Last Updated on February 12, 2018 by Dr. Alberto Solà

Ibogaine Treatment and Early Recovery

Although we entered the 21st century a while ago, most conventional wisdom in addiction treatment still categorizes drug dependence as a chronic, progressive, irreversible, relapsing disease, which cannot be cured and at best the person suffering from this condition can experience periods of stability where a locus of control is present, which allows better decision-making until the next, nearly-inevitable relapse.

Categorizing someone as an addict for life, with a mysterious illness which to many researchers in the 21st century appears to be completely iatrogenic in origin — read: you don’t actually have a “disease” but your “addiction treatment” has helped you arrive at the understanding that you’re sick for life — is less than helpful. It’s exactly the opposite of being empowering and positive, and instead locks you forever into a mindset of, hello my name is _____ and I’m an addict!

Being realistic in the very early stages of recovery any group support you can get, is helpful and potentially positive, if you able to take the advice given, and “take what you find useful and leave the rest.” Even if all that you find useful are the coffee, donuts, and commiserating in the parking lot while chain-smoking cigarettes. It’s alright, you’re not out there doing your drug of choice, so any actions you’re taking, which do not revolve around getting high, are positive steps in the right direction.

The problem is that this headspace is usually not conducive to long-term sobriety, and being real, it’s kind of a downer filling your head with negative thoughts and then going through life with all these labels in orbit around your headspace.

Catching a mysterious disease, is not a necessary component of recovery. Neither is being powerless or keeping unquantifiable impulses at bay by religiously attending 12-step meetings. Whatever works is great, but after getting on your feet and building up a foundation of some “clean time,” it’s a good idea to keep learning, and choose new and better ways to define yourself and what your goals might be. “Sobriety” itself is a very nebulous concept, which doesn’t really take into account all the drugs that people take on a daily basis without ever thinking about the fact that yes, that aspirin you’re about to take for your headache, is a drug.

Prelude to Recovery

Most people who are seeking treatment for drug dependance, are doing so because they have to. At the point they enter treatment, they are running out of options. The choice to begin the journey of recovery often amounts to no more than starting to crawl in the right direction an inch at a time and make whatever minor changes are possible, to get yourself through the doors of a detox. Destroyed relationships, broken marriages and families, financial losses, career suicide, and legal problems wherein your medical condition runs into and impacts with the legal system resulting in DUI and drug arrests, is the norm, rather than the exception.

People have a lot of problems. Ibogaine treatment is an exceptional solution to some of them, but it absolutely will not hand you a brand new life where everything is perfect forever and a handy personal force-field that keeps the drugs away from you. There’s a lot of work involved in staying clean, which for more people requires some form of aftercare if maintaining abstinence from addictive substances is your overall goal and reason for entering drug detox treatment in the first place.

Your life is a wreck. You are here. It’s difficult to start re-assembling all the pieces on your own. Aftercare, individual and group therapy, a support system that works for you, and if deemed necessary by your clinician, medication for your co-occurring disorders, are all important pieces which need to be present while you’re rebuilding your foundation and reinventing yourself.

Pushing the Fast-Forward Button

Ibogaine treatment is extremely effective at providing a gentle, pain-free detox from a wide spectrum of addictive molecules, including, but not limited to, opiates and opioids such as heroin, OxyContin, methadone, buprenorphine (Subutex and Suboxone); stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as alcohol. Ibogaine takes the extended process of detoxing and cleaning up, and compresses it into roughly a day’s worth of time. By the end of your journey, your drug dependence will have been eradicated, and you will no longer be addicted to whatever substances you are currently dependent on.

Additionally, ibogaine’s long-acting metabolite noribogaine will remain in your body for a period of roughly 2-4 months (depending on what your genetic makeup is, and how you metabolize ibogaine, as well as your body-fat levels). Noribogaine basically acts like a super-sticky long-acting form of Prozac, it occupies receptors, alleviates cravings, helps repopulate depleted dopamine receptors, and significantly reduces PAWS (post acute withdrawal syndrome).

After a successful ibogaine detox, your mind, body, and spirit, will be in a significantly better place, than you were a very short time ago. The initial, extremely difficult period of very early recovery, will not feel like pushing a 10 ton rock up a steep mountain. This doesn’t mean that it’ll be easy or fun all the time, but many obstacles in your path will have been removed.

It is extremely important to make use of this window of opportunity to the best of your ability to do so. Use the time that you’ve been given to work on building the strongest possible foundation for a new you, which you can have. Ibogaine’s effects will gradually fade away, until you reach the stage a few months later of being left with … yourself. Be kind, write yourself a positive script with a happy ending.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our admissions specialists if you’d like more information about ibogaine treatment and what it can do for your specific situation.