Tag Archives: Addiction

IBOGAINE FOR PTSD! The Quieted Rage

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By Damon Matthew Smith

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a condition that has had limited progress in the creation of viable treatment options for people afflicted with this despair and rage inducing disorder. Conventional medicine has come up with no long-term answers to the problem, which not only has a range of dangers for the person who has PTSD but also for the society at large.

Time magazine reported in the article WAR ON SUICIDE?, “While veterans account for about 10% of all U.S. adults, they account for 20% of U.S. suicides.” (Gibbs and Thompson) This is a startling percentage, 1 in 5 deaths caused by suicide are veterans of war. Another 1:5 ratio is important to note when discussing the burgeoning problem of PTSD, “Nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan — 300,000 in all — report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or major depression, yet only slightly more than half have sought treatment, according to a new RAND Corporation study.” (www.rand.org) 

This study was the first of its kind to look at this epidemic in all branches of the US military, and its implications are terrifying. This is a mental health crisis that neither traditional psychology/psychiatry nor the VA and military leaders have provided any real solutions as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on. The situation is dire.

I went to the first War in Iraq in 1990-91 as an Army Combat Medic. It was given the catchy nicknames of first Desert Shield and then, when the US started the air assault, Desert Storm. After coming back stateside, I started to suffer from bouts of rage, severe depression, thoughts of suicide (one botched attempt with pills and a bottle of whiskey), and more and more self-medication with alcohol. When I was discharged in 1998, I was in college full time and had a supportive family and group of friends, but still my alcohol abuse and difficulty containing my bouts of rage and the aftermath of chronic depression was accelerating. I battled through and achieved some academic and personal success, earning two undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree, getting married to my longtime girlfriend, and finding my first adjunct teaching positions. However, I was unable to contain the absolute anger I experienced at the most insignificant triggers. The crying of a baby, the smell of diesel fuel, the sound of a helicopter flying over, the dropping of a metal pan on the kitchen floor, a car following to close, or a dissatisfied boss (lost many a college teaching job due to my PTSD), and I would fly into uncontrollable screaming and yelling fits, at times turning this rage inward, falling to the ground in palsied sobbing and unintelligible babbling. By 2005, I quit drinking and felt this would solve the problem, save me from the growing fear I had of going outside, of my wife leaving me, of being out of control once again, and, most importantly, of taking my own life. It helped, but only temporarily. The rage, depression and suicidal ideation soon began again its assault on my daily life.

Flash forward to today, the end of 2012, and I feel free of this dominating anger and the violent outbursts, my triggers of the past have little effect on my behavior and mood, and for the first time since before my wartime traumas I feel positive and excited about my future. This stunning transformation came out of my experience at the end of this Summer with a substance called Ibogaine. Ibogaine is an alkaloid derived from the Tabernanthe Iboga shrub found in West equatorial Africa and has a long history of shamanic and medical use with tribes of that region. In recent years it has produced media attention due to reports of effectiveness in treating drug addiction and providing opiate addicts with significantly reduced, or at times completely alleviated, withdrawal symptoms during detox.

I had to travel to Costa Rica because of its illegality in the US ( Schedule I, along with Heroin and Methamphetamines), and was treated by Lex Kogan at the medically supervised Ibogaine treatment center named fittingly– Iboga Path . He required an EKG and Liver Panel blood test before I was allowed to come to his center, which he reviewed with his onsite doctor and medical staff to rule out counter indications for Ibogaine treatment. After my file was reviewed, I received the call that my treatment would be conducted on the 22nd of August and that I would be picked up at the airport by none other than Eric Taub, a central pioneer in the use of Ibogaine since the late 80’s. I have known Eric for 7 years, first meeting him in 2005 after I stopped drinking, then working with him over the years developing his novel but simple idea that no child should be without clean water, nutritious food, safe shelter and a digital age education. You can see our efforts to bring this concept to life by building models for International Cooperative Education and Global Sustainability Awareness and Action at our organization’s website,www.ICANRevolution.org.

After a 35 minute drive through the hills of Costa Rica, I was dropped off at the center. My intake into the center was comfortable and laid back. Lex talked with me for a few hours, assuaged my fears about the experience significantly with his knowledge and hospitality, shown my room where I would be staying for the duration of my experience, and I ate my last meal made up of a myriad of local, organically grown fruit before my treatment in the morning. When I woke up that morning I was instructed to drink water, as much as I liked, because during the experience I would be limited to only a few sips an hour to avoid nausea. I filled up a few glasses, downed them, then made my way outside for a walk before my treatment to clear my head. The mountain air was crisp, as I walked up the hillside road lined with coffee plants and trees filled with tropical birds my mind was all abuzz with what was about to happen. So many thoughts permeated my brain, and as panic started to overtake me I found myself experiencing a low grade anxiety attack. It would be my last.

