The ibogaine experience is life-changing, enlightening, an extraordinary journey back to your true self. This journey requires new ways of thinking and responding as well as a new set of skills. It starts from the premise that you are capable of creating the life you desire. You are called on to bring your mindset, lifestyle, relationships, and surroundings into alignment with your transition and your goals. Ibogaine gives you a fresh start but you will need solid therapeutic, inspirational, and educational supports to keep you moving toward complete recovery.
This is a description of one person’s experience: (Source: A rabbi in Israel who prefers to remain anonymous)
“An hour after ingesting the root bark, the person will feel a desire to lie down and get comfortable. A quiet, darkened room, especially prepared in a personalized, though non-distracting, manner, is made available for this purpose. The room is darkened because light bothers most people on Iboga. The room is quiet because sound is usually experienced in an amplified and oscillating way. The subject generally experiences ataxia during movement, which is loss of muscular coordination similar to drunkenness. Since the ataxia is sometimes accompanied by vomiting, he or she should lie still with the least amount of motion as possible.
When closing the eyes, approximately 75% of people experience dream-like visions. However, when the person opens his/her eyes and is talked to, there seem to be no real visual or auditory distortions and some level of communication is possible but usually not preferred by the person. Many people perspire heavily and are advised to wear comfortable shirts/pants that can be easily replaced. The first stage takes place for about four to eight hours.
People describe the visionary and auditory elements of the iboga experience as a state of “dreaming wide awake.” Each thought becomes a picture, each picture a movie, each movie a complete reality. For many this phase is very overwhelming. In addition to the ataxia and intense visual dream state, people report feeling an enormous amount of energy flowing through their entire body. Many report visualizing a rapid run-through of their lives and/or the lives of family members, even of those who have already passed away. The visions may appear to be actual memories, 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. Significant life events are re-experienced. The original core issues or traumas are often dealt with, complete with a new perspective. The emotional content of that experience is relived, along with the visual, pictorial gestalt of the experience itself. In most cases, the experience is complete with 3-D effects and the sensation of actually “being there.” Yet, there is also the presence of the witnessing self, who watches and finds understanding. It is this understanding that seems to allow the former addict to begin again, making new, healthy choices.
In the second stage, which can last approximately 20-40 hours, several things can happen. Some people still experience a dream-like period, although it is supposedly less intense. The person usually stays awake most of the time. There is time to evaluate the visionary experiences, which can bring about profound insight into life and death and the reasons behind compulsive or addictive behavior. Many find these hours uncomfortable. While the first stage is more an overwhelming observation, this stage is more interactive. One meets and gets to know one’s real self – beyond all of the illusions and delusions.
During the third stage most people fall asleep for a couple of hours, after which they generally awake feeling rested, very hungry, and needing to wash up. Most people are then able to resume normal activities. People usually stay free of cravings for several months.
The amount and intensity of released material can be so overwhelming that people have said that they simply could not remember everything they had seen, or that it took months to remember certain visions. Therefore, processing of released material and gaining the ability to verbalize these matters and learn to interpret their often symbolic content can take extended amounts of time and continue over years. Subjects have reported experiencing a mental or spiritual transformation due to the Iboga, which they compare to ten years of therapy in two days, or taking a “truth serum.”
During the weeks after ibogaine treatment, people find that they can sort through issues that may have burdened them; change compulsive behaviors; and become receptive to therapy. Not everyone who ingests ibogaine has a vivid visual experience; in fact only about 75% of patients experience visuals. Some people sleep throughout the duration of the drug’s effects, and others experience only series of rapid thoughts or flashing lights. The anti-addictive and withdrawal-diminishing properties of ibogaine still work on these patients, nonetheless. As with other psychedelics, ibogaine itself is “non-addictive.”
Crossroads treats patients with 99.6% pure pharmaceutical grade REMOGEN® brand ibogaine hydrochloride, which is manufactured exclusively for Canadian based Phytostan.
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Our contract manufacturer has an outstanding record of purity:
- Six successful US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) inspections in five years
- Compliance with Current Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines of the USFDA
- Compliance with guidelines of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Department of Health and Aged Care, Australia
- Chemexcil Award for Exports (India), five consecutive years
- State Safety Award from Government of Tamil Nadu, India
- National Award for R&D efforts in industry from the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology, India
- Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association Quality Excellence Award
Toxicological studies of primates who have been given ibogaine orally show that doses typically used for the treatment of opiate and cocaine addiction appear to be safe. Neither behavior nor brain function indicate long-term toxic effects. Clinical studies in human subjects under controlled conditions and in similar doses also show no adverse side effects in the long term.
