Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Interview With An Ibogaine Treatment Provider

The following is taken from an interview conducted by email of an ibogaine treatment provider in the U.S
Due to ibogaine being a schedule one drug in America I have kept the identity of the interviewee

  Hi S, could we start by you telling us a little bit about you?

Sure. I’m a middle aged mom of three, an ex-nurse and an ex-alcoholic, here on the west coast, USA. I went through my own iboga journey in 2009. It was a home session, which I would not repeat. I’ll have a person experienced with iboga around for my next time. But it did allow me to walk away from alcohol, and opened me up to myself. I’ve come further since iboga than I had in the 40+ years preceding, and I’ve long been interested in self exploration and personal evolution. Iboga is a huge jump start for self transformation.

 What got you interested in carrying out Ibogaine treatments?

I knew before I took it myself that I would be working with it. I had a very strong gut feeling about that. My own journey confirmed this feeling. There is no denying the tremendous healing potential of iboga, and not just for addictions. I came out of my journey wanting everyone in the world to take it, lol. I’ve since mellowed, but do know that there is nothing like this in the world. How could I not make this available? It has been a striking series of ‘coincidences’ that I have been able to keep working with this good root in all its forms. I will continue as long as I can, as long as it is what is in front of me to do.

 Do you think the risks of providing the service you do in a country where ibogaine is schedule one are worthwhile?

I do. I don’t say this lightly, either. I have two of my children still at home with me. I have to be careful, I take certain precautions. At the same time, I feel like iboga isn’t really ‘on the radar’ in any significant way. Nobody is getting rich, nobody is dying. It would also be a sticky mess for those who don’t want to deal with iboga at all were it to make it into court.

What are your views on the legal status of ibogaine, do you think re-scheduling is a good idea and given the definition of a schedule one drug (no medicinal value and high potential for abuse) how do you think the government can justify this?

I don’t have strong views on the legal status. Iboga itself is quite beyond laws, and I’ve never been drawn to overt activism. If iboga were less restrictively scheduled, and in the hands of the medical establishment, there would still be a huge need for underground services. For price, for atmosphere and for the loving support necessary to allow a session to be all that it can.
How can the government justify keeping it on schedule one? The government doesn’t need to justify, lol. Look at the wars we wage, look at the state of the school system, look at poverty, oh hell, no honest justification necessary. The government is a convoluted labyrinth of power and money games.

 What kind of service do you offer?

Addiction interruption and psycho spiritual iboga sessions. I use root bark, total alkaloid extract, precipitated/purified total alkaloid extract and ibogaine hydrochloride. Which product(s) I use depends on the individual and the reasons for seeking iboga. I work with a partner as often as possible, and we provide a safe, conducive environment for the experience. I incorporate both western medical techniques, and as much ritual as the individual is comfortable with. I have not been initiated in Bwiti, which is the African religion using iboga as a sacrament, but I have worked along side Bwitists as they have held sessions. I found that there are many similarities in the type of Bwiti I saw to other traditional transformative rituals, and many good practices there that support psychologically as well as spiritually an individual’s readiness for a session. As you know, iboga is far more than ‘just a detox’.

Just how risky is it performing treatments in the U.S? What specific challenges do you face?

A true quantitative risk assessment I have not performed.
When I am speaking with someone interested in a session, there are many, many questions asked. I need to see an EKG/ECG, and for many, liver panel results. On top of that, I have an application for folk to fill out that covers medical conditions and history, as well as diet, psychological health, goals and more. I use that information, and I trust my gut. I have had quite a few instances where I could not work with someone based on either test results or a strong gut reaction. I am grateful to the clinics who will handle the riskier medical cases. Based on this screening process, the risks are greatly reduced.
Challenges specific to the underground, I guess primary would be the difficulty ensuring the integrity of a person’s reported drug use. When someone goes to a clinic, at least those I am readily familiar with, they do not begin  their session that night. They are stabilised and observed. In underground work, that unfortunately is not usually an option. I have to trust that the person is using what they tell me they are using, that they have taken the recommended supplements, that their diet has been modified, all of it. When I meet with someone, I have my own assessment skills, but rely on their report. I have had people misrepresent facts to me before. Basically, iboga is quite safe. It is safer when the person considering it is completely honest.

 Tell us some of your success stories..!

