Detoxification Program Details
The detoxification therapy program is a 5 day long program that generally begins on a Monday afternoon and ends the following Friday afternoon (though it may be up to 7 to 10 days long for high-dose methadone dependent individuals - click here for more info).
- When you arrive you will be introduced to our staff and given a tour of the facility. You will have an opportunity to ask any questions about what you may expect, fill out a consent form and complete some questionnaires. We will then perform baseline vitals tests - blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. After this you will have time to center yourself and prepare for the ibogaine session with activities such as selecting music, meditating, stretching or anything that helps you to feel comfortable, relaxed and grounded.
- When it has been established that enough time has passed since the last dose of the substance you are detoxifying from has left your system (click here for more details) we will check your vitals again and then we will begin by administering a test dose of ibogaine. This test dose will alert us to any potential reaction or contraindication and lasts approximately one hour. During this time we will facilitate a simple intention-setting ceremony where you will have the opportunity to communicate and reflect upon your reasons and goals for the outcomes of the therapy.
- If all goes well with the test dose, we will then administer the remaining full dose of ibogaine in capsules (click here for more info about dosage). We will continue to monitor your vital signs throughout.
- Effects begin 45 minutes to 3 hours after administration. Withdrawal symptoms are significantly reduced/prevented shortly after onset as metabolism into nor-ibogaine occurs. The ibogaine and its metabolite will continue to work in your system and the entire experience may last between 24-36 hours (please take your time to learn more about ibogaine's effects). During the session, you are continuously supported and monitored by experienced, supportive, and caring facilitators.
- An Emergency Medical Responder (Paramedic or Registered Nurse) is present in case of an emergency. The EMR is present to observe, monitor vital signs and to provide care in case of a medical emergency. We are also very close to the local hospital where we have an established emergency protocol.
- As ibogaine can cause unsteadiness, sensitivity to light, and sometimes nausea, this period is usually spent lying down in a quiet, cozy, darkened room and you have the option of listening to gentle ambient music or the pre-selected music of your choice. The facilitators are available to provide gentle unobtrusive support and reassurance during the experience.
- Ibogaine can catalyze a powerful and sometimes profound effect on consciousness. Its effects have been likened to a lucid waking-dream experience. You may experience visions similar to dreams with your eyes open or closed and may find that these visions relate insight into your life and/or healing process. Click here to learn more about ibogaine's effects.
- After the initial effects have subsided, you will enter into a final stage of residual stimulation. At this point you may not be able to sleep for a period of time. It is important to take advantage of this time to think about your experience and examine what you may have learned from the process. We believe that it is during this time that you may find yourself in a more open and conscious state of awareness, able to examine yourself in a revealing and positive way. You will also notice that the majority of your withdrawal symptoms have been prevented.
- The remainder of your stay is for rest and integration. Instruction in light stretching or yoga will be provided, as are soothing baths, nature walks, art/music therapy, perusing through our library, nibbling from our organic garden, delicious organic meals and other therapeutic integrative activities. Amino acid therapy, a professional 1.5 hr massage, and an acupuncture session with a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor are included as part of the program.
- The staff is active in facilitating discussion about the experience and about integrating healthy factors into one's life in various ways through goal setting and positive lifestyle changes. You will participate in a relapse-prevention counseling session, discuss pain-management options with our specialist, meet the follow-up coordinator who will be phoning you after your therapy to offer support, and have a consultation with our herbalist and nutrition counselor.
- When you leave, you will be given a take-home package that includes your therapy notes, some information about post-ibogaine care (including optimizing your nutritional intake and exercise for better recovery and health), information with links to other support groups, long term treatment options that may be suitable for you, information for your family and friends about how to best support you on your healing path, contact information for us, a link to our online forum and information about the follow-up counseling sessions we will provide to you.
After Ibogaine Therapy
It is understood that taking the time to reflect on the ibogaine experience is a necessary part of the recovery process. Be gentle with yourself and others, listen to your heart, feed your body a healthy wholesome diet, keep an open mind, participate in a supportive community, participate in regular and fun physical activities and most importantly, value your life for the wonderful gift that it is.
Detoxification from high doses of Methadone:
Detoxification from long-term high doses of methadone may require a few extra days of supplemental low-dosing of ibogaine in order to comfortably and safely prevent any residual withdrawal symptoms that may occasionally remain after the initial dose of ibogaine. While the mechanisms of why residual symptoms may remain in heavy methadone users are still not completely understood, it is hypothesised that it is because methadone is a longer acting drug that is sequestered in fat and other organs of the body and is only gradually released. In any case, we have noticed some people need supplemental low doses of ibogaine to help bring the detoxification process to a better resolution. In general, this suffices to prevent most residual withdrawal symptoms. Please contact us to find out more about this.
Where possible, a switch to a shorter-acting opiate for at least 2 weeks before ibogaine therapy can help to facilitate a better detoxification and recovery from withdrawal.
Click here for a link to general information about methadone metabolism
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Waiting Period (after last dose)
The following waiting periods from these substances are required before any ingestion of ibogaine:
- Heroin - 12 hrs
- Morphine - 12 hrs
- Methadone - 24 hrs (switching to a shorter acting opiate at least 2 weeks prior to ibogaine is recommended)
- Cocaine and Crack - 10 hrs
- Alcohol - 5 days
- Buprenorphine/Suboxone - 2 weeks (switching to a shorter acting opiate is recommended)
- Methamphetamine/Amphetamine - 2 weeks
This waiting period is extremely important because ibogaine mixed with these substances can cause potentially serious adverse or problematic reactions. Therefore we must be sure that the substance has left your system. When you apply, you will be guided through this process and informed of what you will need to do.
The 5 day waiting period for alcohol is due to the potential for DT's (Delirium Tremens) a withdrawal related type of seizure syndrome that can occur with alcohol cessation. Those heavily dependent on alcohol should first consult with a doctor about ways to safely stop using alcohol. In some cases cessation of heavy alcohol use may require hospitalisation or treatment through a physician. DT's can be considered a medical emergency in some cases. Please contact us for more information about this.
It is also highly important that you inform us of any other substances you may be taking as they may also contraindicate with ibogaine. Substances such as anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, other legal and illegal drugs or medicines, some herbs such as Goldenseal and even grapefruit and tonic water might potentially cause adverse reactions.
Please inform us of everything you are taking. We have your health, wellbeing and safety in mind and will not judge you about your drug use, recreational habits or medicinal preferences. We will inform you about options like tapering from, reducing or stopping the use of any contraindicated substance. It is highly recommended however, that you do so with the assistance and consultation of your doctor, psychiatrist, pharmacist or therapist especially if it is a prescribed substance.
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The Iboga Therapy House administers a dose of 16-22 mg/kg orally in capsule form taking into account factors such as severity of addiction, the substance(s) from which a participant is detoxifying and what is known about their metabolism. Generally only a single dose will be given except in cases where supplemental low doses are needed (such as for detoxification from high-doses of methadone).
Heroin and other short-acting opiates: 16 -20 mgs/kg range
Methadone and other long-acting opiates: 19-22 mg/kg range
+ possibility of low supplemental doses given 1 or 2 days after the initial dose.
Cocaine/Crack: 16 -19 mgs/kg range
Alcohol: 16 -19 mgs/kg range
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