Ibogaine (IBO) treatment is a truly effective way to resolve opiate addiction. Although not without moderate side effects and risks, Ibogaine treatment for opiate addiction is the most realistic way to quit opiates for good. Ibogaine Central treatment centers offer ibogaine therapy for addictions to alcohol and other drugs, but Ibogaine is most well-known for treating opiate (and opioid) addiction.
Traditional Opiate Addiction Treatment
Addiction treatment centers that work with Ibogaine Central know that conventional drug addiction treatment programs for opiate dependency often become revolving doors. Methadone, Suboxone, Buprenorphine, and L-alpha-acetyl-methanol (LAAM), combined with 12-step programs and psychotherapy have been the traditional treatments for opiate addictions. However, despite clinical trials touting the clinical effectiveness of these traditional opiate addiction treatment programs, true opiate addiction rehabilitation rates resulting from these drug addiction treatment programs are questionable.
How opiate treatment or methods perform in clinical trials and their true effectiveness when implemented in the public at-large are two different things. Doctors know and recognize this. The idea is referred to as treatment clinical effectiveness versus true treatment efficacy. Just because something is lauded as being a clinically effective opiate addiction treatment does not mean that it reliably or consistently solves the problem of opiate dependency.
Brief History of Ibogaine for Opiate Treatment
Ibogaine is a naturally-occurring substance derived from the Iboga (Tabernanthe iboga) shrub, although synthetic forms also exist. Iboga shrubs grow in African rainforests and have been used in indigenous spiritual ceremonies for centuries.
Ibogaine was first isolated in a laboratory in the United States by G. Buchi in 1966. A patent to treat human patients with Ibogaine for drug addiction was awarded to Howard Lotsof in 1985. In 1988 and again in 1994, Lotsof’s claims were confirmed in rat studies conducted by Michailo Dzoljic, et al.
Ibogaine is a mild hallucinogenic and is currently classified as a Schedule I illegal drug in the United States, despite repeated evidence of its medicinal benefits and lack of addictive nature. Many forms of Ibogaine exist, especially since it has become possible to synthetically produce it. Ibogaine hydrochloride (HCL) is widely considered the purest form of Ibogaine. Ibogaine HCL is what Ibogaine Central treatment centers administer to their clients.
Mechanism of Ibogaine Treatment for Opiate Addiction
Unlike typical medication employed to remedy opiate and other drug addictions, Ibogaine treatment does not just attenuate the addiction, nor does it replace the addictive drug. Patients who undergo Ibogaine treatment will not begin craving Ibogaine and then be slowly weaned off it, as is the case when using Methadone, Suboxone, Buprenorphine, or LAAM. In most cases, Ibogaine treatment eliminates opiate and other drug addiction cravings and withdrawal symptoms entirely.
Ibogaine is part of a group of substances called “excitatory amino acid receptor antagonists”. Another name for this class of chemical is “glutamate receptor antagonist”.
These “antennae”, glutamate receptors, are part of a class of protein molecules that receive chemical signals from outside of a brain cell, mainly through glutamate, either naturally from within the human body or from a drug, such as an opiate. Glutamate is an acid that functions as the body’s most prevalent and most important brain signal carrier (neurotransmitter). It is especially abundant in the brain and is vital to healthy brain and body function.
In layperson’s terms, all this means is that Ibogaine binds and blocks certain brain receptors, called glutamate receptors, which act as antennae of sorts for the brain, looking for signals from the body and from substances such as opiates and other drugs. This is what causes cravings as opiates leave the body. The brain is looking for the drug but cannot find it.
When glutamate is blocked by Ibogaine from carrying signals to glutamate receptors, by surrounding the neurotransmitters responsible for sending pleasure/pain and other signals to the brain, the patient stops craving the opiate or other substances. They will also experience few, if any, withdrawal symptoms once Ibogaine has been administered.
How the Ibogaine Opiate Addiction Treatment Process Works
Laboratories isolate Ibogaine from the bark of the Iboga shrub, then further purify it, usually with hydrochloride. The product is then shipped to doctor’s offices and treatment centers where it is administered to patients. The manner in which Ibogaine is administered depends on the type and amount of drug from which a client is detoxifying. Below are the phases of Ibogaine treatment in targeting opiate addiction with Ibogaine.