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Could marijuana become a treatment for heroin addicts?

Some think it offers a gateway out of opioid use

Matt Koesters | WCPO contributor

7:00 AM, Sep 25, 2016

 

Is marijuana a gateway drug? Carrie Roberts sure hopes so.

%page_break%Roberts, a consultant with Colorado-based Medicine Man Technologies, doesn’t believe that marijuana use leads to abuse of harder drugs, though. Instead, she thinks it might present a gateway out of risky drug use for people struggling with opioid dependency.

"I think we could save a lot of lives," Roberts said. "Right now, it’s really about needing to focus on harm reduction. That’s so much of what we’re seeing in other states."

Roberts points to a 2014 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that concludes "medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates." States with medical marijuana laws saw about 25 percent fewer overdose-related deaths than states without, according to the study.

Roberts argues that this could be the case in Ohio, a state in the throes of an opioid epidemic that saw fentanyl-related overdoses spike in 2015. Fentanyl continues to cause heroin users to overdose, and the more recent introduction of carfentanil into the drug ecosystem has provided cause for further alarm.

"There is a lot of anecdotal evidence regarding being able to use cannabis as a treatment, either for people coming off of opioid pain medication to help them through the withdrawal phase of it, or just to keep people from having to use it in the first place," Roberts said.

WCPO Insiders can find out how this idea relates to Ohio’s new medical marijuana legislation, and why some people think it’s a distraction.

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Jesse Ventura Calls For Legalizing All Drugs

JESSE VENTURA

VIDEO AT THIS LINK

By Jason Devaney   |   Thursday, 08 Sep 2016 04:54 PM

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura wants to see marijuana and every other drug made legal in order to regulate them better.

During a series of interviews with Newsmax TV, Ventura — the author of the book “Marijuana Manifesto” — said Wednesday legalizing marijuana would also create jobs and help the economy.

“We’ve got an entire industry out there waiting to happen,” Ventura told J.D. Hayworth on “America Talks Live.”

“It hasn’t got any of these negatives they’ve sold to you over the years. The experiments in Colorado and Washington are phenomenal. In fact, in the state of Washington, their first trickle-down effect of legalizing marijuana, their statewide judicial budget fell 15 percent. In Colorado, they’ve got $300 million more to spend on schools and infrastructure because of the legalization of marijuana.”

Ventura added that someone he knows used medical marijuana to treat epileptic seizures. The seizures went away with the use of the drug.

“That’s why I’m so passionate that it needs to be legalized,” he said. “There’s people out there suffering and marijuana can help them.”

In a separate interview on the “Steve Malzberg Show,” Ventura claimed marijuana is not a gateway drug like people say it is.

“The gateway drug is tobacco,” Ventura said. “I was a kid, the first thing I did was smoke tobacco. Second gateway drug was alcohol. Marijuana might have been third.”

Malzberg and Ventura later went back and forth about legalization. Ventura said he would legalize heroin, and then answered yes when asked if he would make all drugs legal.

“You know what? Then you ensure the addict, addiction is a disease, it’s a medical condition,” Ventura said. “We choose to treat it criminally rather than medically.

“If you bring it above board, anything that isn’t brought legally is then run by criminals. So you bring in a criminal element, the price goes up 10 times as high because it’s illegal and then crimes are committed to support the addiction. You don’t see crimes being committed to support cigarette smoking, you don’t see crimes committed to support drinking. Why? Because they’re legal and you can get it.”

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"The irony of the situation is that he’s basically taking heroin to maintain his physical condition to continue to investigate major drug dealers," the attorney said.

How one FBI agent who busted drug rings became an addict

 

 

Washington (AFP) – Matthew Lowry once had a promising career in the FBI. But his drug addiction got the better of him, and on Thursday, he was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing heroin he had collected as evidence.

Lowry, 33, was relieved of his duties after his tampering with evidence forced US prosecutors to abandon their cases against more than two dozen drug traffickers.

His fall from grace began with an addiction to prescription painkillers to treat his ulcerative colitis — a painful inflammation of the large intestine.

His dependency on medication to relieve his chronic pain morphed into a heroin addiction during his work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, defense attorney Robert Bonsib told AFP.

"The irony of the situation is that he’s basically taking heroin to maintain his physical condition to continue to investigate major drug dealers," the attorney said.

"He was using heroin not to get high, but to be able to work hard."

It was a precipitous downward spiral for a young agent from whom many had anticipated great things.

At his sentencing, in a statement interspersed with tears and long silences, Lowry apologized to his former FBI colleagues and the US government, stating that he accepted "full responsibility" for his actions while asking Federal Judge Thomas Hogan for "leniency."

Lowry, the father of an 18-month-old toddler, had dreamed all his life of following in his police officer father’s footsteps into a career in law enforcement.

