Ibogaine is a stimulant and a hallucinogen that comes from a West African shrub. Since the late 1960s, it has been promoted as a treatment for addiction to both opiates like heroin and stimulants like methamphetamine. It is illegal in the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Switzerland. But there are clinics in several other countries that offer therapies centered around ibogaine treatment.
Reports vary widely when describing the effects of this drug on a person. Some reports talk about the severe nausea, vertigo, sleeplessness and hallucinations that occur after a person has taken this drug. It is estimated to have a mortality rate of about one in 300. The US Institutes of Health has reported that nineteen people have died while on this drug but when you take a closer look at these deaths, it gets more complicated. Because many uses of ibogaine take place in unauthorized facilities or by individuals, it is thought that uses - and related deaths - might be much higher.
The effects of ibogaine last up to 36 hours and some people are bedridden for a few days afterwards. One website promoting this drug likened the severity of its effect to that of a surgical procedure.
The allure of ibogaine is that some addicts profess to have been cured not of only the desire to abuse their drug of choice but also to have avoided withdrawal symptoms on the way. But the owner of an ibogaine clinic in Mexico determined the result of her program to be one in five of her clients staying off their primary drug of abuse for six months.
Countries Permitting Ibogaine
There are still some countries that permit the use of ibogaine in treatment, despite the risks. For example, some Caribbean nations, Costa Rico, Mexico and the Czech Republic.
A person who wishes to recover from alcoholism or addiction to benzodiazepines should be warned that this drug can increase the risk of seizures during withdrawing from those drugs, according to researchers at the US National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Ibogaine triggers hallucinations that may give some people the illusion of a different understanding of themselves and the universe, but actually, they are simply under the influence of a strong, mind-altering drug.
If a person has a change of viewpoint that helps him stop using drugs, problems can arise when he (or she) returns to the home environment with no other change that just this viewpoint. When difficulties, setbacks or other problems present themselves, if a person has not also improved his coping skills, these difficulties may trigger a return to the escape that worked before - substance abuse.
After 49 years of experience helping addicts recover, Narconon has found that the best place to find lasting sobriety is in the real world. By detoxifying the effects of addictive drugs and building stable life skills, a person is more capable of sustaining a long, sober future after graduation. No drugs are ever used as part of treatment at any Narconon center. A sober future is best begun with a sober recovery program.