Staying Clean after Ibogaine Treatment

Going through an ibogaine treatment experience is often a pivotal event in a drug-dependent person’s life. What may have seemed unattainable and impossible a few days ago, is suddenly your newfound reality; your drug tolerance has been reset, you’ve experienced whatever visions ibogaine had in store for you, you’ve made it through the “grey day” downtime of post-ibogaine treatment, and you’ve begun a brand new life which doesn’t require constant doses of opioids just to remain normal and keep functioning.

At Clear Sky you will be participating in group activities as well as individualized therapy with our clinical psychologists who will work with you to help solidify your ibogaine aftercare plans.

Without overstating the situation, having a reasonable aftercare plan in place is critical to maintaining your newfound state of being drug-free. Attempting to navigate life’s challenges in a newly sober state can be difficult, especially if you’ve spent years, or decades, as a drug-dependent individual. Whatever your intentions are, and no matter how strong your willpower happens to be, you’re going to have to repeatedly face and overcome a plethora of situations which will test your ability to deal with life’s problems without resorting to self-medicating.

Ibogaine treatment is remarkably effective at helping drug-dependent individuals who had long ago lost all hope of ever getting clean, at obtaining a second, third, (or 50th) chance to change their lives. Unfortunately ibogaine is not a “magic bullet” which hands you a brand new life, it is an extraordinarily effective addiction interruptor which resets your tolerance to addictive drugs back to nothing, and provides a window of opportunity wherein ibogaine’s metabolite noribogaine is present in your system.

Form Positive Habits

Being a drug addict, in and of itself, is akin to having a full-time career. It’s extremely time-consuming participating in the endless cycle of obtaining and doing drugs. Depending on what drugs you’re addicted to, and to what lengths you must go in order to obtain them, as tiresome as the lifestyle associated with drug use becomes, it certainly isn’t boring, and it takes up a tremendous amount of time and emotional energy.

When you first step off the roller-coaster ride of active addiction, the elation you experience at no longer being drug-dependent and requiring constant doses of whatever substance you were addicted to, eventually becomes your new state of “normal,” and something that you start taking for granted. It’s important to plan ahead, so you have some kind of concept of what to do with yourself when the urge to use drugs rears up.

You don’t have to experience some devastating psychological event which causes you to reach for drugs and relapse; in truth relapse can be as simple as a solution to boredom, or the urge to experience your drug of choice, “just one more time.”

Having some kind of reasonable routine for taking care of yourself post-ibogaine is extremely important. Near the very top of your positive habits list, you should include some form of physical exercise; you’ll feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually, if you spend some time taking care of the basic foundation for your existence in the world: your body.

Hitting the gym or participating in yoga, martial arts, cycling, or any physical activity which you enjoy, provides you with a post-workout endorphin release which is highly similar to the high many people experience when doing their drug of choice. It’s much easier to stay sober, when you’re feeling good about yourself and the world in general, and no matter how bad a given situation gets, you’ll be able to face it and surmount the challenges that life throws at you, much easier if you’re participating in some form of physical exercise on a regular basis.

If you focus some of the time, energy and effort you used to expend on chasing and doing drugs, on taking care of your body physically, the rewards will be far greater than the small amount of time it takes to follow through on your self-care goals.

You Need Group and Individualized Support

Thoughts are things. Whatever script you want to write for yourself post-ibogaine, will have a profound impact on the rest of your life. If you decide to believe, and allow yourself to be programmed, with thoughts that fill your headspace with how powerless and diseased and flawed you are forever… then this is the reality you will create for yourself, and you’ll be staying clean just for now, one day at a time, forever. This line of thought seems kind of pointless and self defeating, when the same amount of energy could be focused on the positive aspects of what you’ve experienced, and coming to terms with the understanding that you are essentially whole, intact, and an important part of the universe we live in. Your flaws and problems, may be errors in perception and your own understanding, and your momentary inability to accept and process that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with you.

Whatever steps have brought you to this stage of your journey were necessary to get you here, they are however history. What happened in the past is done and over. There is nothing which is ever going to make all those things unhappen, but perpetually dwelling in the past, and re-experiencing negative emotions and psychological states, is not going to help you build a better future. Accept it. Process it. And let it go. Move on with your life.

This can be easier said then done, and in our extensive experience working with drug-dependent individuals, we’ve found that obtaining the support of a therapist whom you trust and feel safe and comfortable with, is extremely important. Additionally, some kind of group support post-ibogaine treatment is critical for most patients well being. You need to have people in your life who can help you maintain your resolve and stay committed to your recovery and yourself, during those times when your personal resolve is faltering.