He graduated with honors from the FBI training academy near Washington, and just three years later was assigned to an elite anti-drug trafficking unit.

But even as he was receiving accolades from his superiors, Lowry secretly found ways over many months to steal small amounts of the heroin seized as evidence in various drug busts, to which he had access.

"We have a federal agent who for a long period of time, 14 months, committed a crime repeatedly," prosecutor Kevin Brenner said at the hearing.

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Former FBI agent Matthew Lowry (R) arrives for sentencing …

Former FBI agent Matthew Lowry (R) arrives for sentencing at US District Court on July 9, 2015 in Wa …

Lowry’s wrongdoings were finally uncovered during a drug-induced high in late September, in a section of Washington infamous as a haven for trafficking.

The counternarcotics agent, according to court documents, was found to be "incoherent."

His car, which had run out of gas, had traces of heroin seized in the drug arrests in which he had participated — along with some emptied evidence bags.

Authorities also found weapons and cell phones confiscated during the same sting operations.

Lowry pleaded guilty in late March to 64 counts, including obstruction of justice, falsification of records and possession of heroin.

His father, William Lowry, pleaded for forgiveness for not having noticed his son’s decline, while choking back tears.

"He protected the whole community but he didn’t protect himself, he didn’t save himself," he said at the sentencing.

Rendering one of his "most difficult sentencings in more than 32 years" Hogan compared addiction to "a serious brain disease" and said he considered it a mitigating factor.

Clearly relieved at having received three years rather than the seven to nine recommended by the government, Lowry said as he left the court that he thought "the judge understood how powerfully addiction can affect one person’s behavior."

– Drug stings lost –

Lowry’s theft of drug evidence led to the unraveling of several cases, and forced authorities to free about 30 drug dealers because the evidence used in their arrests had been tampered with.

Charges were notably dropped for 15 dealers from a notorious trafficking ring that operated between California and Washington, and for a dozen New York drug traffickers who ran a flourishing crack and heroin smuggling operation.

Officials also prematurely shut down several other probes.

Another four convicted drug traffickers with sentences of up to five years in prison asked for their sentences to be vacated.

Lowry’s lawyer said his client went through rehab but was still attending "Narcotics Anonymous" programs.

"This is a young man who from the time he was a child wanted to be a police officer," the attorney said.

"When he was four, five, six, he was dressing as a police officer," Bonsib said.

"That aspiration has been crushed by his own conduct."

Nevertheless, some good may come from Lowry’s effort to make amends — by serving as a warning to others in law enforcement not to repeat his mistakes, the attorney added.

"He’s willing to tell his story," Bonsib said.

"He’s devastated by the consequences of his conduct… There’s a story to be told, which could be helpful for others."

Lowry will serve out his sentence at a prison in Maryland.

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THE PROTECTION OF COMMERCE IN THE FORM OF PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.cms.gov/medicare-cover…/…/icd-9-code-lookup.aspx…&

ICD-9 Code Lookup

Find an ICD-9 Code by searching on keyword(s).

ICD-9 Code ICD-9 Code Description
304.30 CANNABIS DEPENDENCE UNSPECIFIED USE
304.31 CANNABIS DEPENDENCE CONTINUOUS USE
304.32 CANNABIS DEPENDENCE EPISODIC USE
304.33 CANNABIS DEPENDENCE IN REMISSION
305.20 NONDEPENDENT CANNABIS ABUSE UNSPECIFIED USE
305.21 NONDEPENDENT CANNABIS ABUSE CONTINUOUS USE
305.22 NONDEPENDENT CANNABIS ABUSE EPISODIC USE
305.23 NONDEPENDENT CANNABIS ABUSE IN REMISSI

This is what the FDA and DEA have for us. Instead of repealing the laws on “Cannabis” and “Cannabis Abuse” They have CODES to charge your insurance company for and 3 Million Dollars to PHARMA to come up with a new DRUG (cleared by the FDA of course) to COMBAT MARIJUANA ADDICTION — This is nonsense at its best!

THE PROTECTION OF COMMERCE IN THE FORM OF PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX AND THEY WILL SELL IT TO YOU AS IF THEY ARE “HELPING YOU” COMBAT ADDICTION.

It will additionally be mandated that those brought into the welfare or child protective services or psychiatric medical care be forced to succumb to the use of this drug (not unlike what is being done now with anti-depressants and other “mental” drugs).  If it isn’t stopped in its tracks now this is your future!

Everyone already knows (or should know) that MMJ itself helps to combat addiction to most everything…. GW PHARMA has already concluded in their advertisment that Cannabis (Sativex) is NOT ADDICTING…. So why are they doing all of this??? To protect commerce and convince you that they are only helping you. What a crock of shit….

sk.

