What is Ibogaine?
Tabernanthe Iboga is a plant that has a history of medical and spiritual use in west equatorial Africa. The Bwiti, an ancestor-worshiping cultural religious movement, adopted the use of Tabernathane Iboga as a medicine and sacrament hundreds of years ago. The plant possesses psychoactive alkaloids that are concentrated in the root bark. Ibogaine is the most abundant alkaloid found in T. Iboga, and is used to treat addiction to opiates (heroine, prescription pain pills, methadone, etc.), stimulants(cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, etc.) in addition to other substances, such as alcohol and tobacco.
Ibogaine is legal everywhere in the world except in the United States and Belgium. There have been several attempts by well-established and respected medical researchers and institutions to pressure the US government to legalize ibogaine, but so far ibogaine remains a Schedule 1 substance in the USA. In other countries ibogaine centers have been established to provide ibogaine treatments for drug users, including Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada.
What does Ibogaine do?
Ibogaine blocks opiate receptor sites, which is similar to what methadone does for heroin users, but with a huge difference. Unlike methadone, ibogaine is non-addictive. Although some drugs take longer to be eliminated from the system than others, ibogaine generally does the job in one to four days without withdrawal symptoms. It has the same effect on receptor sites for methadone, cocaine, and other hard drugs, as well as nicotine, alcohol, and so on.
Even people with eating disorders can also be aided by the same process ibogaine initiates in hard drug users.
Following treatment with ibogaine, it is metabolized by the liver into “nor-ibogaine” which acts to eliminate physical cravings for drugs (or other addictive states and substances) for an extended period of time following treatment, usually up to approximately three months.
Ibogaine is radically different than other treatment methods. Most methods for treating drug users seek to treat the effects of drug withdrawal by providing another addiction such as methadone treatment or detox. The principle effect of ibogaine is, very simply, to reset the brain to a pre-addiction state. Within a week one can be free of the daily trips to the clinic or dealer, and break the chains of their addiction.
Here's how it feels.
The alkaloid in the Iboga plant is psychoactive. It induces a dreamlike state during the treatment. So, at the same time that it's physically cleaning the receptors in the brain used for drugs, the person undergoing treatment can gain deep insight into him or herself and the nature of their addiction. The subjective effects of ibogaine persist in relation to the amount taken, generally lasting anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, during which time the patient may experience one or more of the following:
- Aversion to disturbing noises
- Ataxia (extreme desire to lie down, accompanied by a feeling of heaviness)
- Dream-like state which may include recollection of significant events (sometimes in relation to motivations regarding drug use). The dream-like state is often followed by a period of cognitive re-evaluation, such as a heroin user understanding the psychological and social realities that led to using heroin.
Following treatment, the patient will find that he or she is no longer physically addicted, without having experienced withdrawal symptoms. The only long term effect, which occurs in some cases lasting up to a few weeks, is sleeplessness. This can be treated naturally using melatonin or various non-toxic sleep aids until normal sleep patterns are restored.
Can Ibogaine be dangerous?
The preliminary indications are that ibogaine is a powerful medicine, with various undesirable side effects. Without proper medical screening it can be dangerous, and it is not a substance for recreational or personal use, although most people experience a profound and positive transformation.
Is there potential for abuse?
None has been noted. Aspects of an ibogaine treatment session can be physically and psychologically arduous, as well as deeply emotional. It is not something that one would like to repeat.