Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Iboga- A Magic Bullet?

Thoughts and random musings 

I get the feeling, that this blog and therefore, my own thoughts and behaviours are, to the average reader, quite controversial. 

When I first started writing this I was just the other side of my first Iboga experience. 
Maybe I was in the happy cloud older Iboga initiates talk of?!
Either way I was so enthused and amazed at how easy, yet incredibly powerful, that first 'flood' was!

The blog continues, charting my journey through addictions and life. Two more full floods followed with lots of half assed attempts inbetween. 
Looking back to that first trip I was so naive! 
I mean I'd read everything I could find on the subject, I knew the pharmacology and the plants physical and psychological effects. I'd spent nearly two years plucking up the courage to do it. 
From what I'd read online, I was expecting this incredible psychedelic, cathartic, energising, beautiful experience. One where I may get nauseous and would certainly get ataxia and wobble about the place. I did everything by the book, 18mg/kg HCL taken in two lots two hours apart. 
I'd been preparing for a long time, reducing my methadone, eating healthily, hydrating, cutting out prescribed meds and other recreational drugs. I had a sitter (who was probably more terrified than me!) I had written everything down in case of an emergency and the doctors needed info. I even signed a disclaimer of sorts, proof that I had knowingly and willingly taken Iboga. 

Well, I don't remember much, it was amazing though. I do remember bits of it, my partner turning into a purple and green skull with dreadlocks, the drums, the fire, singing and clapping. 
You pretty much lose all concept of time, I guess it was about 12 hours later I started to become lucid again. 
It is a wonderful feeling, realising you are 36 hours into an opiate detox with zero withdrawal symptoms and no urge to score. 
I got emotional, floods of years, happiness, regret, sorrow..
I called my mum and apologised for having worried her for so many years, how sorry I was for letting them all down. It was quite cathartic!

24 hours in and the main Iboga trip is wearing off, I can walk around a bit now, I sipped some juice. 
48 hours in and I keep pinching myself, 'am I really clean?' ... 'Im not sick, I should be in the midst of a cold turkey!' .. Na, nothing!..

72 hours...
Start to get a runny nose, guts liquify. I calm myself and convince myself this is just the last of the methadone coming out, they're very minor symptoms and that I should stop being a pussy. 
I call ibogaworld and literally beg them to send me some TA or HCL and I'd pay them back when I was better. 
(I was, and still am, incredibly grateful to Michele and the ibogaworld team for helping me out like that) 
They agreed but it would take ten days to get to me. 
I trudge on.. Managing to grab snippets of sleep here and there. 

Ok, by day five I'm sick as fuck. 
The Iboga has worn off and in shitting and puking and sneezing.. How long does this go on for?!
I can deal with a bit, but this is fucked. 
The Iboga on order is at least a week away still!

Day six and I can't cope any longer, it's too painful, I give in and score a bag. 
I feel like a piece of shit for not being 'strong enough' to make it. 
I justify this as a 'slip' and that ill make another attempt at an Iboga flood in a few months again (which I did do)

So, I learnt a lot from this, I learnt that despite all my hope and determination, methadone, no matter how you detox, is a bitch to get off. 
I started hearing more and more stories from people that struggled and 'failed' when trying to get off methadone and suboxone with Ibogaine. 
This made me feel a little less crap about myself anyway, it's apparently quite a common scenario. 

I see this more and more often, desperate addicts thinking that Iboga is their one and only hope of cleaning up. 
It does sound amazing, and don't get me wrong, it IS amazing. 
BUT, it really isn't the silver bullet/golden ticket/last chance that people think it is. 
Sure, some lucky people do get, exactly what they are looking for, when it all works out its amazing, these people completely turn their lives around. They also, often become very vocal advocates of Iboga, this is beautiful to see and they're doing a sterling job. 
The down side to these people though is that they often only see the good and challenge anybody's opinion that doesn't match their own. 
I've been told I was just weak and I could have got through that first flood if I'd tried harder. 
They will not accept that Iboga just doesn't work the same for everyone. 
I have a good friend that went to a provider for treatment, the HCL had zero affect and she spent three days shitting and puking up. Further doses made no difference at all and she eventually managed to crawl home to score. 
We don't know why but on occasion Iboga doesn't do what we want it to. It doesn't seem to be down to dosing either.
It's quite possibly genetic. 
Just like some people who were perfectly healthy and passed the ECG and blood tests before treatment, drop dead of a heart attack five days after flooding. 
No one knows why. All we can do is try to negate the risks and work as safely and responsibly as possible. 

