Maintaining a Drug-Free Lifestyle after Ibogaine
Staying clean requires a change in lifestyle and social circles and can greatly benefit when clients find a support network and professional follow-up care. I Begin Again works with such professionals around the world. We always encourage our clients to connect with them upon completion of ibogaine treatment.
Following up with our clients has always been one of the cornerstones of our organization. Prior to leaving our treatment center, we encourage each of our clients to reach out to other ibogaine participants that have found freedom through our program in order to expand our web of social support, strengthening bonds of friendship and celebrating change.
Treatment Tips after Ibogaine Therapy
Many drug users have problems with depression or/and anxiety, panic attacks etc. Particularly heroin is used to self-medicate these problems. When you finally decide that you want to quit using and you go through the process of detoxing, there is a good chance these symptoms may resurface. However, most detoxes, rehabs and support groups are based on the philosophy of NA. Here you are, you’re finally clean, but you’re often bummed out, anxious and you have a lot of trouble sleeping. Here are some very helpful, and most possibly life-saving options:
When you are addicted, particularly to opiates like heroin and you frequently go through the cycles of kicking and relapsing, kicking and relapsing etc., etc. you really screw up your chemical household in your brain. Supplies of endorphins, dopamine’s, serotonin and other functions of neurotransmitters are totally de-regulated and out of whack. If you weren’t depressed already when you first started doing dope/hard drugs, you have now caused this depression yourself by these very chemical imbalances. The word “depression” in the field of mental health is really meant to describe a series of symptoms besides just being bummed out. DSM-IV, the manual for mental disorders describes these other symptoms; problems with sleeping, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, lack of concentration, weight problems, thoughts of death and suicide, etc. Sounds familiar? In the last couple of years there are some new anti-depressants on the market that are particularly helpful for people in recovery and that don’t have side effects like the older ones. These medications are designed to resolve the symptoms I just described. Don’t worry, you don’t have to take these meds forever, they actually help restore your natural chemical balance in your brain when taken over an extended period of time. There is a lot of media-hype around the anti-depressant herb called St. Johnsworth. However, that is definitely not strong enough for recovering addicts. Most anti-depressants take two weeks to be effective and you will have to find the dose that is right for you together with your mental health provider. How do you know the dose is right? When you wake up in the morning after a good night of sleep, your cravings for dope are out the window and you feel like kicking ass. There are specific anti-depressants especially effective for detox and recovery. They have very little side effects. You will find that using these medications can put you in a state of mind where PSYCHO-THERAPY can make a difference.
Other tips that are very helpful:
Try working out minimally three times a week for at least an hour each time. Not only do you help your muscles and your central nervous system get back in to shape, it also releases those endorphins that you need so badly and that make you feel good in your body -hot baths also help release endorphins-. Do you have hypoglycaemia? That is a blood sugar problem caused by a poor diet over extended periods of time. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia are: the sudden urge to eat and having to respond immediately to that urge, dizziness, thinking you’re going to faint if you don’t get something to eat, when you do eat you feel an unpleasant “rush” in your head, gaining weight because of your constant eating etc.? There is a solution that makes that condition go away; working out minimally three times a week for at least an hour each time!
And how about eating right? Many people in recovery do not know, or have forgotten how to eat healthy. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. Try to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and cut out all fried foods. Stay away from fast foods, foods and drinks with chemicals like colouring and preservatives and do not drink sodas from a can but from glass/plastic. Are you constantly craving fatty foods? That’s because you’re body craves nutrients! That brings us to just about the last point; vitamins:
To be taking daily: Vitamin A, B-complex 50, C (500mgs minimum), D, E, Silica, Selenium, Zinc and Acidophilus. If you have ongoing diarrhoea, take products that provide not only Acidophilus and Bifidus, but also lots of fibre. When you’re clean for over 18 months, consider a fast. Make sure you get a lot of rest, take naps if possible, to help your body restore, especially when you work out. Our last suggestion is going to the sauna once or twice a week. That helps you sweat out all the toxins that linger in your body. The heat also brings on a lot of endorphins. Slowly build up the time you spend in the hot room. Steam rooms are just the best.
Staying Clean & Keeping Clean Friends
Seeking an Addiction Expert
The Oldest Medicine There Is: Exercise
For eons, humans have recognized that exercise is correlated with good mental health. For whatever reason, exercise is key to happiness. In overcoming addiction there is plenty of space to fill. In the hours and minutes that pass, find yourself moving, jogging, doing sports, rock climbing, or any aerobic activity of your choice after ibogaine treatment. This will increase the number of clean friends in your social circles. For all people, staying physically fit is as important as taking medications for those who require them.
A Brief Review of Research on Exercise in Drug Recovery
In 2010, Richard Brown and colleagues set out to find whether exercise is useful and feasible in combination with clinical addiction treatment for a population of 16 adults in recovery. The results indicated that aerobic exercise is beneficial to recovery indeed. He found that the number of months each subject was clean was negatively correlated with the number of exercise treatment sessions missed, meaning those who kept up and attended each of four weekly exercise sessions were significantly more likely to remain abstinent.  22 Years prior in 1988, a research study found that camping and hiking significantly reduced the number of adolescents requiring hospitalization. 
Volume 30 of Preventative Medicine from January, 2000 contains an article that looked at two populations of Finnish citizens one of which received at least 4 hours of cardiovascular or aerobic activity per week. When rates of depression and drug use were compared, the group receiving regular exercise fared significantly better. 
Despite these compelling research findings, western medicine has yet to fully adopt the use of aerobic physical activity or exercise in standard psychological treatment modalities or addiction recovery.
Berman DS, Anton MT. A wilderness program as an alternative to adolescent psychiatric hospitalization. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth. 1988;5:41–53 link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J007v05n03_05#.UlIDXlCIOSo