehicle accidents, homicides, suicides, physical dependence or psychological addiction.

There is a high rate of suicide in alcoholics and drug abusers. The reasons believed to cause the increased risk of suicide include the long-term abuse of alcohol and drugs causing physiological distortion of brain chemistry as well as the social isolation. Another factor is the acute intoxicating effects of the drugs may make suicide more likely to occur. Suicide is also very common in adolescent alcohol abusers, with 1 in 4 suicides in adolescents being related to alcohol abuse. In the USA approximately 30 percent of suicides are related to alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is also associated with increased risks of committing criminal offences including child abuse, domestic violence, rapes, burglaries and assaults.

Drug abuse, including alcohol and prescription drugs can induce symptomatology which resembles mental illness. This can occur both in the intoxicated state and also during the withdrawal state. In some cases these substance induced psychiatric disorders can persist long after detoxification, such as prolonged psychosis or depression after amphetamine or cocaine abuse. A protracted withdrawal syndrome can also occur with symptoms persisting for months after cessation of use. Benzodiazepines are the most notable drug for inducing prolonged withdrawal effects with symptoms sometimes persisting for years after cessation of use. Abuse of hallucinogens can trigger delusional and other psychotic phenomena long after cessation of use and cannabis may trigger panic attacks during intoxication and with use it may cause a state similar to dysthymia. Severe anxiety and depression are commonly induced by sustained alcohol abuse which in most cases abates with prolonged abstinence. Even moderate alcohol sustained use may increase anxiety and depression levels in some individuals. In most cases these drug induced psychiatric disorders fade away with prolonged abstinence.

Drug abuse makes central nervous system (CNS) effects, which produce changes in mood, levels of awareness or perceptions and sensations. Most of these drugs also alter systems other than the CNS. Some of these are often thought of as being abused. Some drugs appear to be more likely to lead to uncontrolled use than others.

Traditionally, new pharmacotherapy’s are quickly adopted in primary care settings, however; drugs for substance abuse treatment have faced many barriers. Naltrexone, a drug originally marketed under the name “ReVia,” and now marketed in intramuscular formulation as “Vivitrol” or in oral formulation as a generic, is a medication approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence. This drug has reached very few patients. This may be due to a number of factors, including resistance by Addiction Medicine specialists and lack of resources.

The ability to recognize the signs of drug use or the symptoms of drug use in family members by parents and spouses has been affected significantly by the emergence of home drug test technology which helps identify recent use of common street and prescription drugs with near lab quality accuracy.

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As a value judgment

As a value judgment

Philip Jenkins points out that there are two issues with the term “drug abuse”. First, that constitutes a “drug” is debatable. For instance, GHB, a naturally occurring substance in the central nervous system is considered a drug, and is illegal in many countries, while nicotine is not officially considered a drug in most countries. Second, the word “abuse” implies a recognized standard of use for any substance. Drinking an occasional glass of wine is considered acceptable in many Western countries, while drinking several bottles is seen as an abuse. Strict temperance advocates, which may or may not be religiously motivated, would see drinking even one glass as an abuse, and some groups even condemn caffeine use in any quantity. Similarly, adopting the view that any (recreational) use of marijuana or amphetamines constitutes drug abuse implies that we have already decided that substance is harmful even in minute quantities.

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Documentary maker may film his own death

AN ACCLAIMED documentary maker has admitted that he is prepared to die while filming himself taking a powerful hallucinogenic drug that has been hailed as a cure for addiction but linked to a number of deaths around the world.

David Graham Scott, who is based in Glasgow, said that he will take the controversial drug, ibogaine, in a film that will form the final part of his trilogy on Scotland’s drugs culture. In the documentary, provisionally titled The Quick Fix, Scott intends to overcome his own methadone addiction, which he says has plagued him since he stopped using street heroin and prescribed drugs 15 years ago.

Under the supervision of colleagues who are working to set up an ibogaine clinic in London, and a recording team, Scott will be filmed next month undergoing an intense 36-hour hallucinogenic “trip”, from which he hopes to emerge free from his addiction. Although the substance is legal in the UK, where it is classed as an unlicensed, experimental drug, there are wider concerns over its safety. The drug has been banned in the US, Belgium and Switzerland and experts also say that in recent years ibogaine is known to have contributed to at least four deaths in Europe.

Last year, a 35-year-old woman died after taking 500mg of the drug during an informal ibogaine session in Germany. In 2001, an inquest in London into the case of JW, a 40-year-old heroin addict, ruled that the man had died principally from a fatal reaction to the drug.

But with advocates of the substance claiming it is a “magic bullet” for addicts, the Bafta-nominated film-maker says he now plans to put the claims to the test and undergo the treatment as an experiment to get himself clean.

