The latest "miracle cure" added to the pantheon is ibogaine. I have provided what I consider the most important information from what seems a reliable source below in an appendix to this post, together with sufficient references to articles etc. posted on DF to allow interested people to research this further.

Please notice a less than one in three chance of "long-term" abstinence, and a one in three hundred chance of dying. I have no reason to doubt these numbers. I'd strongly advise not doing this at home. One in three hundred in a medical setting is likely to be reduced to one in two hundred or even one in one hundred (speculation) without proper testing and medical supervision.

Appendix - Ibogaine
I found the following information very useful : http://www.ibogaine.co.uk/ibogaine6.htm . Although I am no expert, my feeling is that the information here is good. One important tip mentioned is never to trust information from only one source if you are going to try ibogaine. One statistic is that one in three hundred people who have taken ibogaine have died. Particular risk factors mentioned are:

* having a pre-existing heart condition, sometimes one not detectable by EKG
* using opiates when on ibogaine, or shortly afterwards
* using the rootbark or iboga extract. Ibogaine HCl is statistically much safer
* taking ibogaine outside of a clinical facility. Persons taking ibogaine need constant supervision and, ideally, online heart monitoring



The following information I have taken from www.ibogaine.co.uk seems authoritative:

Ibogaine Treatment
(This article has been reproduced for interest value only).


Ibogaine, an indole alkaloid derived from an African plant source, has for many years been recognized for its ability to interrupt drug dependency. Specifically, it can be effective in the treatment of withdrawal from heroin, methadone, cocaine (inc. crack cocaine), amphetamine, and alcohol.


Although it is slightly psychoactive, ibogaine should not be confused with drugs like LSD or psilocybin. Ibogaine's effects are far longer lasting and can be intensely physical in some users. The drug should be treated with respect and not administered by persons unfamiliar with basic medical procedures. Because vomiting can be a problem with ibogaine treatment, persons administering should ensure especially that they are fully familiar with resuscitation procedures and have rapid access to the emergency services should they be required. It is important persons interested in receiving ibogaine treatment are properly screened. Failure to do so may have resulted in previous tragic accidents. Heart (EKG) and liver (Blood) screening are the absolute minimum.


PREPARATION OF THE CLIENT - The prospective client should attend several informal interviews to ensure he or she is fully aware of the following information relating to ibogaine treatment:


(i) - that ibogaine is principally a detox tool and that, whilst it can help with drug-craving for brief periods as well as help a person understand why they started using drugs, it will still be up to them to stay off. As a general rule, addicts who regard ibogaine as simply something which is supposed to "cure them" rarely have success.


(ii) - that ibogaine is an experimental medication, not recognized as a licensed medicine anywhere in the Western world, and that other options for treating their addiction exist.


(iii) - that deaths have occurred in association with ibogaine treatment, and that it must therefore be regarded as having a definite level of risk, though proper client screening procedures should be able to keep this to a minimum. Specifically, anyone with any history of heart problems should be very wary of taking ibogaine. In recent years there have been several reports of mysterious deaths associated with cardiac problems.


A basic level of physical and psychological screening is essential prior to a person being considered suitable for ibogaine treatment. A blood test should be undertaken to check for liver abnormalities and to ensure general health is good. An EKG should be undertaken to check heart function. Problems with the liver, heart or lungs should result in exclusion from treatment unless subsequent professional medical opinion advises to the contrary. Many long-term addicts may have developed medical health problems which would make ibogaine treatment in a non-clinical setting dangerous. These tests can be often be organized by drug dependency units or private doctors.


Attention should also be paid to the clients' mental state. Persons exhibiting signs of significant mental disorder should be excluded from treatment.


DOSAGE - Assuming the client is sufficiently well to be treated, their bodyweight in kilos should be measured, and a suitable dose of ibogaine calculated.


Pure ibogaine HCl is typically administered at doses of around 10 milligrams per kilo bodyweight (mg/k) for men, and 9 mg/k for women. To calculate the dose, multiply the client's bodyweight in kilos by either 10 (for men) or 9 (for women) and you will have the dose in milligrams.


