Iboga Therapy

Iboga Therapy
Iboga Therapy Ibogaine

Iboga Therapy Ibogaine

Ibogaine is an alkaloid found in the rootbark of the shrub Tabernanthe Iboga, which grows in the West Central African rain forest.

It has shown consistently very good results in the treatment of various addictions, even of the worst kind like Heroin, Methamphetamine, Freebase Cocaine, Alcohol.

Although researched extensively, Ibogaine has not registered as medicine anywhere in the world.

Therefore medically qualified Ibogaine providers are rare and usually very expensive.

Nonetheless, we consider that everyone in need should have the opportunity for a safe iboga treatment.

Safety can only be guaranteed in a medical setting where the administration is accompanied by an experienced physician with adequate medical equipment and emergency medication.

Learn more about ibogaine therapy

Ibogaine Treatment

Not everybody can undergo an ibogaine treatment. 

A stress test EKG has to be performed to make sure one does not have a heart condition, which could lead to major complications during the treatment. 

If the patient is suffering from other medical conditions then additional checks need to be performed to ensure safety.

The physical side-effects of ibogaine usually include vomiting and ataxia (reduced muscle control).

Psychologically it puts one in a combination of waking and dream state which has several distinct stages (hypnagogic dream state).

It is often perceived as unpleasant by addicts as locked up memories get released during this state into the waking consciousness.

If performed by medically trained experts the administration of ibogaine is physically very safe.

Additionally, psychotherapeutic support is given during the treatment to ease the patient into the process.

The administration and observation is performed within 12h-30h and the patient is given a few days to rest after which they return home.

Most addicts do not have any more cravings for their former drug of addiction after ibogaine treatment, nor do they have any withdrawal symptoms. They are simply free again.

A kind of reset is performed. To put it in very simple terms this can be described as cleaning up the hardware and updating the software. 

Since it was discovered as an addiction treatment by accident, thousands of former addicts have found a way back to life with the help of Ibogaine.

Even with its far-reaching effects it is not a miracle cure and does not prevent addicts of going into relapse if they really want to do so.

But according to clinical studies, 65% of former addicts stay drug-free after their first Ibogaine experience due to its profoundness. No other scientifically-proven treatment has shown this high rate of success for stopping substance abuse.

Nonetheless, we do only provide safe and effective ibogaine treatment. Most addicts need their families support and/or other appropriate aftercare to integrate their renewed connection to themselves into everyday life.


Ibogaine has proven to effectively stop all substance addictions in the majority of patients

  • Opiate addiction
  • Cocaine addiction
  • Alcoholism
  • other chronic substance abuse

Ibogaine can also be very beneficial to former addicts. Unless clean for at least a year or more the patient often still experience cravings for their former drug of abuse. Much time has to pass to “forget” the drug.

These cravings are caused by deformed biochemical (downregulated or damaged) receptor sites in the body induced by the original drug of abuse and they only return to their original healthy state very slowly. 

Ibogaine can eliminate these cravings by increasing the bodies ability to repair nerve damage. Thus decreasing the risk of relapsing considerably.

As long as the former drug addict still has these hardwired desires for the drug it poses an additional risk of relapse, which is a common occurrence if combined with a stressful situation in everyday life.

Ibogaine and drug addiction

Ibogaine is often viewed either as a panacea for addiction or a dangerous substance. There are others that refuse the idea of the Ibogaine’s implementation for the simple reason that it|s an unlicensed medication. Some people view Ibogaine’s effectiveness in addiction treatment as a result of its psychoactive properties, which are indeed often very insightful, analogically to the LSD’s therapeutical effect on alcoholism.

What is true and what’s not?

Ibogaine has the ability to alleviate withdrawal symptoms from opiates and even suppress them completely.

Depending of course on the type and amount of opiates one abuse, Ibogaine dosage, and other variables. 

Ibogaine is able to eliminate the cravings for opiates and for most of the other drugs.

With craving we mean the chemically induced sense of emptiness which triggers the compulsive need to use the drug again, thus fulfilling this psychological void at least for a short amount of time.

The power of the craving is evident if we consider how many addicts successfully overcame several nightmarish cold turkeys only to relapse just days or weeks after every one of them.

How does the craving work?

The craving for drugs does not diminish linearly day after day in a regular way. The craving is constantly restimulated by outside stimuli from the environment.

There are addicts that in the intent to escape addiction, after having detoxed or having done “cold turkey” went abroad where they stayed a few months basically not missing their drug of choice almost at all.