My only success story is the one I’m living. All the rest are not my story to tell. I have seen many people walk away from their drugs of choice and not return. This has taken effort, diligence and courage on their part. It is the person eating iboga, and iboga itself who are doing the hard work, who can claim ‘success’. Me, I just try to stay open to being able to facilitate, to making the environment as safe and conducive as possible. It’s always an honor to do this work and I take credit only for my desire to stay present and be open.

What are your views on,  ibogaine versus methadone or suboxone when it comes to opiate withdrawal and long term abstinence?

Oh, my goodness, heavens. Very simply, ibogaine affords many the opportunity to examine their thoughts, emotions and behaviors and take responsibility for their lives. Ibogaine provides many with emotional healing, and a window of a few weeks to a few months without intolerable cravings and compulsions. Neither methadone nor suboxone can facilitate the aforementioned. You are talking about using these long acting opiates as replacers or as detox? If used as replacers, the person isn’t abstinent. Harm reduction, probably, if going from street drugs to these prescriptions, but it’s not abstinence. If used for detox, how long do you want to draw out your withdrawal? Iboga is the most humane detox on the planet. In many instances, three days, no withdrawal symptoms, and you’re done. You’re clean. If there is some breakthrough withdrawal, a little more iboga can knock that right out. If someone gets lingering waves, there are simple over the counter supplements which help. Again, iboga asks a person to take responsibility. Once the drug is gone, there is still the same life to walk back into. What will you change? Your friends? Your routines? Your level of self care? The willingness to change these things can do a lot for the predicting of ‘success’ if it is defined as long term abstinence.

 Do you think a patients age and length of habit has a bearing on the success of the treatment?

Length of habit I have not seen play a big part. I think there is a personality style that seeks external sources of emotional relief, whether it’s heroin, shoplifting, fits of rage, overeating, methamphetamine, etc. A person may have only been addicted for a couple years, but their personality has sought escape much longer. As for age, I have seen the most profound changes in folk over 30. This has just been my experience, and I have no data or even theories to explain it. That’s not true, I always have a theory...

 Do you worry about complications when treating people? How do you avoid such situations?

Yes, I worry! But I try to do it before we meet for the session. At the session I’m just alert. It is far easier not to worry when working with a partner, as well. The screening process does much to ensure there will be no emergencies.

 I’ve heard stories about ibogaine clinics in Mexico facing threats of violence from the Mexican drug cartels, is this true?

I haven’t heard that. I know there is a difference between the border towns and deeper into Mexico, but I don’t know much. I’ve yet to go very far south into Mexico. But I do have a soft spot for Tijuana. It’s as safe as any big city. 

      Finally, what advice would you give someone seeking treatment with ibogaine?

Someone who feels iboga may help them should do as much research as they can before they talk to any providers. Ask the providers many questions, and be as honest as you possibly can when they in turn ask questions of you.
Even if you intend to do this on your own, it can be helpful and instructive to talk to those who work with iboga. This may be one of the single most important events of your life. Prepare for it, take it seriously.

      Thank-you so much!

For anyone interested in treatment for addiction, there are some links on my links page to treatment providers, there's also a wealth of information out there on the internet.
Ibogaine is a spiritual journey and as such all I can recommend is that you find your own path, do your research and don't let anyone talk you into/out of it!


Gledwood said...

I meant to ask this yesterday: is ibogaine in any way similar to cannabis?

Gledwood said...

Happy New Year !!!!!

Gledwood said...

Sid you never answered my question: there was a point to it as cannabis induces in me a trance-like state with eyes-closed visuals that sounds similar in some ways to the iboga experience... is there any meaningful parallel?... or is it like comparing an 474 with a national express coach "because both have wheels"...??

Anonymous said...

Really helpful interview and I appreciate you getting the word out. There is a doctor doing a lot of great research in Miami and at the ibogaineclinic.com- could you interview her and Irene?

Sid said...


I never heard of ibogaineclinic so wouldnt have a view on it. It seems from reading the mindvox list that treatment centres are a bit hit and miss in the states/canada/mexico?

Ill look into it though, could be a good interview!

Ibogaine Treatment said...

Nothing beats up the happiness of being free from a severe drug addiction, and we at Ibogaine cherish this happiness every day by providing the right ibogaine treatment that you need. This treatment is carried by ibogaine which is a hypoactive compound.