Our usage of drugs in America topples the scales seemingly every time a measurement is attempted. As a nation, we certainly enjoy our drugs. While that statement may conjure up an image of a dark alleyway, or a shady motel room deal of some kind, consider this — drugs are not just illegally obtained and used, but also given to us en masse by the healthcare industry. If you’re sick, there are ten thousand different drugs that can cure you.
The potential for abuse is high in America. Combine our unprecedented spending on medication, and the healthcare industry’s (being a for-profit model) total willingness to provide it, it’s no surprise that any stigma about shoveling pills down our throat is all but non-existent in America. To echo an earlier sentiment — Americans love drugs.
Some medical treatments have become popular as street drugs. Sometimes homemade concoctions are passed off as medical drugs in the street, due to their rarity and popularity. There are a large number of drug abusers who are privy to the “classics” of the drug world, like cocaine, heroin, and opiates.
The addictive properties of these drugs, their availability, and the lack of any appreciable social stigma surrounding them have catapulted the United States into an addiction epidemic.
Taking some of the treatments that are popular stateside can be counterintuitive — often times synthesized, unnatural compounds are given to an addict. These treatments can be effective, though some experts view it as swapping out one addiction for another. Due to the high cost of some of these drugs, one can’t really be too sure that their prescription is needed, or if that drug happens to be a moneymaker for pharmacies. In many cases, these treatments amount to throwing an addict from one confusing dependency to the next. If you’d like to know how commonplace some of these drugs are, start typing the names of them into a computer with a spell checker on. Notice that the program will correct you for misspelling their names.
Of particular concern is the drug Adderall. 14 million prescriptions were written for people ages 20-39 in 2011. That’s a 250 percent hike from just four years earlier, where only 5.6 million prescriptions were written. Without any data to suggest an accompanying surge in symptoms that Adderall treats, its newfound home in the medicine cabinet of 14 million Americans raises some alarming questions. Does America have an Adderall addiction?
This is why more and more people are choosing to go outside the United States when they have a destructive addiction. Treatments are used all over the world which the United States has banned or made difficult to obtain. There is a varied attitude towards the efficacy of “modern” treatments, and one thing is clear — a country that makes so much money manufacturing their own curative drugs have little vested interest in bringing you natural, holistic treatments. This can happen even when a treatment is shown to be effective.
Ibogaine is a notable example. Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in plants. Using Ibogaine treatment for opiate addiction is very common, though it isn’t available in the United States. Studies suggest it is an effective treatment for addiction, eliminating up to 98 percent of withdrawal symptoms in addicts. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms (nicknamed “PAWS”) are also culled. Cravings are reduced post-treatment, where many addicts relapse. Ibogaine treatment for opiate addiction is most effective, though it helps treat alcohol addiction and cocaine addiction, too.