In a fascinating Guardian article, we meet Lynn Smith, a long-term opioid user who was left with a crushed skull after an accident. She was unable to move her body from the neck down and on a visit to a Mexican clinic she received three pills of a psychedelic called ibogaine.
“It was horrific, it was the worst thing in the world, what I saw,” said Smith.
During the 22-hour trip, she experienced horrific visuals and felt her brain being ripped apart and put back together. She spent five weeks at a clinic in Mexico, where she was offered psychotherapy, acupuncture, and lounge chairs overlooking the beach.
Smith believes the ibogaine experience saved her life and she is now an in-home caretaker in Arizona. The biggest problem? Ibogaine is a Schedule I substance in the US, but is unregulated in other countries, leading to a booming industry of makeshift ibogaine treatment clinics. These clinics are often more affordable than traditional rehab clinics in the US and offer opioid users another option when rehabilitation and 12-step programs have failed.
Check out the rest of the story and this interview with the wife of a SEAL who used ibogaine to rejoin the world after extensive PTSD.