 

 

Op-Ed Cannabis crazy: It doesn’t just describe the move to legalize weed. It could happen to you.

 

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By Susan Shapiro

An author who had ‘an extreme addiction’ to marijuana asks society to consider: Is the high worth the lows?

In 2014, our country went cannabis crazy, bringing to 18 the number of states decriminalizing pot. Colorado opened boutiques selling “mountain high suckers” in grape and butterscotch flavors and posted signs that proclaimed the state is “where prohibition ends and the fun begins.” In my New York home, I’m glad that someone can carry up to 50 joints and no longer get thrown in the joint. Yet I worry that user-friendly laws and such recent screen glorifications as “High Maintenance” and “Kid Cannabis” send young people a message that getting stoned is cool and hilarious.

I’m ambivalent about legalizing marijuana because I was addicted for 27 years. … I saw how it can make you say and do things that are provocative and perilous. –  

I know the dark side. I’m ambivalent about legalizing marijuana because I was addicted for 27 years. After starting to smoke weed at Bob Dylan concerts when I was 13, I saw how it can make you say and do things that are provocative and perilous. I bought pot in bad neighborhoods at 3 a.m., confronted a dealer for selling me a dime bag of oregano, let shady pushers I barely knew deliver marijuana, like pizza, to my home. I mailed weed to my vacation spots and smoked a cocaine-laced joint a bus driver offered when I was his only passenger.

Back then Willie Nelson songs, Cheech and Chong routines and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High’s” Jeff Spicoli made getting high seem kooky and harmless. My reality was closer to Walter White’s self-destruction from meth on TV’s “Breaking Bad” and the delusional nightmares in the film “Requiem for a Dream.” Everyone believed you couldn’t get addicted to pot.

Turns out I could get hooked on carrot sticks. Marijuana became an extreme addiction for me. I’m not alone. Nearly 17% of those who get high as teenagers will become addicted to marijuana, according to the 2013 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that up to half of daily marijuana smokers become addicted — an estimated 2.7 million people in the U.S.

The years I toked, I struggled with love and work, sometimes feeling suicidal. The brilliant addiction specialist who helped me give up pot a dozen years ago taught me that addicts self-medicate because underlying every substance problem he’d ever seen “is a deep depression that feels unbearable.” One-on-one therapy helped me untangle what I was getting wasted to escape. Being drug-free saved my health, marriage and career. Within a year, my income tripled. I came to believe my doctor’s adage: “When you quit a toxic habit you leave room for something beautiful to take its place.”

In writing classes I teach in New York and L.A., students from many backgrounds confessed that they “smoked a bowl” or “got ripped” and then got in a car accident, fell on subway tracks, had a wallet or cellphone stolen, were sexually assaulted or had a physical altercation that landed them in the hospital or jail. My undergraduates loved the series “Weeds” and “Harold & Kumar” films and joked about being “cross-faded,” simultaneously imbibing on alcohol and marijuana.

Yet I warn them that getting stoned greatly increases the likelihood of something bad happening, reminding them that pot blurs reality, reduces inhibitions — and regularly leads to tragedy. Consider two deaths in 2014 in Colorado that police linked to pot: a 47-year-old man who ate marijuana-infused candy and fatally shot his wife, and a 19-year-old student who ingested a marijuana cookie and jumped to his death.

The weed of today is far stronger than in the past. President Obama admitted smoking marijuana as a teen and said it’s no worse than alcohol but hopes his daughters will avoid “the bad habit.” The new edible pot products can be 10 times stronger than a traditional joint, says a report in the New England Journal of Medicine. The strength of pot varies, and it’s impossible to predict its effect. How you react to marijuana depends on your size, what you’ve eaten, the medications you take. As I tapered off, one hit from a pipe or bong could leave me reeling, as if I’d had five drinks.

Marijuana use doubles the risk of being in a car accident if you drive soon after smoking it, and it causes more car accidents than any other illicit drugs, according to Columbia University researchers. They found it contributed to 12% of traffic deaths in the U.S. in 2010, triple the rate of a decade earlier.

The medical side effects are also significant. Smoking pot increases the risk of lung cancer 8%, according to British and New Zealand studies. It’s associated with bronchitis, respiratory infections and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, concluded a New England Journal study. Another 2014 study found frequent use by teenagers and young adults causes cognitive decline and decreases IQ. Marijuana essentially fries your brain.

Being a stoner was easy. Quitting was hard but gave me more to live for. Before jumping on the buzzed bandwagon in the new year, throwing a pot dessert party or voting to lift all restrictions across the nation, ask yourself and your kids: Is the high worth the lows? We shouldn’t send pot smokers to prison, but they don’t belong on pop-culture pedestals either.

Susan Shapiro is coauthor of the bestseller “Unhooked: How to Quit Anything” and author of the memoir “Lighting Up.”

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

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