What is Ibogaine?

Ancient Roots, Cutting-Edge Ibogaine Addiction Treatment
Clear Sky Recovery, Ibogaine Molecule

Ibogaine refers to a naturally occurring psychoactive indole alkaloid. It is derived from the roots of the African rainforest shrub Tabernathe iboga and part of the Apocynaceae family. Traditionally used by the Bwiti people of Western Africa, ibogaine helped individuals curb fatigue, hunger, and thirst. It was also used as part of spiritual initiation ceremonies.

Ibogaine today is used across the western world. It often helps people alleviate their drug withdrawal symptoms, as well as reduce their drug cravings and lower their risk of relapse. Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed journals highlight the benefits of using ibogaine to treat addiction symptoms related to cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and opiate abuse.

Additionally, ibogaine for drug addiction treatment is garnering attention worldwide, due in part to the opioid epidemic that has harmed individuals of all ages. Addiction experts and researchers have published monographs that further illustrate the benefits of ibogaine to interrupt drug-dependence disorders..

So, what is ibogaine exactly, and how does it work? Questions persist about ibogaine for drug addiction therapy – but we’re here to answer those questions and explain why ibogaine is generating interest as a drug addiction treatment. That way, if you or someone you know is struggling with a drug addiction, you can determine if ibogaine therapy is the right option.

How Does Ibogaine Work?

Dr. Deborah Mash, one of the founders of Clear Sky Recovery, has published more than 30 monographs in peer-reviewed journals relating to ibogaine and its ability to interrupt drug-dependence disorders. Her research, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), highlights the effectiveness of ibogaine for drug addiction therapy. It has also led to the discovery of ibogaine’s metabolite, noribogaine.

Ibogaine connects with multiple neurotransmitter systems at the same time. It has selective affinity for the sigma-2 receptor commonly associated with cocaine addiction. Ibogaine also has a moderate affinity for opioid receptors, as well as a moderate-to-low affinity for serotonin receptors that modulate mood and social behaviors.

After first-pass metabolism, the body metabolizes ibogaine as noribogaine, a long-lasting metabolite that stays in the body for up to four months. Noribogaine makes serotonin readily available in the brain. In doing so, noribogaine helps improve mood and address symptoms associated with post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). 

What does all of this mean exactly? To put it simply: ibogaine provides a fast-acting, plant-based, and naturally occurring substance that interrupts drug addiction symptoms. Ibogaine helps a drug addict safely and effectively return to his or her pre-addicted state, too.

After an ibogaine detox, it is rare for a drug addict to experience any withdrawal symptoms or cravings. In fact, research indicates ibogaine alleviates up to 95% of symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. Ibogaine also helps significantly reduce cravings for alcohol and stimulants. 

Ibogaine detox puts a person in an oneirophrenic (dreamlike) state. At this point, an individual may experience dreamlike visions that seemingly have no relation to his or her everyday life. Keep in mind, however, that the ibogaine treatment experience varies based on the individual. Therefore, each ibogaine treatment is customized to ensure an individual can achieve the best-possible results.

Within about 30 to 45 minutes of ingesting ibogaine, an individual’s drug withdrawal symptoms begin to disappear. This precipitates the individual’s body starting to “reset.” and ensures an individual won’t have to worry about entering a oneirophrenic state and experience “tripping” while going through active withdrawal. The withdrawal process is over with before your journey begins.

Following the visionary stage of ibogaine treatment, an individual starts the “processing” phase. At this point, an individual evaluates his or her mental state, along with materials identified during the visionary stage of ibogaine therapy. This enables an individual to review his or her past behaviors and patterns from a new vantage point.

Ibogaine therapy ultimately drives meaningful change. The oneirophrenic state helps heal the subconscious, enabling a person to identify and address past trauma and feelings of guilt, shame, and fear associated with addiction. It then helps a person to identify why he or she was struggling with addiction in the first place and determine the best course of action to overcome addictive behaviors and patterns.

An ibogaine treatment is a deeply healing experience that provides unparalleled insights into the subconscious. It helps a person overcome self-hatred, as well as crippling emotions that otherwise slow down or prevent him or her from fully recovering from a drug addiction. It can produce a significant perspective shift.