I'd love to see some proper stats on this. I don't think there are many studies looking specifically at long term abstinence post Iboga. 
I'm pretty sure they would be quite a lot higher than traditional detox and rehab; which from memory stands at about 5%. Same as methadone treatment. 

I found this paper which documents a small sample.

I won't quote parts of it but have a read. Interesting stuff. 

The problem with doing these type of trials is mainly that the patients drop out and stop reporting, or they relapse or they pass away. 
It's a difficult thing to study. 


karl said...

Nice one Sid, I think you done a good job answering my question in that post. As interesting as Ibogaine may be I don't think it's a 'magic bullet'. If someone really wants to get clean then they will. It's not that difficult to detox relatively painlessly if you have access to the right drugs, in fact I think anyone can detox, it's the staying off that's the hard part. I took part in the trials for subutex about 15yrs ago and worked the night shift at parcel force through the entire program, it was the easiest detox I've ever done, it took 10 days once I'd stabilized and I never even lost a days sleep, I stayed clean for about 3wks. I guess I'm more interested in the trip that comes with ibogain but I think I'd rather be clean before trying it.
Ibogaine is just another drug at the end of the day and I think that maybe my money would be better spent on an extended holiday/travelling. If I'm meant to try ibogain I have every faith that the opportunity will arise some day but for now I'm not going to go chasing it.

Timothy said...

I have done iboga 4 times in total, each time after 4-7 days i was sick as what you described, and it was not methadone, it was smack, codeine and morphine, it took away withdrawals for like few days, but all came back, each time after a flood, am not saying ibogain is garbage but i was never on meth, so why did I get withdrawals after few days for so called weak opiates like morphine and smack i.e. heroin? I know the ibogaine was legit because I got some visions, I tripped, wobbled and saw colorful flashes, but in my experience it did not do anything for my mental addiciton nor the much for the pshycal part. I think there is a very good reason why there are no studies on this issue, it does not work for everyone, what we hear is people who come out of iboga treatment and shout how easy it was until few days later they are sick, which many people are not going to admit after shouting how good it was, so we do not hear what happens later. 4 times I have done iboga, yes 4 times, each time I still felt shit after few days to a week, the mental was the worst part, it. Maybe because I been doing smak for few years on and off? but I was told it should be easy for heroin users, I did mine in the Netherlanrds, some lady called Sara and I paid quite a bit too, the other times I did it with local providers, for me it was waste, I kept giving it chance after chance but still same result, I certainly wont be doing ibogaine again. just not for me

Anonymous said...

Hey Sid,
How you doing? been such a while. Its Ollie, I met you via david and the filming, i had my treatment and was ok (tho methadone dose was low) but slipped up not so long ago due to the availability of it online, not got a full on habit or anything I'm lucky the guy has gone off the map actually n I'm not physically addicted went through some minor w'd an I'm fine.

I agree, i thought the same regarding iboga in regards to expecting a lot of visions etc which i never got, maybe thats part of it.. ur not meant to expect but how can you not when u hear of such stories from others?.

For me, i was on a crazy low dose of methadone when i had my treatment and had no issue, but its all well and good getting clean etc but if the depression is there, the hurt and pain etc and thats not delt with i found myself only so long u can deal with it without breaking down.

Im pleased to hear tho your on a boat working and all that mate, fair play to you! Ever need a chat/text u have my number i think?

Take it easy