Phase I: Pre-Care
An Ibogaine Central treatment center representative will first enroll patients in pre-care. In the pre-care phase, the patient learns about Ibogaine treatment and opiate addiction and is assigned to a Recovery Coach. Ibogaine Central treatment centers also employ Ibogaine Guidance Specialists, who will have additional meetings and assignments for the patient prior to their opioid addiction-specific Ibogaine treatment. The Recovery Coach and Ibogaine Guidance Specialists will meet with the patient on a regular basis for several weeks prior to treatment.
Phase II: Medical Preparation for Ibogaine Treatment
Medical evaluation by certified medical professionals prior to Ibogaine treatment is imperative due to Ibogaine physical and mental health risks. During the pre-assessment, a doctor will perform a physical test on the client, and medical professionals will perform an EKG and a complete blood workup, including drug screening. Drug screening is important so that treatment centers can evaluate the level and type of drugs in a patient’s system both before and after Ibogaine administration. Patients who are not stable and who are suffering severe withdrawal symptoms from opiates will be stabilized during this phase.
Patients will also undergo counseling and education during Phase II, learning what to expect during an Ibogaine treatment for opiate addiction, how Ibogaine treatment works, and what to expect before, during, and after treatment. Once everything in Phase II has been accomplished, the patient is ready to be moved to a private Ibogaine treatment center detox for detoxification, further preparation, and Ibogaine administration.
Phase III: Final Preparation, Ibogaine Administration
Once clients arrive at Ibogaine Central’s private Ibogaine detox center, they will be assigned a medical team who will complete the treatment orientation process. Each client will be assigned an Ibogaine facilitator, a caregiver, a nurse, and two doctors. These are the professionals who will be involved in all Phase III activities, including the administration of Ibogaine.
If the patient has been given medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, their last dose will be administered eight hours prior to being given Ibogaine (in pill form). Approximately two hours prior to Ibogaine administration, the client’s Ibogaine facilitator will practice meditation and breathing exercises to prepare them for their Ibogaine experience.
Prior to receiving intravenous (IV) fluids to ensure adequate hydration, patients will meet once more with their assigned medical team. A test dose of Ibogaine HCL is administered at approximately eight o’clock in the evening, followed by a second dose thirty minutes later, provide the patient responds well to the test dose. The second dose is only administered at the discretion of the client’s assigned physician.
The next eight to twelve hours are spent mostly sitting or lying down. During this time, the patient may hallucinate while the Ibogaine detoxifies their body. Other side effects may include sleepiness or confusion. Ibogaine does come with many potential side effects and risks, all of which are covered extensively during Phases I and II of the Ibogaine treatment process and can be mitigated with proper medical attention.
Phase IV: Post-Ibogaine Administration
After Ibogaine administration and detoxification, most clients feel drained and are still experiencing after-effects of Ibogaine, which may last for as long as 24 hours. During this time, clients generally enjoy a home-cooked meal or snack, relax in the hot tub or in the California sun in the garden on the roof. Clients are permitted and encouraged to rest and relax as much as possible.
Clients undergo various forms of therapy at the recovery center during this phase. Therapy is a very important part of the follow-up processes, as are life changes. Clients may choose to enter an Ibogaine aftercare center or return to their homes, where they have made arrangements in advance, through Ibogaine Central’s services, for their new lifestyles and life choices.
Choose Ibogaine Central
Given that Ibogaine is not addictive and has been shown to successfully treat 90% of patients addicted to opiates, Ibogaine Central advocates for its removal from the list of Schedule I banned substances. Ibogaine does carry risks, but treatment centers staffed with trained medical professionals can help mitigate any of these risks. Side effects can be concerning to some patients but can also be alleviated or avoided through proper medical care.
Ibogaine Central treatment centers look forward to seeing happy faces full of renewed hope every week. Where conventional opiate treatment methods fail, Ibogaine works, time and time again. Ibogaine therapy just may be the answer to the country’s opiate and opioid epidemic.