After many months one former addict thought the danger of relapse is over, flew back home and immediately after the arrival, right at the airport started to feel an irresistible urge for the drug. The craving, they got back to their drug immediately the same day, unplanned. 

This is not an isolated accident, it is very common with heroin addicts.

On a subconscious level, the environment gets closely connected with the drug abuse and restimulates the craving for the drug all the time when the addict is in it or gets back into the same environment.

And to them, the environment can mean anything like their former flat, the town where they started to score and all places where drugs were used. All the fellow addicts, all the paraphernalia, everything!

The mere sight of all these things induces the craving. Therefore, when one is on its way of recovery from addiction it is always very important to change the environment as much as possible. Change the flat or town, get rid of friends on drugs, consider breaking up with own partner if still on drugs, change lifestyle in its broader sense.

What does Ibogaine deliver?

Our clients were often surprised not just by the reduction of the immediate withdrawal symptoms but also by the loss for a long time craving.

When going back home from a treatment they usually experienced no craving-inducing emotional response, which normally every single addict feels when coming back to their own place or any other drug-related environment. No such response even when looking at a fellow addict just taking drugs or looking at some paraphernalia. The impressions are usually very strong for the addict, psychologically. 

Nevertheless, Ibogaine’s power shouldn’t be overestimated or looked at in an unrealistic way. Ibogaine is only about freedom. The freedom to choose whether to get addicted again or stay clean without the constant compulsive urge to take drugs. The part of the population where we can expect a much lower ability to take advantage of the Ibogaine’s properties are teenagers, people with dual diagnoses or lower IQ. Basically all depends on one’s level of motivation.

As all say, ibogaine is not a simple cure for addiction. It must be understood that it’s “just” a cure for chemical dependency. The goal of ibogatherapy is “just” to give the addict his freedom of choice back.

There’s usually a substantial difference in the results achieved with just a single treatment and the results achieved with a second treatment given a few weeks after the first one. Usually it goes this way: 

The first treatment takes away just the withdrawals and approximately 80% to 100% of the cravings. The second treatment done one or few weeks later stabilizes and improves the results of the first treatment but usually delivers also a bigger psychological impact on both, the cognitive and emotional level.

The more physically addictive is the drug, the more important the follow-up treatments are.

For an effective and lasting result with heavy drug addicts at least two ibogaine treatments are recommended.

Unless the problem is strictly the physical dependency itself, aftercare is as important as the ibogaine treatment in order to achieve lasting results.


The patient is a straight person, leads a regular life, got a job, etc. Got addicted to oxycontin while treated for severe back pain. Would like to eliminate the addiction to Oxycontin and switch to a milder painkiller. Ibogaine would eliminate the dependency as such and basically, no aftercare should be necessary.

The patient is twenty years old, leads a street life, several years of addiction history, addictive personality, psychological issues, the partner is on drugs too. The ibogaine treatment would eliminate the cravings and withdrawal symptoms but the patient would most probably get back to drugs again unless some aftercare strategy is put in place.

Factors involved in addiction

Mind patterns

Everything that we keep on repeating in our lives tends to create a strong habit from which is difficult to escape. All the other factors here mentioned are strictly connected to this one. The junkie mind-pattern is not a lesser problem than the chemical dependency itself

“all these years I´ve lived like a junkie, I don´t know anything else and now I have to change everything from scratch!”


Drugs chemically induce a sense of emptiness in the one that abuses them. When the intake of the drug is regular the void is fulfilled rather quickly.

This void, unfortunately, tends to stay there for ages, when one tries to stay clean. Then the everyday struggle with cravings begins. Getting back to scoring is not really about wishing to get high again, it`s about avoiding to feel low. This void makes one not really feeling alive, makes everything around look “gray” and senseless.

Escape mechanisms

Everybody has got one´s own psychological escape mechanisms. These are human shortcuts in dealing with everyday stresses, frustrations, anxieties or times of crisis. It can be anything from chocolate to cigarettes, porn to alcohol and of course drugs.

For a junkie, even after years of sobriety, the ultimate release mechanism will always be the drug or drugs he used to abuse. Hard times come in all our lives and trigger our release mechanisms. These times can cause a relapse anytime. Even in a motivated, recovering addict.


The older and more mature the addicted individual is, the heavier the addiction weighs on him. At a certain age, the body doesn`t cope so well anymore with the excesses as it used to do once. One needs natural tranquillity, steadiness, a slower and more stable pace of life. Therefore the motivation for getting drug free and stay clean naturally rises with one`s own aging. Motivation supported by maturity.

