The Ibogaine Dossier
The Ibogaine Dossier

NYU Conference on Ibogaine Nov 5-6, 1999

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The Ibogaine Dossier

The anecdotal reports on this page have not been verified by The Ibogaine Dossier.

An Ibogaine Experience

I am an alcoholic. It absolutely did not work. As for addicts, I was treated along with about 10 heroin addicts who also felt that it probably did not work for them. We were not allowed to visit much with either other so I have no idea how to reach those people once they got home. Addiction is addiction.

Alcoholism is definitely as bad as drug addiction - it's the same thing. I paid $10,000 to be treated. I received SHITTY medical/psychological attention. Many addicts have obsessive compulsive disorder. If you have any disorder, you don't want to take ibogaine. Disorders completely fuck up your "trip". I was told ibogaine was not a hallucinogen - bullshit. It's like acid times one million. I was also seeking "God in a pill" along with all of the other entheogen advocates. I saw God alright - I talked to him. And I was so sure it was real. But it wasn't. It wasn't an all-loving God. It was someone who fucked with me and scared the crap out of me. Some of the "addicts" became Jesus Christ and were crucified or had aliens rape them, etc., etc., etc.

This ibogaine list is wonderful for receiving all the glorious accounts of life changing experiences. I have some idea why you don't hear all the bad stuff - but I'm not completely sure I understand why more people aren't brave enough to speak up. I would say that ibogaine has one claim to fame that I actually witnessed - it does attenuate withdrawal from heroin. That is the "window of opportunity" everyone talks about. But I've had plenty of windows of opportunity to confront my addiction. They didn't work. The only thing that works is to QUIT. And everyone knows how difficult that is.

I spent over a year researching ibogaine. I left for treatment knowing how much I hated 12-step groups. One month after my treatment, I was on A.A's doorstep. Ibogaine worked for me for a month - you know why? Because it makes you so physically sick you can't even stand the thought of eating, much less drinking or doing drugs. The "visions/trip" were so excruciating I never wanted to be altered again. I felt I was near death during the trip because I was having trouble breathing (respiration was not monitored). "God" reminded me to breathe. The embarassment of paying such a price for a bogus deal. (I was told there was a 100% success rate with alcoholics). Those are the reasons I was able to go a month without a drink. And believe me, I needed some willpower to even get that much time.

I understand that there are people who believe ibogaine ended their respective addictions. Great! I would have loved the same results. But, it didn't work for me, and it didn't work for anyone else that I personally met who took it. It didn't "right" my brain chemistry. I'm on Prozac now. As a matter of fact, prescribing antidepressants and the like are part of the "treatment" with ibogaine. After you are given ibogaine, you are supposed to follow up with antidepressants and therapy. If ibogaine ended addictions, why in the hell would you need anything after it?! Think about that. All I'm saying is that addictions are TOUGH. And so far, there is no magic bullet - not even ibogaine. So until CREDIBLE test results are in, save your money, go to a 12-step program or some other program, and try to quit that way. If you decide to go for it, my prayers are with you, my thoughts are with you, and I wish you the best of luck.

Some Remarks

This person has some complaints on the Ibogaine therapy received. There are a number of issues that should be addressed. Ibogaine is a pharmacotherapy that requires skill in its administration and one that will be effected by the manner in which it is provided and the requirements placed on the patient as well as, the individual aspects brought to the treatment by the patient. While ibogaine is highly valuable in my opinion for a broad range of psychological conditions, many of the persons on this list are particularly interested in its use to treat addiction, chemical dependence or substance- related disorders; all terms that have been applied to the condition under discussion. For the sake of simplicity, let us use chemical dependence. Chemical dependence is rather specific and is exclusive of other conditions that may be related to it and I will be so generous as to let the reader choose whatever associated disorder they may like. Persons who are chemically dependent are as diverse as any other portion of the population. Some are physically well and some are not. Some suffer from fewer and less significant psychological disorders than others and some do not.

It should not be considered that ibogaine is a panacea for all associated disorders and some patients will require multiple treatments in order to overcome even "simple" chemical dependence. And, like Dr. Glick's rats, some patients will not overcome their requirement to self-administer their drug of choice, while some will after a second or a third or a fourth dose of Ibogaine.

Ibogaine is an experimental pharmacotherapy at a very early stage of development. It should be evaluated thoroughly and unless there is a sound medical reason in my opinion, should be withheld from no person in need.

Possibly if this person had been treated in a different environment the response may have been different and possibly not. For some clarity on the matter of ibogaine responses I will say from my own observation that both directed anger and learning disorders may provide less desirable results than either the patient or provider may wish for. However, Ibogaine is a breakthrough medication and both the medical community and potential patients should have the opportunity to evaluate it.

H.S. Lotsof
(Mr. Lotsof offers ibogaine treatment, but was not involved in this case.)

The patient replies:

Among others, here's my gripe: Ibogaine was "sold" to me and to others as a cure for addiction. It was also sold as a way to re-experience your childhood and life from AN EMOTIONALLY DETACHED perspective. It was sold to me as a drug which was not a hallucinogen (I'd already done plenty of acid in college and liked it but knew the physical toll.) It was also sold as a way to "right" your brain chemistry (which was causing you depression or addiction or any number of problems). I am not the only person who was told there was a 100% success rate with alcoholics.

When you are dealing with alcoholics and addicts, you are dealing with a group of very desperate people. Those like myself have tried everything to conquer the demons of addiction and have failed. So when someone "credible" tells you those things I listed above, you are going to beg, borrow and steal money to get treatment. Actually, I was told exactly that: 'beg, borrow, or steal - it's worth it.' I was also told the money would come back to me because treatment would turn me into such a productive person.

Treatment cost me $10,000 CASH. That's a lot of money folks. I wasn't told I would need 3 or 4 treatments ($30-40,000) to make ibogaine work.

I did not relive my childhood. My brain chemistry wasn't "righted". I returned a raging alcoholic and smoker. My "visions" were excruciating. You are NOT emotionally detached. My "visions" had nothing to do with my childhood. Ibogaine is most definitely a hallucinogen. Its physical toll was overwhelming. To say I received substandard care would be ridiculous - it was negligent care. However, the care is a SEPARATE issue from the drug. The drug did not do for me ANY of what it had been claimed to be able to do. And I witnessed many other people having the exact same reaction. I always say that the one claim to fame Ibogaine has is that it attenuated the withdrawal the heroin addicts were experiencing. And then recently, I talked to a heroin addict who told me the horrible sickness of withdrawal is basically over with within 4 days. The heroin and methadone addicts went cold turkey for 2 or 3 days before their treatment. Then they were in the "clinic" for 12-15 hours. So, I assume their detox would have been basically over, anyway.

I'm not trying to slam ibogaine at all. If it works for anyone, it is definitely a miracle drug. But, I think many people are misled. And I think it important that we all be absolutely honest about our experiences.

The Ibogaine Dossier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information on this page.

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