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What is Ibogaine?

Ibogaine is a psychedelic with prominent dreamlike effects, making it distinct from common psychedelics. It has historically been used as a stimulant at lower doses, but it’s most widely known for its high dose effects. For many people, the higher doses have been useful as a treatment for drug addiction. 

Ibogaine can be found in multiple plants, the most important of which is Tabernanthe iboga. The positive effects of Ibogaine include stimulation, euphoria, and spiritual and personal insight. Physical side effects include closed and open eye visuals, mood lifts, and greater sexual desire. It’s negative effects can include anxiety, insomnia, tremors, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, reduced muscular control, and hypo or hypertension. 

What is Ibogaine used for?

There are a few uses of the drug which have been notably important. First, at low doses, the drug functions as a somewhat recreational stimulant. It also has aphrodisiac qualities. People in areas like Cameroon used it to combat fatigue, hunger, and thirst. It was also taken to promote sexual activity and it was considered quite effective in that regard.

In Gabon and surrounding areas, Ibogaine is still taken for religious purposes. The drug puts people into perceived contact with entities, ancestors, and their own biographical memories. While not part of the same religious context, people outside of Africa take Ibogaine for similar reasons. It seems to fairly reliably bring up memories and provide a more objective overview of one’s life. This allows it to be taken for spiritual purposes and for personal insight. Not everyone experiences those effects, but a dreamlike autobiographical journey is more common with Ibogaine than with other psychedelics.

Do you have visuals on Ibogaine?

While you’re on Ibogaine, open eye visuals are normally minimal. Closed-eye effects are more pronounced. Some minor visual alterations may occur with your eyes open and then appear more intensely when you’re in a dark environment. You might see flashes of light or colours in your surroundings. You might also see minor psychedelic alterations.

Can Ibogaine be used for addiction therapy?

One of the most well-known uses for Ibogaine is the treatment of addiction. It seems to interrupt both the psychological and physical dependence, particularly with opioids. Ibogaine can also help with alcohol, cocaine, and other substance addictions. Based on the evidence we currently have, it does seem to alleviate withdrawal and craving for a week or two. There are some reports of Ibogaine changing someone’s attachment to drugs for months and even years after a single use, but those reports are less common. 

Following an Ibogaine session, aftercare is important in order to help with addiction. Aftercare could include additional Ibogaine use or other forms of addiction therapy. A single dose of Ibogaine is rarely a cure for addiction but it does help people enter a useful psychological state. The alleviation of withdrawal occurs around one hour after administration. This effect is seen for the majority of opioid dependent users. 

Why is Ibogaine a good option for addiction therapy?

Current methods of treating opioid addiction specifically include methadone or buprenorphine treatment, sometimes called opioid maintenance therapy. This treatment requires taking a replacement for opioids that doesn’t cause a high, and must be taken daily. After about five months in the program, 40% of people drop out. This incredibly high drop out rate means that it is essential for society to take a different approach towards addiction treatment. Ibogaine offers that possibility. 

The main benefit of Ibogaine as a treatment for opioid addiction is that it involves only a short duration of time. Unlike other common treatments, you do not need to take Ibogaine every day for the rest of your life. You can trip for a limited period of time, and work towards overcoming addiction. Of course, it is important to use Ibogaine concurrently with other addiction treatments if you choose to go that route. 

How long does it last?

Ibogaine lasts for 24 to 36 hours when taken orally, and begins working in about 45 minutes. Stimulation and mood changes can persist for another 12 hours. There are generally three distinct effect periods when a full hallucinogenic dose is taken. 

What is an Ibogaine trip like? 

The first period lasts for four to eight hours after administration. During this time, there are dreamlike visualizations which are strongest with eyes closed. It can feel like a detached form of lucid dreaming.The second period begins four to ten hours after administration and is characterized by cognitive evaluation. People tend to be focused on their lives and the experiences they had during the first period. This is when addicts are most likely to decide they should stop using their drug of choice. It is the most difficult period in terms of emotional response, and it lasts for eight to twenty hours. 

The third period includes some introspection and mood changes, but is largely made up of stimulation and insomnia. Users are awake for at least 24 hours, but they can normally sleep within 48 hours. Occasionally there will be more persistent insomnia, but it will subside within  week or so. 

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