Example: An 8 stone female alcoholic will require about 460mgs of ibogaine HCl, a little under half a gram. (8 stone x 14 = 112 lbs. 112 / 2.2 = 50.9 kgs. 50.9 x 9 = 458mgs)


Note that this is for pure ibogaine HCl, one of two forms of the drug commonly available in Europe. The other is the "Indra iboga extract," which is believed to be approximately one quarter the strength of pure HCl, meaning clients will require roughly four times the amount. Although the "Indra" product is becoming increasingly available in Europe, it is known to induce more vomiting than the HCl. In January 2000, a 40 year old heroin addict died in London after vomit clogged his airways some 40 hours after taking a dose of this extract.


For opiate addicts, such as those using heroin or methadone, the dose of ibogaine HCl is typically doubled, to around 20mg/k for men, and 18mg/k for women. This is because the opiates in a person's system partially block ibogaine's effect.


It is recommended that ibogaine only be given as a single dose, in the range of 9-10 mg/k. From what is known, this appears to be the safest way to take the drug, bearing in mind that higher doses can always be taken in subsequent sessions if necessary. When re-dosing, it is recommended to wait at least one month as ibogaine and its metabolites linger in the body.


TREATMENT PREPARATION - It is very important that the client's drug intake be regulated for 24 hours prior to taking the main dose of ibogaine. This will prevent the ibogaine from reacting with any other drugs still in the body, which research indicates may lead to adverse reactions. This means that no heroin, no cocaine and no other drugs should be taken for a minimum of 12 hours prior to taking the main dose of ibogaine. No methadone for a minimum of 24 hours. Drug use for the days prior to treatment should therefore be planned in advance to ensure this is possible. In addition, no stimulants should be taken for at least 24 hours prior to taking the main dose of ibogaine. Normal doses of benzodiazepines like valium can safely be taken prior to ibogaine to assist in reducing anxiety or to help the client sleep if necessary.

Ibogaine is recognized as having the ability to potentiate other drug reactions, meaning it is very important persons under its influence do not get access to drugs. Any level of opiate or cocaine usage whilst on ibogaine could be very dangerous.

24 hours prior to taking the main dose of ibogaine, a test dose of about 100mg of the drug should be taken. Allergic reactions have not been reported to the best of the writer's knowledge but, in the event of one occurring, the treatment should not proceed. Some minor level of ataxia, (difficulty in standing upright), nausea, and aural amplification may be experienced at this dose level. This is quite normal.

Food consumption should cease about 12 hours prior to the main dose of ibogaine being taken. To make this easy to bear, many people take ibogaine first thing in the morning, as a replacement for their morning fix. 1 hour prior to taking the main dose, an anti-nauseant such as domperidone (or similar travel sickness medication) may be taken to try and reduce nausea.

The treatment setting is important in that the client should feel relaxed and relatively easy in themselves. This will help to limit anxiety. Noise should be low throughout (ibogaine causes sounds to be heard much louder than usual), and the light level adjustable. Remember that ibogaine incapacitates some people for several days, so make sure that peaceful, dimly lit conditions can be maintained.

A "sitter" should be present with the client for the duration of the experience, which usually lasts between 20 and 30 hours, but in some cases has been known to go on for 3 days. This should ideally be someone experienced in ibogaine administration, or otherwise a close friend. It is unlikely much communication will be attempted in this time and the client should therefore be attended in peace. Requests for water may be fulfilled but nothing else should be taken.


THE EXPERIENCE - The client will likely experience the drug taking effect after between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Withdrawal symptoms should be eliminated or easily manageable. There will likely be ataxia (problems getting upright) accompanied by a buzzing noise in the ears. Sounds will become louder, bright light hard to bear. Some people report feeling nauseous and there may be a sensation of pulsing in the body, rather as though it were being "cranked up to a new frequency." These sensations are quite normal.

Vomiting within 3 hours of taking the main dose may result in some of the ibogaine leaving the body before it can be absorbed. In such circumstances, giving more may be considered or perhaps the treatment aborted. Examining the vomit may reveal if the drug has left the body. Be aware of the dangers of both overdosing and using stepped doses if considering giving more ibogaine to make up for that lost in vomit, especially if this is the first time someone has used the drug.

