Effects of Ibogaine

Ibogaine has a range of therapeutic effects that affect the physical body, the neurotransmitter systems that regulate mood and experience, the mind, memory, self-perception and worldview, and even touch the spirit, leading into the realm of transpersonal experiences. Addiction is an experience that touches people on each of these levels, which is why ibogaine is uniquely capable of addressing addiction in all of it’s complexity.

Read more about the benefits of ibogaine therapy.

Short Term Effects

Ibogaine stimulates what have been described as “oneirogenic” effects, meaning that it generates a waking dream state. These effects have been described as very similar to dream-like visions in both quality and content.

The therapeutic doses of ibogaine that we use in the detoxification process may last as long as 24-48 hours. Everybody’s individual experience is unique, however there are some common elements that many people share. What seems most common is that the experience is profoundly meaningful and that it is healing and beneficial and healing on all levels of the body and psyche.

Anwar Jeewa, the Director of the Minds Alive Wellness Center, has compiled one of the most comprehensive surveys of ibogaine’s short term effects. This informal, observational study of Minds Alive patients was presented first in November, 2009 to the Drug Policy Alliance Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Preparation

We do thorough safety screening prior to treatment. In addition, we also recommend that patients prepare for the experience by setting positive intentions and goals, and reaffirming the desire to explore what needs to be healed. This can include writing a letter, preparing a small altar, another simple meditative activities that help to focus the mind and cultivate calm and focus for the journey ahead.

Onset (Hour 0-2)

This phase is gradual, and usually not very noticeable. We recommend that people lie down, relax, and meditate. During this time people report noticing gradually building effects both physically and psychologically. Some people report hearing a buzzing or humming sound. Others begin to feel a decreased sense of balance.

Waking Dream Phase (Hour 1-12)

This phase is generally characterized by an altered state of consciousness. Some people will not see any visual images at all, while others can see dream-like scenes with a wide variety of personal or social meanings. Others may have kinesthetic, auditory, introspective, or energetic experiences. As mentioned before, everyone’s experience is unique, and whatever content arises is valuable and beneficial part of the healing process.

Life Review (8-24)

When the acute period of the medicine has started to slow down, people generally enter into a long period of contemplation and reflection. This serves as a deeply integrative process and one that is generally felt to be high beneficial. We find that this process of defragmentation can help people to reorganize their life goals, and their mind around the intentions that they have set for themselves.

You can read some personal accounts from previous patients in our blog, always remembering that these experiences are highly personal and always vary greatly from individual to individual.

Long-Term Effects

As ibogaine passes through the blood stream the liver begins to convert it into a metabolite called nor-ibogaine. Nor-ibogaine is said to have many similar effects to ibogaine, but it has a much longer half-life in the body. Researchers estimate that nor-ibogaine can remain in the body for a period of days to weeks after the initial ibogaine treatment, and may be at least partially responsible for the long-term reduction in cravings that follow.

Another noticeable long-term effect is that ibogaine therapy stimulates the secretion of glial cell derived neurotrophic factor, or GDNF, which is a protein that generates the growth of new dopamine neurons. The effects of GDNF are so pronounced in their repair of the dopamine system that ibogaine has shown promise as a potential therapy for Parkinson’s disease. The same dopamine repair is notable for addiction detox because the growth of new dopamine neurons provides an opportunity to repair and rewire the brain’s desire and reward system.

This rapid neuronal growth, also called neuroplasticity, is rare in adults. This state, also called a neurological second-childhood, can be highly beneficial if it is accompanied by practices that habituate positive new patterns, such as healthy eating, exercise, meditation, and other strategies for personal resilience.

An exploratory study of the short-term effects of ibogaine treatment on drug addicts

Results from a survey of 220 MindsAlive clients between 2006 and 2009.

Hearing a buzzing 100%
Hearing drums 28.6%
Seeing TV screens 57.2%
Seeing animals 28.6%
Seeing deceased people looking alive 28.6%
Seeing deceased people approaching you 28.6%
Seeing deceased people tell you something 42.9%
Seeing deceased people disappear 71.5%
Seeing live people 42.9%
Seeing live people approach you 57.2%
Seeing live people tell you something 14.3%
Seeing live people disappear 42.9%
Seeing self at a young age 71.5%
Traveling through own DNA 42.9%
Seeing objects in intensive colors 42.9%
Seeing scenes of violence 57.2%
Able to exit visions by opening eyes 85.8%
When the eyes were shut did the visions continue? 28.6%
Prefer not to communicate w/ supervisors 28.6%
Were visions characterized as complete stories 0%
Did visions have an obvious meaning 57.2%
Did visions help achieve certain insights 71.5%
Are the visions memories or events from early childhood 28.6%
Did you experience seeing “energy flow” when moving arms after experience 28.6%
No visions <1%

Did the visions relate with…

Your past? 83.3%
Meaning of life? 100%
Creation 33.3%
Evolution of humanity 50%
Evolution of the animal world 0%
Evolution of the universe 50%

During the period of introspection…

Did you sleep? 50%
Was your mind fully awake? 66.7%
Evaluation of earlier experiences 83.3%
Intellectual evaluation of choices earlier in life 83.3%
If a certain choice seemed the only solution at that point, did you discover other alternatives? 50%

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