He said: “There is always a chance that there could be some permanent damage or that it could kill you. But I think the positive factors outweigh the negative aspects. I have found methadone impossible to come off. I am doing this because I can’t stand being an addict anymore. This will be my personal story about taking ibogaine.”

The Quick Fix comes after two films in which Scott examined the issue of drugs and his own reasons for becoming embroiled in Britain’s drug culture in the 1980s. In Little Criminals, Scott spent 1999 filming a group of heroin addicts in and around Glasgow. The film, distributed internationally at film festivals by Scottish Screen, also won him a Bafta new talent nomination last year. Beyond The Highlands, screened by STV in 2002, attempted to answer the question of why Scott, originally from Caithness, turned his back on his rural upbringing and embraced Edinburgh’s underground heroin culture.

“This will be a film that shows how the daily routines that an addict has to face demeans them. I also want this to open up the debate about how society treats addicts and to ask questions about alternatives to the methadone programme,” explained Scott.

“There is ample evidence that ibogaine treatment works and that should be explored further. If I make this film and find that it does work there are serious questions that the government is required to answer about its current drug policy. If anything goes wrong, it will be my sole responsibility.”

Scott, now 41, said he first began researching the effects of ibogaine in the mid-1990s. However, with the only legitimate detox programmes available in a limited number of countries, including Panama, Costa Rica and Italy, and costing thousands of pounds, it was not a feasible option. His unofficial ibogaine detox will cost him just under (pounds) 500.

Once under the effects of the drug, extracted from the root bark of a west African plant and used in spiritual rituals in parts of Gabon, Scott hopes to re-evaluate his life experiences. Less than one gram of ibogaine is said to produce stimulant and aphrodisiac effects. Up to three grams produces a mellow euphoric trip during which the user may experience various hallucinations. Up to six grams, the maximum safe dosage, produces powerful near-death experiences.

Those taking the highest doses of ibogaine report that they first enter a dream-like phase that lasts several hours and consists of vivid visions of past memories. The second consists of high levels of analytical mental activity to comprehend the reasons why they drifted into drug-using.

However, Deborah Mash, a professor of neurology at the University of Miami, a world authority on ibogaine, warned of the dangers of taking the drug outwith a strictly regulated environment.

“It should only be taken in the presence of trained medical staff who can administer drugs or revive someone if they get into difficulty.”

Copyright 2003 SMG Sunday Newspapers Ltd.
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

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Testimonial Martin U.K


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Ibogaine – Formulations

In Bwiti religious ceremonies, the rootbark is pulverized and swallowed in large amounts to produce intense psychoactive effects. In Africa, iboga rootbark is sometimes chewed, which releases small amounts of ibogaine to produce a stimulant effect. Ibogaine is also available in a total alkaloid extract of the Tabernanthe iboga plant, which also contains all the other iboga alkaloids and thus has only about one-fifth the potency by weight as standardized ibogaine hydrochloride.

Total alkaloid extracts of T. iboga are often loosely called “Indra extract”. However, that name actually refers to a particular stock of total alkaloid extract produced in Europe in 1981. The fate of that original stock (as well as its original quality) is unknown.

Currently, pure crystalline ibogaine hydrochloride is the most standardized formulation. It is typically produced by the semi-synthesis from voacangine in commercial laboratories. Ibogaine has two separate chiral centers which means that there a four different stereoisomers of ibogaine. These four isomers are difficult to resolve.

A synthetic derivative of ibogaine, 18-methoxycoronaridine (18-MC), is a selective α3β4 antagonist that was developed collaboratively by the neurologist Stanley D. Glick (Albany) and the chemist Martin E. Kuehne (Vermont). This discovery was stimulated by earlier studies on other naturally occurring analogues of ibogaine such as coronaridine and voacangine that showed these compounds also have anti-addictive properties.

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is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in a number of plants, principally in a member of the Apocynaceae family known as iboga (Tabernanthe iboga).


-containing preparations are used in medicinal and ritual purposes within African spiritual traditions of the Bwiti, who claim to have learned it from the Pygmy. In recent times, it has been identified as having anti-addictive properties. Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid that is obtained either by extraction from the iboga plant or by semi-synthesis from the precursor compound voacangine, another plant alkaloid. A full organic synthesis of



has been achieved but is too expensive and challenging to produce any commercially significant yield.

In the early 1960s, anecdotal reports appeared concerning ibogaine’s effects. Since that time, it has been the subject of investigation into its abilities to interrupt addictions to methadone, heroin, alcohol, and cocaine. It is thought that ibogaine may have potential to facilitate introspection, helping to elucidate the psychological issues and behavior patterns that drive addictions or other problems. However, ibogaine therapy for drug addiction is the subject of some controversy. Due to safety concerns, it has been placed in the strictest drug prohibition schedules in the United States and a handful of other countries. Canada and Mexico both allow


therapy facilities to operate and openly contribute to further understanding of the detoxification and therapeutic process that ibogaine has the potential to facilitate.