The experience of taking ibogaine varies so much from person to person, it is difficult to prejudge just what will happen for any one individual. However, there are generally two, distinct phases to the experience.

First, the "oneirophrenic" or "dream-creating" phase. This generally lasts several hours and usually consists of the user experiencing dream-like visions with eyelids closed, which disappear once the eyes are open. The visions may appear to be actual memories running, rather as though a film of one's life was being shown inside the head, or may take the form of characters acting out roles, rather as though a play was taking place inside the head. However, many people report no visual sensations and this is not a problem. People may experience feelings and sensations associated with childhood and early life.

Secondly, the "processing" phase, which follows once the first stage is concluded. This phase is characterized by high levels of mental activity - interiorized processing that allows the material revealed in the first phase to be assimilated and interpreted. People frequently experience comprehending for the first time the reasons why they became involved with drugs. Though ibogaine affects different people in different ways, the oneirophrenic phase typically starts 1-2 hours after taking the main dose, and the processing phase about 3-6 hours later, usually lasting for between 8 and 14 hours. People sometimes experience very negative feelings on ibogaine. If this appears to be happening, the person attending could try to give them reassurance that things are OK. Whatever arises will pass.

What is described above is a typical session but it is by no means unknown for people to be up and moving around within a few hours of taking the main dose, apparently having experienced very little. Alternately, some remain in bed for half a week. In addition, opiate addicts frequently experience little or nothing of the "oneirophrenic" phase. Sessions that are over quickly are usually less effective, and ibogaine does appear to have very little effect on some individuals, regardless of dose level.

Potential treatment providers please note: It is important to realize just how variable the drug's effects can be on different people. Tragic incidents can occur if safety procedures become lax after a string of successful treatments. Because, when ibogaine works, its effect can seem quite miraculous, it is very easy for people who are not medically experienced to start to relax pre-treatment screening procedures in their keenness to treat people and this is dangerous.


POST IBOGAINE - If the treatment has been successful, the client should be clean having experienced little or no withdrawal. In addition, many experience no desire to use drugs for a period of weeks afterward. Furthermore, some users report gaining insights into their drug-using behaviour. As a general rule, ibogaine is most effective for older addicts, a casual study indicating that those over 35 have a far better chance of staying clean than those in their twenties.

In cases where the treatment has been successful, but the client begins to experience the desire to use drugs again after some weeks, repeat dosing with ibogaine can be undertaken. Remember that persons not currently using opiates require ibogaine at a maximum dose of around 10mg/k. Re-dosing with ibogaine at less than one month intervals may be risky, as metabolites of the drug can remain in the body for this length of time.

Melatonin and B vitamins have been suggested as useful after using ibogaine. Some believe they help sustain the drug's effect.


POST IBOGAINE REHAB AND THERAPY - A single dose or multiple doses, given over a period, of ibogaine will occasionally be enough to keep someone off drugs permanently. But for most the truth is that, unless suitable post-ibogaine work is undertaken, a fairly rapid relapse to old ways is likely.

It is simply not possible to give guidelines that will be valid for everyone, for we are all different. However, for many, the addict should ideally enter rehabilitation as soon as possible after the treatment. In the writer's opinion, the best rehab program, and likely the one most suitable for those who have just taken ibogaine, is the Residential Addiction Foundation (RAF) program run by the Humaniversity in Egmont-aan-Zee, Holland, see www.humaniversity.nl for further details.

Other alternatives include any long-term (six months and up) residential rehab program available locally. Where residential rehab is not desirous, or not an option, suitable therapy should be seriously considered. Observations of the ethnic, religious use of the drug and first and second hand experience indicate to the writer that the most suitable types of therapy will be body-based and work around catharsis, confrontation and emotional release. "Talking only" type therapy, such as counselling may be effective in some cases but usually less so. Encounter therapy is often highly suitable for recovering addicts, as is primal therapy, bioenergetics, and indeed anything that sets out to assist the individual contact and release repressed emotions, frequently the root cause of addiction. More gentle, integrative work may also be useful. Dance structures such as 5 Rhythms or Biodanza may be helpful, either as a back-up to deeper work or on their own.

