How Does Ibogaine Treatment Work


People have been struggling with drug addiction for decades, but it’s also for decades that the traditional therapies haven’t been updated.

The inability to adjust the treatment to every patient’s needs, addiction, and specifics is one of the many reasons conventional therapy doesn’t work.

Detox is necessary for people with moderate to severe addiction. However, withdrawal symptoms are aggressive and cause patients to avoid professional help. Fortunately, new and gentler solutions come from natural substances and methods.

Natural detox is gentler on the body, but it also gives longer-lasting results than medical detox. Unlike medical detox, natural detox doesn’t lead to other addictions, becoming a safer and more efficient option for people with addictions.

What’s to say about ibogaine briefly?

Ibogaine is part of the psychoactive drug categories, causing hallucinogenic effects similar to those when using psilocybin or LSD. It’s an alkaloid that seems to be useful for people with drug addictions.

Some patients may experience slight anxiety or other short-term effects, but ibogaine is a reliable solution for addiction. As ibogaine is still illegal in some countries, the results of ibogaine are always challenging to study. Brazil is one country with no regulations on the use of ibogaine, which is typically used in addiction treatment.

More studies have concentrated on ibogaine’s efficiency in addiction treatment, especially in patients with addiction to methamphetamine, opioids, and even cocaine. A survey of patients abusing cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, and drugs revealed that they didn’t develop any severe adverse effects or fatalities after the administration of ibogaine. Moreover, patients using ibogaine just once didn’t use drugs or alcohol for 5.5 months. Patients who received ibogaine several times managed to stay away from substances for 8.4 months. 

The studies showed that several treatments helped the patients remain abstinent for a longer time. When ibogaine is used under physician monitoring, together with psychotherapy, it can help the patients restrain from abusing for more extended periods of time. There is also a minor risk for complications or fatalities. This kind of results only sustains the belief that ibogaine is a reliable and safe choice for people with opiate and non-opiate addictions.

Where is ibogaine coming from?

Anecdotal proof reveals that ibogaine, which is made from a plant growing in the African rainforest, will modify the brain chemistry so that the patient will no longer experience the withdrawal symptoms. There’s also the category of scientists who don’t believe in ibogaine’s abilities to end addiction. They consider that ibogaine instead stops the process of cravings for a while.

Does ibogaine treatment pose any risk for safety?

Taking ibogaine without professional supervision is never a good idea. Because a higher dose of ibogaine can cause cardiac arrest, you should always stay on the safe side and benefit from it at reputed treatment facilities that provide professional help for correct dosing, and in case something goes wrong.

A reliable center should ensure private rooms with private bathrooms so that every patient has the privacy he/she needs for treatment. A good number of staff members should watch over the patients 24/7, having medical education and experience to intervene at any moment.

What do the numbers say about the success rates?

Medical professionals who used ibogaine for people with methamphetamine addiction noted 50-80% success rates. The long-term recovery and relapse rates depend a lot on following/not following professional treatment, or doing it in a reliable rehab center.

Effective aftercare is fundamental for success, with doctors obtaining a 70-80% success rate with specialized treatment. People trying to quit meth who benefitted from ibogaine treatment but went back to the same environment where they had abused, presented an impressive 90% relapse rate. It’s because emotional connections and visual cues are more powerful on people with methamphetamine addiction compared to patients with opioid dependency.

Just like with every other therapy for addiction, ibogaine doesn’t give the same results for everyone. A 2012 study on patients with opioid dependence showed that 80% of patients relapsed in the first six months after taking ibogaine for just one time. 20% of patients were able to stay clean for more than six months, but less than a year. Only 13% of the patients managed to live a drug-free life for more than a year.

Even if some patients relapsed throughout the study, they took fewer opioid drugs compared to previous amounts. The first studies on ibogaine, back in 1983, mentioned that several treatment sessions would be necessary for best results. It seems that a patient would be able to live a drug-free life for three years after four ibogaine treatments. One session will keep one away from drugs for around six months.

How does ibogaine treatment work for people with addiction?

Ibogaine treatment is highly effective for people with opiates and opioids addiction, working as an opioid antagonist. Ibogaine will create molecules that connect to the opioid receptors in the central nervous system. They combine with serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain, causing a significant reduction in withdrawal symptoms. It also stops the cravings for the opioid and opiates.

At The Holistic Sanctuary, we believe that it can get the addicted brain to the “pre-addicted state,” taking the tolerance to first-time user levels. Patients will not feel the need to abuse the opiates or opioids for 3 to 6 months.

Ibogaine has benefits for people with alcohol addiction and dependency on other stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine. It can push the addicted person to make a dramatic lifestyle change, leading to new connections to one’s self and community. Ibogaine helps the patient become aware of the addiction and even access the trauma making one to abuse substances.

Many recognize ibogaine’s abilities to interrupt the addiction, eliminating cravings and withdrawal symptoms. With patients no longer experiencing withdrawal symptoms and cravings for several months, they can focus on creating new and healthy ways of coping with life’s many challenges.

Even though ibogaine isn’t a miracle worker for people with addiction, it can give patients some extra time to work on their self-discipline for later recovery.

Is ibogaine a solution when addressing depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues?

Ibogaine isn’t just a reliable tool for addiction treatment, but also for addressing PTSD and various mental health conditions. Dr.c. M. Anderson from the Harvard medical school highlights that ibogaine works with the help of several neurotransmitter systems, only to lead to a state of plasticity resembling the state of plasticity from the fetal development. It’s a major brain stage that will ease the consolidation of traumatic memories, the removal of permanent motor models connected to the addiction, and the reversal of irregular hemispheric functions.

Briefly put, ibogaine will generate conditions in the brain that are perfect for dealing with the physical pain at the deep cause of psychological health.

People who take ibogaine note intense and vivid periods of re-living their past and multiple hours of reflection and meditation afterward. People benefitting from ibogaine treatment revealed that facing and becoming aware of their past trauma helps them manage the injuries, which caused anxiety, depression, and PTSD. When confronting their demons, patients noted feeling more reliable and more able to accept pain in their life. Many described it to be like a freeing experience, and all emotions are valid. Negative thoughts and feelings play a specific role in one’s life, and avoiding the feelings only makes them more prominent. People taking ibogaine treatment slowly discover the beauty of life, even when dealing with negative emotions.

People dealing with depression described it as a deep state of disconnection from their senses and emotions, earlier selves, spiritual values and deep beliefs, other people, or nature. Like other entheogenics and psychedelics, ibogaine helps the patients reconnect to both the inside and outside world.


Even if ibogaine treatment is very promising and efficient for some, people should still choose comprehensive treatment at professional rehab centers. The team should include therapists, medical professionals, and counselors who have educational training and experience for providing ibogaine treatment and complete addiction treatment.  The path to recovery is long, and ibogaine treatment is just one of the many steps to take!

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