Ibogaine therapy is transformative on its own, but it is only a single part of making a complete recovery from a drug addiction. For those who want to enjoy an addiction-free life, it is crucial to let go of old patterns, behaviors, and other factors that previously led to addiction. By reflecting on the past and planning for the future, an individual can get the most out of ibogaine therapy. Best of all, this individual can work with expert medical staff and support personnel to develop a long-term plan to overcome his or her drug addiction.

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Ibogaine Detox Explained

No two ibogaine detox treatments are identical. Although each ibogaine detox therapy program is tailored to a patient, the overall treatment process remains virtually the same for all patients.

The initial effects of ibogaine begin within 45 minutes of ingestion and continue for up to four hours. At first, a person may experience auditory and visual hallucinations that may feel like dreams. This individual may also find it difficult to walk or move around and experience skin tightness or numbness.

In the next phase of ibogaine treatment, an individual re-lives various experiences that reshaped his or her life. The phase lasts up to 20 hours and includes dreamlike experiences that provide insights into what shaped his or her addictive behaviors. It also provides unprecedented insights into an individual’s psyche.

Finally, the effects of ibogaine start to wear off. An individual may find it difficult to sleep at this time; insomnia sometimes persists for up to 24 hours after last use of ibogaine. Also, ibogaine after-effects and mild oneirophrenic visions or images may continue for up to 48 hours after last use.

At Clear Sky Recovery, we use ibogaine HCI, which eliminates withdrawal symptoms and decreases post-treatment cravings. Ibogaine HCI also minimizes the risk of PAWS, which begins shortly after withdrawal subsides and may last up to one month. Our ibogaine therapy program is fast, painless, and safe. Plus, our use of highly purified ibogaine hydrochloride ensures you can disrupt your addiction and reset your drug dependence in a safe, comfortable setting.

In addition to serving as a leading provider of ibogaine therapy, Clear Sky Recovery is backed by the only researcher in history to receive FDA-approval to test ibogaine on drug-dependent human subjects within the United States. This highlights the impact of our ibogaine treatments, as laws surrounding the medical use of ibogaine are often difficult to change.

Ibogaine for addiction treatment is widely used to treat drug addiction around the world as well. To date, ibogaine has helped patients all over the world treat their drug addiction symptoms, including: Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Brazil, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic.

What is the Success Rate of Ibogaine Treatment?

How Effective is Ibogaine vs. Conventional and Mainstream Detox Methodologies

Ibogaine Success Rate

 Like any drug addiction treatment, ibogaine therapy offers no guarantees. However, the ibogaine success rate for patients – particularly at top-of-the-line treatment facilities such as Clear Sky Recovery – indicates that the use of ibogaine for drug addiction is beneficial. And for people who are dealing with a drug addiction or know someone who is struggling with a drug addiction, ibogaine therapy may prove to be exceedingly valuable.

Oftentimes, ibogaine treatment statistics and success rates differ from those associated with traditional drug treatment programs and detoxification services. In some instances, traditional drug and alcohol rehab centers produce abysmal results, according to various experts. Oftentimes, the success rates associated with these centers is equivalent to the spontaneous drug addiction recovery rates associated with the general population.

Furthermore, few regulations are in place to monitor activities at traditional drug and alcohol rehab centers. This means drug and alcohol rehab centers may be owned and operated by everyday laypeople – not medical personnel. In certain instances, drug and alcohol rehab centers may make exorbitant claims but fail to help patients accomplish what is most important – fully recovering from a drug addiction.

Recently, peer-reviewed studies indicated the success rate of participants enrolled in the Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) 12-step recovery model ranged between 5-10%. In other words, only about one out of every 15 AA participants will fully recover from his or her drug addiction.

Meanwhile, a Cochrane Collaboration analysis of AA studies conducted between 1966 and 2005 revealed the following: “No experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA.” Cochrane also found that the traditional 12-step treatment program for drug addiction rarely delivered the desired results. And if a drug or alcohol rehab center follows this model to treat addictions, it may have a failure rate between 90-95%.

Drug addiction is a serious problem that affects individuals worldwide, but traditional drug and alcohol rehab centers are ineffective in treating the short- and long-term effects of addiction. Perhaps it is helpful to clearly understand why drug and alcohol addiction are major issues across the globe – as traditional drug and alcohol rehab centers struggle to help addicts, relapse becomes more likely than ever before. And as a result, drug addicts are more prone to continuously use illicit substances rather than treat their addictions. As statistics demonstrate, the vast majority of patients do not experience positive results utilizing the current paradigms.