In general, the most difficult category are teenagers, as far as combating addiction is concerned. The combination of addiction and young age-related immaturity is the most unlucky one.

dangerous social environment

There`s no real friendship in the world of drugs. Consciously or not, addicts would initiate various forms of psychological pressure on the one that would try to become addiction free. If still willing to hang up with his addicted friends. They will not fully accept him till he`ll be one of them again. For many, this is a considerable obstacle on the way to freedom from drugs.

“All my friends are junkies. If I won’t be a junkie anymore I`ll lose them all?”


There are over 300+ published scientific studies on ibogaine at the U.S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, called PubMed 

Here is a small selection:

The ibogaine medical subculture 2007


Aim of the study: Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive indole alkaloid that is used to treat substance-related disorders in a global medical subculture, and is of interest as an ethnopharmacological prototype for experimental investigation and possible rational pharmaceutical development.

The subculture is also significant for risks due to the lack of clinical and pharmaceutical standards. This study describes the ibogaine medical subculture and presents quantitative data regarding treatment and the purpose for which individuals have taken ibogaine. 

Materials and methods: All identified ibogaine “scenes” (defined as a provider in an associated setting) apart from the Bwiti religion in Africa were studied with intensive interviewing, review of the grey literature including the Internet, and the systematic collection of quantitative data.

Results: Analysis of ethnographic data yielded a typology of ibogaine scenes, “medical model”, “lay provider/treatment guide”, “activist/self-help”, and “religious/spiritual”. An estimated 3414 individuals had taken ibogaine as of February 2006, a fourfold increase relative to 5 years earlier, with 68% of the total having taken it for the treatment of a substance-related disorder, and 53% specifically for opioid withdrawal.

Conclusions: Opioid withdrawal is the most common reason for which individuals took ibogaine. The focus on opioid withdrawal in the ibogaine subculture distinguishes ibogaine from other agents commonly termed “psychedelics”, and is consistent with experimental research and case series evidence indicating a significant pharmacologically mediated effect of ibogaine in opioid withdrawal.

Download the full study:  the ibogaine medical subculture

Treatment of Acute Opioid Withdrawal with Ibogaine 1999


The outcomes with respect to opioid withdrawal signs and drug-seeking behavior following ibogaine treatment are summarized in Table 2. Twenty-five (76%) of the patients had no signs or subjective complaints at 24 and 48 hours and did not seek to obtain or attempt to use opioids for at least 72 hours after the initial dose of ibogaine. The reported onset of relief of symptoms was rapid, within 1 to 3 hours for these patients, many of whom were already at least mildly symptomatic from having abstained from opioid use overnight prior to the morning of the ibogaine treatment.

An additional patient was noted to have sweating at 24 hours but not at 48 hours post-treatment and did not seek, obtain, or attempt to use opioids within 72 hours post-treatment. Another patient had chills that were present at 24 hours and 48 hours but nonetheless did not seek to obtain or use opioids for at least 72 hours post-treatment. This particular patient was using 1 gram of heroin intravenously daily and received an ibogaine dose of 25 mg/kg.

Four patients appeared to achieve resolution of opioid withdrawal, as judged by an absence of signs and subjective symptoms at 24 and 48 hours, but nonetheless returned immediately to opioid use within 72 hours. Two of these subjects, males aged 26 and 20, explicitly acknowledged a continued interest in pursuing a heroin-centered lifestyle despite the apparent elimination of the signs and symptoms of their opioid withdrawal. These two individuals received doses of only 8 mg/kg, and they were each using approximately only 0.1 grams per day of heroin.

The two other individuals who relapsed immediately to continued heroin use, despite the apparent resolution of the opioid withdrawal syndrome, were both 27-year-old males who were using approximately 0.4 grams and 0.75 grams of heroin a day and received 23 and 25 mg/kg of ibogaine, respectively. The only patient with clear objective signs and subjective complaints of opioid withdrawal following ibogaine treatment was a 27-year-old female who used an average of 0.4 grams of heroin a day intravenously and received 10 mg/kg of ibogaine.

This case is the only one in which ibogaine did not appear to provide significant relief from the opioid withdrawal syndrome, as this patient complained of nausea, chills, muscle aches, and was observed to be sweating with dilated pupils. This patient left the treatment environment and used heroin approximately 8 hours after the administration of ibogaine. The failure of ibogaine in this particular case was due to an inadequate dosage regarding the patient’s level of opioid dependence.

Download the full study:  Treatment of Acute Opioid Withdrawal with Ibogaine

The Need for Ibogaine in Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment 2011


The rate of drug and alcohol addiction in the United States is alarming, and it costs society billions of dollars every year with no end in sight. Treating drug and alcohol addicts with ibogaine promises the real possibility of substantially lowering the costs shifted to society by drug and alcohol abuse.