We administer an oral dose of 12-24 mg/kg in capsule form. The precise dose is based on many factors, including:
- Medical history
- Age and personality
- The substance from which the patient is detoxing and how much is being used
- Severity and length of addiction
- Other recreational drug use
- Sensitivity to, as observed from a test dose
- Prior experience with psychedelics
Patients on sedatives or stimulants, and smokers, may respond atypically to ibogaine. Their dosage is adjusted accordingly.
Ibogaine interacts with, and increases, the effects of some drugs. For this reason, we will not treat a patient until we are sure that certain types of drugs—such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, amphetamines, and other prescription medications or illicit drugs—are cleared out of their system.
A variety of prescription medications must be suspended at least five days prior to treatment. They include:
- Antidepressants (e.g., Elavil, Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil)
- Omeprazole (e.g., Losec, Prilosec)
- Antifungal medications (e.g., Diflucan)
- Macrolide-type antibiotics (e.g., Azithromycin, Zithromax).
- Fentanyl, which greatly increases the risks of arrhythmias, must be suspended two weeks before treatment.
Patients on methadone need to substitute hydrocodone, oxycodone, or morphine for 2-3 weeks prior to treatment.
- Allergy/hay fever medications
- Pain relievers
- Sleep medications
These, too, must be avoided for at least five days before treatment begins.
Prospective patients must inform our physicians of all medications they are taking. Given the potential for serious adverse drug interactions with ibogaine, Crossroads reserves the right to exclude applicants who decline to accept the suspension of their current medications. Any patient who breaches the rule while preparing for treatment will not be allowed to proceed.
- Curcumin (turmeric)
- Garden cress
- Cascara sagrada
- Aloe vera (taken internally)
- Celery seed
- Yellow dock
- Buckthorn (distinct from sea buckthorn)
- Ephedra (ma huang), kola nut, guarana
- Aloe vera (taken internally)
- Bitter orange
- Black cohosh
- Black seed
- Buckthorn (distinct from sea buckthorn)
- Ephedra (ma huang)
- St. John’s wort
- Kava kava
- Kola nut
- Scotch broom
Because ibogaine is an experimental medication with known risks, we do not treat patients with any of the following conditions:
- Active infections, e.g., pneumonia, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, skin abscesses
- AIDS/HIV, since some antiretroviral drugs interact with ibogaine
- Peptic ulcers, e.g., gastric, esophageal, duodenal ulcers
- History of blood clots
- Vascular disease, e.g., inadequate pumping of leg veins (venous insufficiency), hardening of arteries (arteriosclerosis), swelling due to excess lymph fluid (lymphedema) vein inflammation (phlebitis)
- Cancer (not in remission)
- Brain disease affecting balance, muscular coordination, language, and personality (cerebellar dysfunction)
- Personal history of frequent fainting or family history of sudden death
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- High blood pressure, unmedicated
- Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, or irritable bowel syndrome
- Advanced kidney disease
- Advanced liver disease, e.g., cirrhosis. (In hepatitis C or B patients, liver enzymes may not be more than 400% above normal.)
- Lung disease, e.g., bronchitis, emphysema, severe asthma
- Heart disease, e.g., history of heart attack (myocardial infarction), inflammation of sac around heart (pericarditis), a particular disorder of the heart’s electrical activity (long QT), damage to heart muscle from excess alcohol(alcoholic cardiomyopathy), chest pain due to restricted blood supply(angina pectoris), certain irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
- Obesity with Body Mass Index above 30
- Cluster headaches, severe migraines
- Pregnancy or possibility of pregnancy
The risks of this treatment are inherent in the use of an experimental psychedelic drug. As yet, there are no clinical studies of the long-term effects of ibogaine. However, no long-term side effects have been reported at the dosage we use.
Common short-term side effects include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Fall in blood pressure
- Slowing of the heart rate (bradycardia)
- Nausea and movement-induced vomiting
- Impaired muscular coordination (ataxia)
- Visual distortion
- Decreased need for sleep over several days
- Restlessness, possibly for several hours
- Impairment in concentration and verbal communication, usually during the visual phase of the ibogaine experience
- In a small number of cases, a disturbance of the heart’s electrical cycle (slow QT) occurs.
- The risk of death as a result of ibogaine treatment is extremely low, though no hard statistics have yet been compiled. It is clear from case reports that the risk is strongly associated with lack of skilled medical monitoring, both during and after treatment. Because most of the few fatalities seem to occur when patients are alone in the day or two following treatment, we provide continuous on-site monitoring through the fourth day.
There have been reports of death due to combinations of ibogaine with other drugs. In particular, patients become more sensitive to narcotics. Use of opiates, for example, during or after treatment may lead to a fatal overdose.
There are also psychiatric risks.
Ibogaine may bring to the surface repressed memories which most patients describe as profound and beneficial but others find disturbing. In the latter group, anxiety, confusion, chaotic thinking, and/or insomnia may result.