Some drug addiction programs may lead individuals to substitute one addiction for another. For example, methadone maintenance programs and buprenorphine maintenance via Subutex and Suboxone help reduce heroin use. Although these programs are often considered to be successful, they do not address the root cause of a person’s addictive behaviors. Instead, in each of these programs, one addictive substance is replaced with another that is equally – or more – addictive. This occurs despite the fact that people enter methadone or buprenorphine maintenance programs with the goal of overcoming their addictions – not developing new ones. 

Ibogaine Drug Detox Statistics

Ibogaine Success © 2004, Dave Hunter. Used by Permission

 Ibogaine therapy is a drug addiction detox program unlike any other – and perhaps it is easy to understand why. This is due to the fact that ibogaine treatments are built upon a detoxification process that traditional drug rehab programs cannot match. 

With ibogaine, an individual undergoes a perspective shift. Ibogaine therapy contains both psychological and emotional components. It also provides effective detoxification from poly-substance abuse disorders – something that is absent from traditional drug rehab programs.

It is unrealistic to expect a drug addict to stay sober if he or she cannot undergo a successful detox. Fortunately, since ibogaine therapy uses a proven detox process, it empowers drug addicts to achieve long-lasting addiction relief.

Ibogaine therapy is not a substitution treatment, either. It does not replace one drug with another, and even a single ibogaine treatment session can deliver long-term results – without the need for a maintenance or replacement drug.

During an ibogaine treatment, a person’s body and brain are reset to a pre-addicted state. This allows a person to transition back to a pre-addicted state and take the necessary steps to avoid addictive behaviors going forward.

Clear Sky Recovery has been working with medically based ibogaine treatment and research protocols since 2003. In a study of 24 ibogaine patient treatment sessions, Dr. Mash reported 18 patients successfully treated their addictions. Of the remaining six patients in the study, they were able to overcome their addictions within two years of ibogaine therapy. The common link between all patients in this study: each had solid aftercare programs in place and engaged in individual and group therapy programs after undergoing ibogaine therapy.

Other studies highlight the effectiveness of ibogaine to reduce drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms, along with the value of follow-up treatments for drug addiction. In one ibogaine study of 30 patients, all patients avoided a drug relapse for at least two years following treatment.

Clear Sky Recovery’s Ibogaine Success Rate

At Clear Sky, we understand the importance of the holistic approach. We urge our patients and their families and friends to be ready for the life-changing ibogaine experience—and part of readiness means being willing to follow up with aftercare and support. Our patients leave the clinic with a plan for avoiding triggers and other problems in place, and this is one of the reasons for our high ibogaine success rate.

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The Ibogaine Experience

What to Expect From Your Ibogaine Trip

The ibogaine trip is one-of-a-kind – and for good reason. The experience varies based on the patient, and there is nothing an individual can do to prepare for an ibogaine trip.

During the ibogaine experience, a person’s drug addiction cravings are interrupted. Also, a person’s urges to use drugs are alleviated. Ibogaine then steers the mind in different directions, ensuring an individual can focus on various emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, and social patterns that guide his or her life.

Ibogaine forces a person to look inward and think about his or her activities, activities, and much more. The ibogaine experience takes a person to places and memories, enabling him or her to find out how different patterns shape addictive behaviors. As a result, the ibogaine experience allows a person to determine the root cause of his or her addictive behaviors, as well as the steps required to treat an addiction both now and in the future.

In some instances, an ibogaine trip becomes an outer-body experience. Some patients report that they can watch themselves during an ibogaine experience as if they are someone outside of their own bodies. This enables an individual to witness events in his or her life without re-living the emotions associated with these events. It also provides a powerful release, allowing a person to look at a painful event from an outside perspective and move on from fear, guilt, grief, or loss associated with the event.

Following an ibogaine experience, an individual can expect to develop a fresh perspective on his or her life. Ibogaine helps a person move on from painful emotions that otherwise led to a drug addiction. Conversely, ibogaine enables a person to find ways to express himself or herself in healthy, productive ways.

