The Cure for Heroin Addiction Remains Illegal in U.S, Many Seek Ibogaine Treatment Internationally

Ibogaine Treatment Reverts Patient to Pre-Addict Level by Reconstructing the Mind

A heavier burden awaits as the heroin epidemic continues to grow. When it comes to treatment, more often than not, rehab facilities and detox medications prove to under deliver. The rise in relapses and abuse of suboxone prompt users to discover the benefits of the iboga plant (Tabernanthe iboga) to free themselves from addiction – once and for all. Ibogaine treatment was deemed illegal in the U.S in 1967. Nearby countries such as Mexico and Canada provide legal and professional treatment.

Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance native to Central Africa. Those of the Bwiti religion were the first to utilize iboga during ceremonies to cleanse the spirit since ancient times. It’s recent popularity is credited to scientific researcher, Howard Lotsof, who accidentally came across ibogaine in 1962. A former addict himself, Lotsof admits to experiencing a lack of motivation to use heroin after ibogaine treatment. Lotsof later devoted his career toward learning more about the plant and is now seen as a catalyst toward ibogaine research.


Ibogaine differs from conventional treatments in the sense that it does more than mask the problem. Withdrawal symptoms are less severe. Ibogaine reconstructs the brain and provides chemical balance in the levels of dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and adrenaline. At the same time, patients combat inner psychological issues behind their drug dependency. After treatment, the addict reverts back to the novice level as they once were before substance abuse.

The Ibogaine Experience


It’s a three stage process. The patient first enters an acute dream-like stage, followed by an evaluative stage, and finally undergoes the simulation stage.


During the first stage, lasting 4 to 8 hours, approximately 75% of users enter a lucid awareness. Once the eyes shut, hallucinations occur and provide insight as to why the individual acts the way they do. Most of these visions stem from past events throughout one’s life. This stage can be physically intense and most will opt to lie down to prevent dizziness. 


Next is the second stage, lasting 8 to 20 hours, the patient reflects on specific memories that stemmed from the hallucinations. Here the power lies within how one is able to see things differently after revisiting past experiences. By no means is this a pleasant ride. Questions arise from painful memories. Ibogaine assists the approach in finding clarity toward moving forward in a constructive way.

In the final stage, approximately 20 to 72 hours, patients will often find it difficult to sleep. Attention is now shifted outwards to reality. This moment is crucial. Now the patient has an opportunity to cultivate and reconstruct their path from an honest place.


A second treatment is typically recommended after 6 months. Afterward, the patient has a better grasp on handling problems that once led them down the avenue of substance abuse.
The benefits and risks are just as equal with a mortality rate of 1 out of 300. It’s in the patient’s best interest to stop taking certain medications prior to treatment as a preventative measure against negative reactions.


Former addict, David Graham Scott, made a film about his experience with ibogaine and the freedom he found after treatment. Scott is just one out many who have benefited from a natural source after enduring multiple failures from conventional treatments.


The Future of Iboga


Aside from legal issues, deforestation proves to deepen the concern of a possible iboga shortage within the coming years.  The implementation of greenhouse technology might assist in sustaining the plant’s future.


In 2015, a bill was proposed in favor of ibogaine treatment in the U.S. To this current day, records show no votes have been taken. For now, patients will need to consult centers outside of the U.S such as Canada and Mexico.


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