By Morgan Luttrell,Marcus Luttrell, Rick Perry and Dakota Meyer
As the opioid epidemic continues to grip our nation, claiming lives, destroying families and burdening communities, it is imperative that we explore every viable solution.
Among these potential solutions is a powerful, natural, non-addictive substance known as ibogaine. As voices that have served in political and military capacities, we unite in our appeal to the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission: Allocate $42 million for ibogaine research.
Kentucky has a unique chance to pioneer a revolutionary approach to combat opioid addiction and pave the way for the entire country.
From our collective experiences, whether among our fellow veterans, among our friends, or among our constituents, we’ve seen the devastating impacts of addiction. And in our pursuit of solutions, all from our different perspectives, the promise of ibogaine has emerged as a beacon of hope.
Ibogaine, for those unfamiliar, is a psychoactive substance derived from the African iboga plant. Preliminary research and numerous personal accounts have shown its profound efficacy in treating opioid addiction.
Unlike opioids and many of the medications used to treat opioid dependence, ibogaine is non-addictive. Its unique ability to “reset” the brain’s neural pathways provides those struggling with addiction an opportunity to break free from their chains. Ibogaine is not without its risks, but doctors and researchers agree that those risks can be mitigated with the right medical oversight.
While skeptics may question why such a promising treatment remains obscure, the answer lies in politics, not science. Regrettably, ibogaine, like many psychoactive substances, was placed in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act due to political motivations, sidelining its therapeutic potential. This decision, made without sound scientific backing, has been a grievous error from both a medical and public health perspective.
But where mistakes are made, rectifications can occur. The non-profit Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions is a testament to this. VETS, an organization close to our hearts, has provided grants to veterans seeking ibogaine treatment, recognizing its transformative potential. These brave men and women, having served their country, deserve every tool available to reclaim their lives from addiction. Their stories and the emerging body of research support what we’ve personally witnessed: Ibogaine holds immense promise.
Kentucky, with its allocation of $42 million, can play a pivotal role in this reclamation. By matching these funds for a comprehensive clinical trial, Kentucky won’t just be investing in research; it’ll be investing in hope, healing, and the very future of its people. Such a move would not only place the state at the forefront of innovative opioid addiction treatments but also send a powerful message to the nation: We prioritize the health and well-being of our citizens over politics.
Furthermore, this investment can have cascading benefits. By leading the charge, Kentucky can provide a jump start to the FDA clinical trials that would be needed to decide whether the benefits of ibogaine could be unlocked for millions more.
This isn’t just about Kentucky; it’s about setting a precedent for the entire nation.
From a military perspective, we’re taught to adapt, overcome, and seek out the best strategies for success. In the fight against opioid addiction, we must adopt the same mindset. If there’s a tool that offers promise, such as ibogaine, we owe it to our fellow Americans to explore it fully. It’s about making decisions based on the well-being of our constituents, even if that requires challenging established prejudgments.
We understand that diving into uncharted waters, especially in matters of public health, requires courage. The opioid epidemic is a multifaceted issue that demands a multifaceted response.
In conclusion, we appeal to the wisdom and foresight of the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission. Invest in ibogaine research. Let Kentucky be the beacon that guides the nation towards a more effective, compassionate approach to tackling opioid addiction. This is not a matter of politics or partisanship; it’s a matter of public health, of lives saved, and futures reclaimed.
May this bold step serve as a testament to Kentucky’s commitment to its people and a brighter, addiction-free future.