The Ibogaine Trip

The full ibogaine treatment cycle may last up to 48 hours, with the most dramatic part of this cycle taking place within the first eight hours of treatment. During the initial phase, an individual experience a dreamlike state. This individual’s withdrawal symptoms start to fade, and they disappear by the time he or she enters the dreamlike state. That way, an individual can feel the full effects of ibogaine treatment.

The body undergoes a full reset during ibogaine therapy, too. An individual may experience ataxia, which means a person may feel like he or she cannot move. Also, an individual may experience an “out-of-body” sensation, along with feeling nauseous and/or hearing a mild buzzing sound.  

Ibogaine Experience © 2005, Dave Hunter. Used by Permission

Ibogaine treatment experiences feel like dreams and provide insights into a person’s past. Or, these experiences may be revised versions of past events – for instance, an individual may have a chance to explore alternate versions of a past event and evaluate different outcomes. Ibogaine experiences may range from in-depth, complete scenes to disjointed, abstract events. Together, ibogaine experiences teach a person about the root cause of his or her drug addiction.

Following the initial phase of ibogaine therapy, a person begins a processing stage, which involves deep introspection. The length of the processing phase varies based on how quickly a person’s body metabolizes ibogaine. At the beginning of the processing phase, a person may feel tired and want to rest. He or she may also feel hungry. Meanwhile, a person’s mind will stay active, and an individual may experience an unmatched sense of clarity. This allows a person to make an actionable plan to change his or her life and overcome addictive behaviors.

Emerging on the Other Side, Post Ibogaine Trip

 After the first phases of ibogaine therapy, a person may feel well-rested, hungry, and calm. Some patients express relief following the initial phases of ibogaine therapy. Others express gratitude and optimism.

The post-ibogaine is an ideal time to make plans to remain clean and sober. It also allows a person to determine how he or she can remain fully supported throughout drug addiction recovery.

Aftercare is an essential tool to combat a drug addiction. The body resets itself on a cellular level as a person moves past an ibogaine experience, but it is still recovering from prolonged use of illicit substances. This means an individual may still be prone to withdrawal symptoms and relapse.

If an individual has been dependent on drug for many years, he or she needs to establish an effective aftercare plan following ibogaine treatment. This plan must prioritize an individual’s physical well-being, as well as co-occurring disorders he or she has been self-medicating. In doing so, the plan helps a person alleviate withdrawal symptoms before they escalate.   

Research to date shows most patients believe ibogaine therapy is a turning point in their efforts to beat a drug addiction. But the life-changing impact of ibogaine therapy is difficult to quantify with traditional data and statistics. Instead, ibogaine therapy patients measure their success in terms of drug abstinence post-treatment.

The choices individuals make following ibogaine therapy can have far-flung effects on the treatment’s success. If an individual prepares for life after ibogaine therapy, he or she can foster meaningful changes. This individual is well-equipped to stay healthy and avoid drug abuse in the months and years to come. He or she also can manage the urge to use drugs and maintain his or her sobriety for an extended period of time.

Iboga vs. Ibogaine

Iboga is more than a single plant, and it sometimes refers to Voacanga africana, Tabernanthe manji, and Tabernanthe iboga. For hundreds of years, the aforementioned plants have been used in initiation and coming-of-age ceremonies across various African cultures. During these ceremonies, a large piece of root bark may be consumed to mark a rite of passage. Or, small amounts of the plants were consumed as part of hunting and healing ceremonies.

Traditionally, the ingestion of large amounts of iboga root bark was used to deliver a psychoactive effect. It also caused myriad side effects, such as gastric distress, nausea, and vomiting. The end results were a “purging” experience similar to what an individual may experience with Ayahuasca, a spiritual medicine used during ceremonies performed by indigenous people of the Amazon basin.

The result of iboga consumption is less than ideal when used in a clinical setting. If a drug-dependent individual ingests iboga with the hopes of overcoming an addiction, this individual may find it difficult to break a pattern of drug abuse. As such, ibogaine – not iboga – is often used to address drug addiction. 

Iboga inspired art by Chor Boogie (Used by Permission)

Ibogaine is one of several active alkaloids found in various plants used in traditional ceremonies across African cultures – in fact, ibogaine is one of at least 11 active compounds found in different iboga species. Some of these compounds, such as tabernanthine, have similar properties to ibogaine. But other compounds fail to provide the same level of effectiveness to treat drug addiction as ibogaine. There is also no scientific research to indicate that iboga compounds outside of ibogaine can help individuals alleviate their drug addiction symptoms. Perhaps most important, some of the compounds in iboga may actually harm a person while he or she is undergoing ibogaine treatment for drug addiction.

