The narrow range of legal pharmaceutical drugs used in the treatment of heroin and opiate addiction in the United States offers a glimpse into an ineffective and outdated response to a rapidly growing epidemic. While many think that prescribing drugs to treat opiate addiction is a ridiculous idea, when considering the type of medications available legally it is difficult to disagree.

As pharmaceutical companies continue to operate on a platform founded on harm reduction strategies, the healing aspect of which the entire basis of medicine was founded on, as drugs like methadone and Suboxone (buprenorphine) perpetuate the mental and physical symptoms of opioid addiction, prolonging the inevitable sickness that stems from the detoxification process of their use.

The use of methadone and buprenorphine in drug addiction treatment presents a glaringly, ineffective practice that leaves patients worse off than before. Maintenance and substitution approaches should hardly be classified as having any medicinal value. They take longer to detoxify from a person's system than naturally derived opiates like morphine or oxycodone. They continually fail to offer a light at the end of the tunnel which frequently leads to relapse. Medicine is supposed to have a healing effect.

The further pharmaceutical companies stray from naturally occurring chemicals and substances, the more complicated the problem will become. If the purpose of medication is not to heal the recipient then why bother? The chances of a person relapsing when their dose of methadone or Suboxone is missed are extremely high. This is because the withdrawals are so unbearable and with a rapidly growing availability of illegal opiates, this becomes a cycle in that of itself. People use methadone or buprenorphine to substitute their heroin/opiate use for when they cannot afford to sustain it, which is an inevitable confrontation every chronic user of opiates is bound to experience even those with an abundance of wealth.

As the medicine continues to fail as healing or remedying agent, an alternative medicine continues to prevail as the only logical treatment of opiate addiction. The emergence of ibogaine, as the number one treatment for substance abuse disorder in not only heroin and opiate addiction, but to all addictive substances, is becoming a much more viable solution to this growing problem.

Ibogaine can actually heal the patient and not prolong the issue. In one miraculous dose, ibogaine reinvigorates patients by curing addiction in days. Psychologically transforming the patient by raising individual awareness of their past, present, and future so that a new chapter in their lives can be begin. One where the need for a substance to feel normal is not the end game. And as this psychological transformation occurs, the physical effects of ibogaine simultaneously alleviate the withdrawal symptoms that accompany the prolonged use of heroin, opiates, and opioid maintenance medications.

Lastly, a single flood dose of ibogaine converts to noribogaine which also acts as a natural antidepressant and opioid antagonist for up to months in patients which provides a similar effect to naltrexone (Vivitrol). Ibogaine treatment for drug addiction is a solution to the epidemic, whereas methadone and Suboxone are problems perpetuating it.