Ibogaine is a natural health product produced from Tabernanthe iboga, a perennial shrub that is endemic to the rainforests of Central Africa. Historically, it’s cultural use has centered in Gabon, where it has been used for centuries in ceremonies of healing and initiation.
Ibogaine is highly valued for it’s physical regenerative properties as well for it’s potential to catalyze psychological and spiritual transformational.
On a physiological level, ibogaine is the only known addiction therapy that can significantly reduce the withdrawal symptoms and post-detox cravings that are usually one of the most prominent barriers in the way of long-term healing from addictions. While traditional therapies have been shown to require at least 30 days of intensive programming and still leave patients with difficult to manage cravings, even one treatment with ibogaine, over the course of a week, can end physical habituation to substances and stimulate significant neurological repair.
Ibogaine stimulates a powerful introspective process that brings people into contact with a subconscious and transpersonal memories and experiences. There are as many different experiences as there are individuals, but our patients commonly describe this process as sometimes challenging, but very therapeutic. Many times we have heard that it has been more helpful than years of talk or group therapies, because of the clarity and level of insight that it produces. This process often allows people to reflect on their addictive behavior, and in other cases it allows people to understand the root discomforts that they have been medicating against or trying to avoid.
Read more about ibogaine’s effects.
How Does Ibogaine Compare/Support to Other Therapies?
Alternatives to ibogaine generally include 12-step support groups, residential detox and treatment programs, or opioid maintenance programs. However, none of these options address withdrawal and cravings in the same way that ibogaine does.
Most detoxification programs require that people attend a treatment of 30 days or more, because in most cases simply stopping the use of substances like heroin or cocaine results in physical and psychological discomfort. Further time and therapy are necessary just to allow the body and the mind to start to stabilize and learn new habits. Ibogaine assists this process immensely, and even as a short term-standalone detox program of one week long-term results far surpass the success rates of regular treatment programs of a month or more.
Also, unlike methadone or buprenorphine, ibogaine is not an opioid replacement therapy. Both methadone and buprenorphine are long-acting opioids that reduce the euphoric effect and easing the highs and lows of short acting opioids like heroine or oxycontin. In fact many people who begin opioid maintenance programs benefit from the stabilization that the treatment provides, but then find it difficult to stop the treatment without experiencing protracted withdrawal symptoms. Many of those people have eventually turned to ibogaine as an alternative.
After Ibogaine Detox
Although ibogaine is unique in its ability to reduce cravings in the long-term, published research confirms our experience that patients will benefit from ongoing therapy to support the physical and psychological changes that begin during ibogaine detox. For different people this kind of on-going support can look like different things, from 12-stop programs, to other alternative group support networks, to private counseling or psychotherapy, or even longer-term residential programs.