Last Updated on December 9, 2017 by Dr. Alberto Solà

Ibogaine for addiction recovery can be like a miracle for many suffering from addictions, because it helps you transform your desire to get clean into a new reality. However, for a variety of reasons, not everyone considers ibogaine treatment to be any kind of miracle cure. In fact, in some settings, ibogaine treatment gets a downright bad reputation – but not for the reasons you might think.

Here are the five reasons why ibogaine treatment gets a bad reputation, and what they mean for people who want to beat their addictions.

Unsafe Ibogaine Treatment Centers

Just like a bad surgeon gives the profession a black eye, an unsafe ibogaine treatment center is a problem for the entire community. However, in the case of the treatment center, the problem is actually more serious. That’s because with an incompetent surgeon making mistakes, there is a legitimate medical board and licensure authority to point to, who reputable surgeons can rely on to distance their good work from those who aren’t following the rules.

For ibogaine treatment centers, there is no such regulatory authority or licensing board. There’s just bad publicity and internet marketing. The end result is that an unsafe ibogaine treatment center can cause extensive damage for other centers, no matter how impressive and safe their results are. Like the proverbial bad apple in the bunch, they ruin things for everyone – especially drug dependent individuals who are in need of help.

Ibogaine Treatment Centers Making Outrageous Claims

Almost as bad as unsafe ibogaine treatment centers are ibogaine treatment centers that make outrageous claims about what they can achieve. Again, even though these might be one or two outliers among a number of totally reputable options, centers that make ridiculous, unsupported claims about what ibogaine can do, muddy the waters for everyone who is looking for legitimate information about the treatment and its potential.

For example, ibogaine treatment centers have claimed that ibogaine cures Alzheimer’s disease, despite the complete lack of clinical evidence in support of this claim. (And while there is ongoing research with ibogaine and Parkinson’s disease which suggests that the treatment may have efficacy, there are as yet no published outcome studies.) There have also been claims about ibogaine curing cancer, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes – all false. Some centers have even claimed that ibogaine should be used as a nootropic drug to reverse or slow down aging.

The bottom line is that ibogaine’s proven use, as an addiction treatment, is extremely effective and has the data to back it up. False claims hurt everyone in the industry and the patients who need the treatment.

Ibogaine is a Psychedelic Drug

In the age of the War on Drugs, it’s no surprise that a psychedelic drug used in a therapeutic way would suffer from a bad reputation in many circles. Just looking at the hard-fought uphill battle for medical marijuana and the ongoing research into the use of psychedelics for the treatment of anxiety and depression reveals the cultural resistance in our culture to the use of any kind of “drug” as a therapeutic treatment. Add in the notion of a “psychedelic” and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a bad reputation in a treatment center.

Fortunately, this is a problem that facts have the power to cure, one person at a time. As ibogaine treatment helps more and more people regain their lives after years or even decades of time lost to drug use, more people will understand that this false equating of “psychedelic” with bad reputation is unproductive.

Ibogaine is Not Approved by the FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long been the seal of approval for medical treatments and drugs used therapeutically in the US, and ibogaine is not only lacking FDA approval as a therapeutic drug, but classified within the CSA (Controlled Substances Act) as a schedule I drug within the United States, just like heroin. Thus, the FDA has automatically “assigned” ibogaine treatment centers a bad reputation.

Pharmaceutical Companies do not Support Ibogaine Research

Perhaps the most important reason that ibogaine treatment centers get a bad reputation is that pharmaceutical companies have no interest in ibogaine, pure and simple. Ibogaine has the power to stop even the most serious addicts from taking things like Oxycontin and Oxycodone – medications that have made billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical industry.

Even if you attribute less ruthless motives to Big Pharma – and it’s not clear that you should – it’s important to remember: ibogaine isn’t a patentable drug that these companies can use to make money. Instead, they want addicts to use the existing tools we have for long-term drug treatment, which is a huge industry. For example, methadone maintenance can run up to hundreds of dollars per patient, per week, and addicted patients stay on it for months, years, and sometimes decades. It makes more financial sense for pharmaceutical companies to funnel their money into support of this type of “recovery” industry. Maintenance medications and substitution therapy are extraordinarily profitable.

When all is said and done, the purpose of a pharmaceutical company isn’t helping people or finding cures for diseases, in actuality their purpose is pretty much the same as every other large corporation: generating revenue for their shareholders.

The Reasons Behind the Reputation

When you uncover the reasons behind why ibogaine treatment gets a bad reputation, it all makes logical sense. The tragedy is that the people who are suffering the most are the people who are struggling with the pain of addiction, and their loved ones who are coping day to day, looking for answers.