Ibogaine Treatment: Essential Information

Updated: Jul 4, 2018

Ibogaine can be an amazing tool to help facilitate recovery from addiction, but using it irresponsibly can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, ibogaine treatment should not be taken lightly, and preparing well is of paramount importance.

Jeremy Weate is the executive director of the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance (GITA), an organisation that looks after the rights of people undergoing ibogaine therapy and sets guidelines for all ibogaine treatment centres to follow.

“When choosing a treatment centre, one of the questions you need ask each clinic is whether or not they follow the GITA guidelines,” he says. These set the necessary safety standards in order to ensure no risks are taken during treatment and that patients are given the highest possible standard of care.

“In terms of the actual facility, you need to check that they have a medical doctor in-house, all the necessary equipment like an EKG machine, and that there are nurses available to continually measure your pulse and look after you. The medical team also needs to be ACLS-certified,” insists Weate.

The GITA guidelines also provide essential instructions for ibogaine clinics regarding how to conduct treatments in the safest and most effective way. For example, they explain how to help patients taper down and stabilise their drug use prior to treatment in order to minimise the dangers, with specific instructions for different types of drug (such as opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines and cocaine).

In addition to these concerns, anyone considering ibogaine treatment should make sure they are in the correct physical and psychological condition. “Firstly, it’s essential that you match our medical criteria,” says Wheate. “the number one thing is that your heart is strong, with no defects or irregularities. You also need to have your liver and kidneys tested so that we know your body is able to cope with taking ibogaine.”

Ibogaine places the body under significant strain, prolonging the phase of the heartbeat known as the QT interval. This can lead to major cardiac complications for those with heart defects, and several deaths have occurred as a result of people using ibogaine without taking the necessary precautions.

Similarly, those with elevated liver enzymes may be at risk when using ibogaine, as this can greatly amplify its effects.

“Psychological preparation is also vital before undergoing ibogaine treatment,” explains Weate. Developing the correct intentionality and understanding how to deal with the intense visionary experience generated by ibogaine are essential to the overall chances of achieving long-term recovery.

For more information about how to prepare psychologically for ibogaine treatment, contact us at info@ibogainecounselling.org or call us on +44 7873 331 882 or +44 7535 618 189.