Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in plants. The alkaloid is derived from the root of the Tabernanthe iboga. A plant that is known to exhibit psychedelic effects. The experience of ibogaine occurs in two phases. Termed the visionary phase and the introspection phase. The visionary phase has been described as oneirogenic. Referring to the dreamlike nature of its psychedelic effects. This lasts for 4 to 6 hours. The second phase is called the introspection phase. It is responsible for the psychotherapeutic effects. This phase allows people to conquer their fears and negative emotions. Ibogaine catalyzes an altered state of consciousness. Reminiscent of dreaming while fully conscious and aware. So that memories, life experiences, and issues of trauma can be processed.
Ibogaine occurs naturally in the iboga root bark. The alkaloid is also available in a total alkaloid extract of the Tabernanthe iboga plant. Which also contains all the other iboga alkaloids. Meaning it has only about half the potency by weight as standardized ibogaine hydrochloride. In Bwiti religious ceremonies, the root bark is pulverized and swallowed. In large amounts to produce intense psychoactive effects. The use of iboga in African spiritual ceremonies was first reported by French and Belgian explorers in the 19th century.
The first botanical description of the Tabernanthe iboga plant was made in 1889. From the 1930s to 1960s, ibogaine was sold in France in the form of Lambarène. An extract of the Tabernanthe manii plant. It was promoted as a mental and physical stimulant. The drug enjoyed some popularity among post-World War II athletes. Lambarène was withdrawn from the market in 1966 when the sale of ibogaine-containing products became illegal in France.
Ibogaines anti-addictive properties were discovered accidentally by Howard Lotsof in 1962, at the age of 19. He and five friends—all heroin addicts—noted a subjective reduction of their craving and withdrawal symptoms while taking it. Further anecdotal observation convinced Lotsof of its potential usefulness in treating substance addictions. He contracted with a Belgian company to produce ibogaine in tablet form for clinical trials in the Netherlands. Later the company was awarded a United States patent for the product in 1985. In 1981, an unnamed European manufacturer produced 44 kg of iboga extract. The entire stock was purchased by Carl Waltenburg, who distributed it under the name “Indra extract” and used it in 1982 to treat heroin addicts.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) began funding clinical studies of ibogaine in the United States in the early 1990s. They terminated the project in 1995. Their data demonstrated ibogaine’s efficacy in attenuating opioid withdrawal in drug-dependent human subjects. A cohort of 33 patients was treated with 6 to 29 mg/kg of ibogaine. 25 displayed resolution of the signs of opioid withdrawal from 24 hours to 72 hours post-treatment. Using lower oral doses (10–12 mg/kg) in 27 patients, demonstrated significantly lower objective opiate withdrawal scores in heroin addicts 36 hours after treatment, with self-reports of decreased cocaine and opiate craving and alleviated depression symptoms. Many of these effects appeared sustainable over a one-month post-discharge follow-up.
Ibogaine is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States. It is not approved there for addiction treatment or any other therapeutic use. Ibogaine is available in many other countries, including Canada, South Africa, the Netherlands, Mexico, Norway, and the U.K. among others, where it is used to treat addiction. Unlike methadone, ibogaine is not a maintenance therapy: addicts typically experience relief after one or two doses. Its efficacy rate is reportedly extremely high. So, why isn’t this potentially life-saving anti-addiction drug available in the United States?
Deborah Mash, a neuroscientist specializing in addiction at the University of Miami, and Stanley Glick, a neurobiologist at Albany Medical College, have studied ibogaine’s anti-addiction effects. In 1995, Mash and Howard Lotsof secured approval from the FDA to study the drug’s potential for use in humans. Unfortunately, the research trials fell through for lack of funding. So, ibogaine remains illegal in the U.S., despite the hope it may provide for addicts. After her trial was discontinued, Mash opened a private ibogaine clinic in St. Kitt’s in 1996. Many Americans now travel to clinics outside the U.S., especially the many Mexican clinics located just south of San Diego, for treatment that is illegal within our country’s borders.
Unregulated ibogaine treatment is not without danger, but neither is being a heroin addict. Individuals trying to get well deserve to evaluate the relative risks and have the opportunity to choose for themselves whether to pursue ibogaine therapy to aid in their addiction recovery. The U.S. government should not stand in the way.
Although first-hand accounts indicate that ibogaine is unlikely to be popular as a recreational drug, ibogaine remains classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States (it is also scheduled in Belgium and Switzerland). Yet despite its classification as a drug with a “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use,” people who struggle with substance abuse continue to seek out international clinics or underground providers to receive ibogaine treatment.
Ibogaine-assisted detox efficacy has been explored in two recent studies being conducted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), attempt to track the long-term efficacy of ibogaine-assisted detox therapy. The studies, in Mexico and New Zealand, have reported preliminary results of between 20% and 50% rate of clients remaining free from their primary substance of abuse for at least 12 months. Factors influencing this range were suggested to be the ease of follow-up in the New Zealand study become of closer proximity, as well as other factors such as plans for continuing care. Ibogaine therapy may have promising results in the treatment of other conditions, including Hepatitis C, Parkinson’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome.
There are different treatment centers outside the United States. Some cater to the rich and celebrities. I recommend personally researching facilities before choosing. There is “The Holistic Sanctuary“. As well as “Experience Ibogaine Treatment Center“. I definitely recommend seeking a clinic that will work best for you. Ibogaine heals the neurological areas of the brain affected by drug use. By targeting this reward pathway, Ibogaine “resets” the brain back to its pre-addicted state. This helps the brain function normally again. It eliminates 80% or more of the withdrawal symptoms that would normally take an addict many weeks, or months, to overcome naturally.