What is Ibogaine?
Over twenty-five years ago, we discovered an ancient natural tribal remedy in the Tabernanthe Iboga shrub native to Gabon and other nations in West Central Africa. It has long been used in shamanic rituals of initiation and spiritual quests. The derived substance that we are using is called Ibogaine. In the 1960s it was discovered that Ibogaine has the property of interrupting substance addiction with minimal side-effects. With the help of this natural extract, addicts experience symptom-free withdrawal, a true full physiological release from chemical dependency. With a very specific type of counseling during and following Ibogaine treatment, the “ex-addicts” are able to focus on underlying causes to heal the psychological aspects as well.
How Does Ibogaine Work?
Ibogaine is an oneirophrenia (dream-like state inducing) drug that activates the user’s long-term memory, bringing to the surface information from the unconscious, causing vast self-insight. Therapists consider one Ibogaine experience to be equal to years of talk or group therapy. Some patients describe their experience as being in a dream and watching sketches or a slideshow of their life. Other patients have described their experience as if they went into the file cabinets in their brain and re-organized it.
Ibogaine allows one to see one’s true self and to re-experience past events and repressed memories in a detached way without the emotional pain often associated with these memories. The psychotherapeutic benefits of an Ibogaine experience have served as a major breakthrough for addicts who have previously lacked an understanding of themselves.
How is Ibogaine Administered?
Any treatment provided by an experienced and knowledgeable Ibogaine therapist will include a medical and psychiatric review for the patient’s safety. After the reviews, an appropriately-leveled dose of Ibogaine is administered orally with a therapist present.
Why should I choose the I Begin Again Center?
Lex Kogan and Eric Taub have performed thousands of therapeutic ibogaine sessions in the last 20 years all over the world.
Eric Taub has been referenced in numerous scientific papers including Ibogaine: Proceedings of the First International Conference, The Journal of Primal Psychology, and also served as a contributing author for the Manual for Ibogaine Therapy. His interviews have been featured on such radio shows as the Conscious Café out of San Francisco and have also appeared in publications such as The Resonance Project and The London Times. The following is taken from the Ibogaine feature in the London Times: “Devout ibogaine advocate Eric Taub used to treat people on a boat in international waters. He now has clinics in Costa Rica and Italy, and is the source of most satisfied experience reports.” — The London Times
What Happens During An Ibogaine Session?
This depends, to some extent, on the purpose for which the ibogaine is being ingested. A person with a long-term heroin addiction will not necessarily have the same experience as a person wanting to resolve chronic depression or anxiety. Nevertheless, all will find that their treatment involves both physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions.
40 minutes after ingestion, a buzzing in the ears heralds dreamlike visions, dancing lights, flashes of images, symbolic or actual representations of current subconscious themes.
2 to 4 hours: these “waking dreams” slowly fade away giving room to what is described as resetting the biochemistry of the brain, an integration of the first phase.
20 to 36 hours: the last signs of dizziness, ataxia, inability to sleep will disappear and the person is fully functional again.
48 to 72 hours: an obvious increase in endorphin output leads to a general sense of well-being, known as the renaissance effect
Is Ibogaine Recognized In The Medical Community?
Because ibogaine is illegal in many countries, it is only recognized by some doctors with others fearing for the repercussions for endorsing an illegal drug. Please see our articles section for more on this debate between use and legality.
Why Is Ibogaine Illegal In The US?
Ibogaine was made illegal in the United States when it was classified in 1969 as a hallucinogen with the status of a schedule 1 drug due to its
- “high potential of abuse”
- “lack of a currently accepted medical use”
- “lack of accepted safety procedure for use”
Despite promising results during clinical trials on humans in the United States there has not been enough funding to get Ibogaine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Pharmaceutical companies are not interested in bringing it to the market due to the lack of monetary reward from Ibogaine sale or distribution. Also, the patent on Ibogaine is about to end and the single administration modality of Ibogaine does not create a prospect for adequate and continuous revenue – as, for instance, in methadone maintenance programs. Although most countries were highly influenced by the United States’ legislation against Ibogaine, many other countries did not explicitly make it illegal.
What Are The International legal Restrictions Of Ibogaine?
Australia: Ibogaine figures as a schedule IV-drug, i.e. it is illegal to import it without a license.
Belgium: The possession of ibogaine-hydrochloride, the purified alkaloid, is restricted.
Sweden: Ibogaine-hydrochloride, the purified salt, is listed as a schedule I drug.
Switzerland: Ibogaine-hydrochloride is a restricted substance.
Most other countries are neutral on the subject or Ibogaine has a legal status
What Are The Negative Side Effects?
- ataxia (inability to coordinate voluntary bodily movements) for up to 24 hours
- mild to medium nausea and dizziness for up to 24 hours
- visual and auditory distortions for up to 12 hours
- mild to medium insomnia for up to 1 week
What can I expect?
- 90% to 100% pain free withdrawal
- Insights into the subconscious
- Healing the inner wounds of the mind and spirit
- Feeling free and autonomous
Who Benefits From Ibogaine Treatment?
In particular, those who are addicted to opiates, alcohol and cocaine achieve the greatest benefit. Even most of those addicted to nicotine can find full relief. Additionally, benefits extend to family members and friends who no longer have to witness or participate in the addict’s former level of pain and self-medication.
What Are The Risks?
Under proper medical supervision there have been no declared incidents. Over the past 20 years, however, two fatalities have occurred. The first was of a German woman undergoing the treatment in Holland who died during a period when she wasn’t being observed by the staff. After careful examination of the data, Dr. Ken Alpers from New York extends his opinion of the findings that the woman managed to leave the treatment-facility and took heroin during the period in which Ibogaine was still very active in her body and hence overdosed on heroin, since Ibogaine re-sensitizes the body to opiates. The other death occurred in Switzerland during a treatment given by a psychiatrist who administered the Ibogaine despite the patient having a serious heart-defect (and might have used MDMA [Ecstasy] concurrently).
Is Ibogaine Addictive?
While ibogaine can create fascinating experiences, it provides little or no bodily pleasure like cocaine or heroin. It contributes to a reintegration of the brain and as such helps to interrupt addiction rather than causing another addiction.
What Are The Contraindications?
- Greatly abnormal values of the liver-panel and the blood-test
- Severe psychological disorders
- Cardiac problems
- Some gastro-intestinal tract-problems (ulcer, gastric hemorrhage…)
- Brain (cerebral or cerebellar) disorders
Are There Any Signs Of Toxicity?
Medication Development of Ibogaine as a Pharmacotherapy for Drug Dependence, Deborah C. Mash, Craid A. Kovera, Billy E. Buck, Michael D. Norenberg, Paul Shapshak W. Lee Hearn and Juan Sanchez-Ramos, (1998) Ann. NY AScad Sci, 844:274-291. “…toxicological studies conducted in primates have demonstrated that oral ibogaine administration, given at doses (5 x 25 mg kg) recommended for the treatment of cocaine and opiate dependence appear to be safe and free of behavioral or cerebellar toxicity.” In the same paper the authors discuss the autopsy of a patient dying of natural causes who had received four ibogaine treatments of between 10 mg/kg and 29 mg/kg. “There were no degenerative changes seen in the cerebellum; cerebellar Purkinje cells were normal and there was no evidence of any significant cyto-pathology or neuro-degeneration in any other brain area