While iboga prohibition in the U.S. has slowed scientific research into its anti-addictive properties, the use of ibogaine for drug treatment has grown in the form of a large worldwide medical subculture. Ibogaine is now used by treatment clinics in 12 countries on six continents to faciltate detoxification and chemical dependence to substances such as methadone, heroin, alcohol, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine, as well as to facilitate psychological introspection and spiritual exploration.

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Ibogaine – Recreational use

Casual use of ibogaine in a social or entertainment context is nearly unknown due to its high cost, constrained availability, long duration of effects, and uncomfortable short-term side effects. In the clandestine markets, ibogaine is typically sought as a drug addiction treatment, for ritual spiritual purposes, or psychological introspection.

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Ibogaine – Testimonial Debby

Hello i am very sorry for not writing you earlier. I have spent the last year
completely re-evaluating my whole life.
When I came to you for help, I just wanted to get off of Methadone. The
next thing I know, I have forgiven myself for mistakes of my past. My
obsession with my faults, my guilt, and everything self conscious has…
gone. It was not sudden. It was a gradual change in my whole outlook on
life. What I used to think was important, is no longer, and the things I
used to overlook are now what makes me happy. I have a sense of… I can
only call it natural, real happiness. I am not always walking around with
a silly clown smile, but sometimes I do. I laugh a lot. I feel that the
future is going to be alright. And I dont obsess with things out of my
Iboga was not an instant fix. It was something that I had to work with.
How can I say this right? The iboga did not work, the Iboga and I worked
together. I had a lot of responsibly, and choices, and I could have made
the bad choices, but iboga was somewhere in the back of my mind, reminding
me to be stronger. It is a miracle non-the-less. It gave me the choice. It
did not do all the work for me, but it has been like an angel on my
shoulder, reminding me that I have power inside, and hope is very alive. I
stayed clean from heroin for about 8 months after the treatment. I slipped
up and started using again, but everything I thought I loved about heroin
was gone. I am completely convinced that the spirit of iboga was with me,
inside my head, helping me. I believe I had to relapse, just to see. I
think it was all part of the plan for me. I stopped the heroin after only
one month, cold turkey. But here is the strange thing… I was only sick
for a couple of
days, and not the month long ordeal that I had before. My body
recuperated very quickly. Within a week, I was exercising, and for some
reason I wanted to push my body. I think I was entering another phase of
my healing. And after I stopped using (only one month of relapse), I had
no desire to return to it. I have been trying to explain it to myself,
and understand it. I dont have any dreams about using, I never think
about it, and I am motivated to make really positive changes in my life.
I have not used, or even thought about using for the last 3 months. I
feel strong, I lost all the Methadone weight I was carrying around. I am
30lbs lighter! I have real relationships with people. I feel much
smarter, my head is clear.
I just wanted to get off the Methadone as quickly as possible… and
now I can see that the benefit I gained from the spirit is something
completely unexpected. I am thankful for being clean, but I see it as a
side affect. The real effect that Iboga has done to me is that I am
confident, I am sure of what I am, and I dont dwell on negativity. I am
ALIVE. I am emotionally stable. For the first time since I was a child, I
am not afraid of what people think about the way I look, the way I talk,
or the way I am. Because it is ME, and I like me. Also, I like people. I
believe people are generally good.
I am having a hard time putting this all in to words. I believe you
understand what has happened to me. I have my life back. My emotion, good
or bad, is real, and I am healthy. My body is strong like when I was 19! I
swim 1 kilometer everyday. I used to think that people liked me because
the heroin made me emotionally stable, brave, or even attractive. But it
was all inside of me, and I never believed it.
From my whole heart, THANK YOU. I love you, and I will never forget
what you have done for me.
I wish I could put it all into words. Even a year later, I am still
working to understand the spirit, and the visions. I told you I was going
to make a video, but I am so worried that I cant get the true message
across. I want to paint a picture that only Leonardo Di Vince could.
Iboga, and what it has done for me, deserves it. And I am still learning
from myself all it has done. Honestly, I dont know where to start. At
least once a week I do something, or something happens, and I realize that
my response is not like it would have been. I have changed. I am healthy,
and I have control, and I feel… alive.
I hope, after I finish school, that I can return to Holland to see you. I
may need to see the spirit again, but not until I better understand what
the spirit has given me so far.
Thank you. You have given me hope. I have been reborn. Tell the kids
I say hello. I hope they are doing well.


Breaking addiction at home

Breaking addiction using Ibogaine can now be done at home.

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