In a world where drug addiction is treated as a crime, addicts who have been in and out of rehab and prison, have no chance of overcoming their addictions or living a functional life. If society is ever to make progress in addressing the substance abuse issues that currently run rampant, it must begin treating drug addiction as the illness it is. 

Punishing drug addicts has not worked, as evidenced by the high recidivism rate of drug offenders, and the current treatment models available for substance abusers, which either replace one drug with another or demand abstinence from drug use altogether, are rarely effective, as again proven by the high rate of relapse. Ibogaine may well be a viable answer to substance abuse problems in the United States, but, as the law currently stands, it is barred from being a viable option. Society must be willing to at least seriously explore a treatment that could solve these issues. Ibogaine has great potential and could be one of the answers to winning the War on Drugs. As ibogaine is not addictive and has great medical value, it should be removed from the list of Schedule I controlled substances and reclassified as a Schedule II controlled substance. If, after the controlled substance schedule classification issue is addressed, pharmaceutical companies are unwilling to fund clinical studies on ibogaine, society should demand public funding of these much-needed studies. These clinical studies could inevitably lead to the legalization of ibogaine for medical use, which could, in turn, substantially decrease the cost of drug treatments, as well the costs of drug-related crime and incarceration costs associated with substance abuse. If the federal government shirks this responsibility, the states should decriminalize ibogaine and allow physicians and psychiatrists to treat addicts without fear of incarceration or loss of their medical license. 

Although ibogaine is not a cure for drug and alcohol addiction, the available studies and patient accounts establish that it opens a window of opportunity that would not otherwise exist with regard to treating addiction.

This window of opportunity allows an addict to begin psychotherapy without physical dependence, greatly increasing the chances of continued sobriety.

For many addicts, ibogaine may be the only hope of recovery. If the law does not change, these addicts may never have the opportunity to regain control of their lives, custody of their children, or even a warm place to call home.

Download the full study:  Treatment of Acute Opioid Withdrawal with Ibogaine

History of Ibogaine

The discovery that ibogaine could block drug withdrawal is usually credited To Howard S. Lotsof

1962 he was a NewYork based heroin addict who took ibogaine in a high dose, hoping for recreational value.

The ensuing effects were quite unpleasant for him. After 30 hours when the trip ended he swore never to take ibogaine again, as it does not have much recreational value.

Although being a daily heroin user until the day before he took Ibogaine, he discovered that he is lacking any withdrawal symptoms.

Subsequent casual experimentation revealed that this effect was replicated for other heroin users. Some 20 years later, Lotsof returned to his discovery and set about trying to bring it to the market. He formed a company, NDA International, obtained patents for the use of ibogaine in the treatment of addiction, under the name Antabuse, and began to carry out treatments to better evaluate the drug’s potential.

By this time, however, ibogaine had been made a Schedule 1 restricted substance in the USA. Consequently, Lotsof chose to carry out experimental ibogaine treatments in Holland.

In 1991 the US National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), impressed by case reports and animal studies, began studying ibogaine with a view to evaluating its safety and creating treatment protocols.

In 1993 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who oversee the development of new drugs approved clinical trials with ibogaine, to be carried out by Dr. Deborah Mash of the University of Miami School of Medicine, on behalf of Howard Lotsof’s corporation, NDA International.

Up to this point, the development of ibogaine had been proceeding smoothly, But suddenly went sour. The death of a young female heroin addict during treatment in Holland brought an abrupt end to the Dutch project. A subsequent inquest did not find the project organizers guilty of negligence, but the lack of scientific knowledge about the effects of ibogaine hindered the establishment of the actual cause of death, though it was believed that she may have surreptitiously smoked opiates during treatment.

The approved clinical trials commenced, but contractual and funding problems that arose between NDA International and the University of Miami brought them to a close before completion, (note that the drug’s safety was not an issue). A lengthy legal battle between the two ensued, and developmental work came to a standstill.

In March 1995, after several years spent progressively becoming more interested in ibogaine, a review committee at NIDA suddenly decided to suspend further activity with the drug, apparently having been influenced by critical opinions from pharmaceutical industry representatives. Officially it was reported that the death in Holland was of concern and that the government agency was disappointed that ibogaine was only shown to keep people off drugs for a period of months, not permanently. Howard Lotsof has subsequently pointed out that the death, whilst tragic, was likely caused by opiate use, and, with regard to the second point, that any drug that could put, say, cancer or AIDS into complete remission for a period of months would be being developed as a matter of national urgency.