Attention should also be given to pleasure. Long term drug use will have likely had the effect of causing the addict's dopamine system to have been "hard-wired" to associate pleasure with drug use. This is the reason why many who have beaten addiction in the short term frequently relapse. A brief period of exposure to drug-using stimuli, especially at a time when a former addict feels vulnerable, often results in a return to addiction. Everyone needs pleasure and so the recovering addict must take steps to ensure they can get enjoyment out of life without using drugs. For the majority this will mean work on their sex lives. Sexual stimulation, and particularly orgasm, is the principle means by which the healthy body gains pleasure and releases tension. Work to increase the former user's ability to be intimate, both socially and sexually, is very important. Tantra workshops, touch therapy, or other intimacy-focussed processes are an excellent idea.


POST IBOGAINE PROBLEMS - Feelings of deep contentment - although less common with long term heroin users, many people using ibogaine feel in very high spirits for a period of days or sometimes weeks after taking ibogaine. Clients report feeling that their life is now totally straightened out, they don't need to do rehab, and everything is going to be just wonderful. Unfortunately, this feeling usually passes after a week or so. It is important to remember this as some people feel so good for a week or so after using ibogaine, they barely notice when they start to get the urge to use drugs again and so quickly relapse.

Learned behaviour or conditioning - ibogaine is widely noted as having the ability to "reset" a persons learned behaviour patterns, leaving them free from compulsive urges, drug-related or otherwise. Again, this usually only lasts for a period of days or weeks, and so attention should be paid to any drug-using stimuli in one's environment after this time.

Feelings of anxiety or paranoia - for some users the experience can prove quite harrowing. The drug can have the effect of radically altering the way a person looks at themselves and the world around them. Deep-rooted feelings of insecurity that may have been present since childhood can be uprooted and, when this happens, it can leave a person feeling disorientated and anxious for some time afterward. This will clear and is actually an indication that the drug has worked well.

Sleeplessness - many people find they require less sleep for a period of time post-ibogaine. This is quite normal.


RETURNING TO DRUG USE - If a return to drug use is anticipated post-ibogaine, it is imperative the client does not restart at the dosage level they were using prior to treatment. Ibogaine "resets" many brain functions relating to drug usage and to return to heavy usage could easily result in overdosing, and possibly death.


I cannot vouch for the post-Ibogaine rehab advice, but I like the idea of body-based therapy, and personally can give a thumbs-up to 5 Rhythms dancing, as something that has helped me in periods of abstinence. The idea of the benefit of confrontation in rehab I'd also be somewhat sceptical about. As for the advice on sex, I'd add a caveat. Relationships are one of the biggest causes of relapse, and in N.A. the advice is often given not to get into a relationship for at least one or two years after getting clean. Unfortunately perhaps, uncomplicated sex is not always available. Massage is perhaps a better alternative, if you do not have a stable partner.

Let me quote some statistics, again from the same site

When administered to persons seeking to beat addiction to heroin, methadone, cocaine or alcohol, a single dose of ibogaine typically achieves the following. Firstly, the complete removal or severe attenuation of the symptoms of drug withdrawal, allowing painless detoxification (occurs with approx. 90% of subjects). Secondly, the removal of the desire to use drugs for a period of between one week and three months (occurs with approx. 60% of subjects). Finally, the revealing of personal issues underlying drug-using behaviour, leading to long-term drug-abstinence (occurs with approx. 30% of subjects).

Obviously "long-term drug-abstinence" is a vague phrase, but this information clearly debunks the myth that ibogaine is a miracle cure. I'd have to put this in the "do not try this at home" category, unless absolutely desperate, at least not without prior medical screening and supervision. A one in three hundred chance of death is to my mind scary. Have you ever thrown 8 or 9 heads in a row? You want to risk your life it won't happen next time? That's the kind of odds we're dealing with.