JUNKe Life

Ibogaine… an alternative way to consider yourself as a dependant user
November 25, 2008, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Dope, Good Stuff

Ibogaine is touted by some advocates as a potential “cure” for drug dependency, particularly heroin addiction. I’ve always been quite skeptical when I read about this or that drug being championed as the new cure-all. I figure if something actually worked to cure heroin addiction that it would be widely known. After all, we’ve been suffering for more than a century when trying to kick an opiate habit and we’ve been searching high and low for some sort of painless procedure to get that monkey off our backs. So if there was something that actually worked, well, one would expect it to be celebrated like all get go! Therefore, my initial reaction to ibogaine was “yeah, right, and pigs fly too”.

Ibogaine is proposed for the treatment of chemical dependence. Claims for this antiaddictive drug include significant reduction in opioid withdrawal and interruption of drug craving behavior. The Ibogaine Dossier is the oldest internet source dedicated to information on this substance. Within the Dossier you will find reports on subjects as diverse as ibogaine’s use in African religion to cutting edge neuroscience.
The Ibogaine Dossier

Recently I was lucky to be able to speak at length with a couple of the main proponents of ibogaine treatment. As I listened to their rap my initial skepticism was replaced by genuine interest in their tales. They weren’t coming across as pie-eyed converts manically hyping ibogaine as some sort of magic cure. Instead they spoke carefully and precisely about ibogaine as a natually occuring psychoactive plant that contains some very interesting properties. They talked about ibogaine with a healthy respect reverence for its effects, and counseled serious consideration prior to embarking upon an ibogaine experience. They spoke of ibogaine much as the early proponents of LSD and other psychedelics spoke of those drugs. They talked about guided trips, under the care and attention of an experienced helper who was both intimately familiar with, and carefully trained in, ibogaine treatment.

It appears ibogaine is useful for dealing with heroin dependency for two reasons: 1) it is a stimulant and as such its stimulant properties can alleviate some of the cold turkey sickness of withdrawing from heroin, and 2) it has some psychedelic qualities which as useful for self-observation, self-awareness and self-analysis. What I found intriguing was that it is gentle as a inner trip and therefore avoids the intense loss of self which LSD can effect. Rather than directly embarking on a trip which can be mind-blowing in that one so directly experiences the full impact of one’s psychology as an immediate participant in it, on ibogaine one tends to be able to observe one’s self from the outside and from a safe distance be an observer things about one’s self.

Although ibogaine came to my attention because its advocates speak about its effectiveness as a drug treatment procedure, I found myself interested in it as a tool for self-observation in and of itself. I’m less interested in it as a tool for overcoming addiction, and fascinated in it as a gentle psychedelic.

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