The spiritual initiation ceremonies and practices of traditional African cultures are both interesting and enlightening. But for individuals dealing with drug addiction, it is important to remember how ibogaine is used today.

With ibogaine therapy for drug addiction, merely consuming ibogaine is insufficient. Conversely, an individual must participate in ibogaine treatment as part of a medically supervised treatment program. Otherwise, an individual is unlikely to get the support he or she needs to overcome a drug addiction. This individual also puts himself or herself at risk of adverse side effects.

During a clinically monitored ibogaine therapy program, an individual can use ibogaine hydrochloride. Research published in peer-reviewed monographs highlights the safety and effectiveness of ibogaine HCI to treat drug addiction.

At Clear Sky Recovery, when we use the term “ibogaine” we are referring to ibogaine HCI, the “active ingredient found in our ibogaine. Ibogaine HCI is the active ingredient in our ibogaine, and it interrupts drug-dependence disorders. We also use 99.8% pure ibogaine HCI produced in a cGMP labs; this form of ibogaine appears as all-white crystals.

Additionally, we use comprehensive safety protocols with all of our ibogaine therapy programs. We strive to ensure that each patient receives a safe amount of ibogaine during treatment. As such, we use multiple, staggered doses of ibogaine, including an initial “flood” dose based on a patient’s body weight. The first flood dose is then followed by two additional ibogaine booster doses; the booster doses eliminate residual withdrawal effects.

With a patient’s final dose of ibogaine, we offer patients the option of ibogaine HCI or Tabernanthe iboga total alkaloid (TA) extract. Regardless of the option a patient selects, we administer the final treatment in a medically monitored environment.

Our goal is to ensure that each patient is physically stable and capable of maximizing the benefits of ibogaine therapy. To accomplish our goal, we maintain constant dialogue with our patients. We are happy to discuss ibogaine therapy and respond to patients’ concerns or questions at any point during treatment. Plus, we allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about our patients. This allows us to tailor a custom ibogaine treatment to each of our patients.

Choose Clear Sky Recovery for Ibogaine Therapy

Clear Sky Recovery today offers ibogaine therapy to treat a variety of drug addictions, including:

  • Heroin: Our ibogaine therapy program is designed to eliminate the painful and long-lasting symptoms commonly associated with heroin withdrawal.
  • Cocaine and Crack: Ibogaine has been proven to be an effective treatment for individuals struggling with cocaine or crack cravings.
  • Methadone: Ibogaine helps people avoid the dangers of methadone, a highly addictive substance that is often used to treat heroin and opiate addiction.
  • OxyCodone and OxyContin: Ibogaine helps reduce dependence on OxyCodone and OxyContin, two of the most commonly abused opioid pain relievers in the United States.
  • Buprenorphine: Ibogaine therapy has been shown to mitigate up to 95% of the withdrawal symptoms associated with buprenorphine abuse.
  • Methamphetamine: Ibogaine therapy helps individuals combat anxiety, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with methamphetamine comedown.
  • Alcohol: Ibogaine helps block alcohol cravings, leading to reduced alcohol consumption over time.
  • Adderrall: Ibogaine ensures an individual can detox from an Adderrall addiction and minimize the impact of PAWS.

Clear Sky Recovery offers extensive support throughout an ibogaine therapy program. When a person enters an ibogaine treatment program, a complete medical assessment is performed. An individual also meets with an expert team of medical professionals who learn about his or her treatment goals. Next, ibogaine therapy is administered in a comfortable setting, and it is performed under medical supervision. After ibogaine therapy is finished, an individual then receives guidance so he or she can develop and maintain a drug-free life.

The Clear Sky Recovery team is happy to discuss ibogaine therapy and provide insights into all aspects of treatment. We want to help people dealing with drug addiction overcome their addictive behaviors, and we are ready to assist these individuals in any way we can. Thus, if you or someone you know is considering ibogaine therapy for drug addiction treatment, we are prepared to help.

Ibogaine therapy from Clear Sky Recovery may help an individual permanently beat his or her drug addiction. To learn more, please contact us today at 305.901.5371.

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