The Importance of Ibogaine Aftercare
Though iboga is something of a miraculous plant, this world is not one of panaceas — and iboga is no exception. Iboga is a time-honored medicine from Gabon, Africa, historically used in adulthood initiation rituals. In the United States the 1960’s, iboga was accidentally discovered to have a very peculiar quality: it reverses many of the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, and ultimately helps to revitalize the brain from damage exacted by drug use. In recent years, studies have shown Ibogaine (the medical term for the iboga-extract that is widely used in treatments) to be effective in treating conditions ranging from addiction, to depression, to Parkinson’s Disease.
Yet, while Ibogaine may produce a physically and psychologically profound experience, as a treatment for addiction especially, it is more of a catalyst than a cure. By helping to stave off withdrawals, reset the brain and produce deep levels of introspection, ibogaine may lay the groundwork for life changes seismic enough to break a drug dependency. But one must not underestimate the counterforce of the addiction — “cunning, baffling and powerful,” as they famously say in 12-step groups.
While Ibogaine treatment may create a fresh opportunity to make changes in one’s life, going right back to your old environment after taking ibogaine entails simply re-imprinting your fresh outlook with the same old stuff. More often that not, this will lead the person to a relapse. And therein lies the importance of ibogaine aftercare, which can leverage the precious time of “neuroplasticity” after Ibogaine treatment to create new and healthy habits, to deepen the patient’s personal process, and to help him/her plan for their future in an environment that is safe, supportive and nurturing.
Our approach to Ibogaine Aftercare
Having worked with many Ibogaine patients, we understand that most everyone coming from ibogaine treatment arrives in a very sensitive state of mind and body. We also realize that every ibogaine experience is different, and thus work closely with each patient and their provider to better understand their individual circumstances. Some people take ibogaine and feel renewed almost right away, while others may have more pronounced ups and downs. In each case, we begin the post-ibogaine process with therapies that assist the process of physical detoxification and revitalization. These include sweat lodge, individually-tailored regimens of plant-based supplements, herbal tea, lots of water, healthy diet, physical exercise, various body therapies and, in some cases, Ibogaine boosters.
At the same time, we understand that the immediate post-ibogaine time period is optimal for introducing new habits. To this end, we steer participants away from common default habits like excessive use of technology (participants are asked not to use cell phones for two weeks, except when necessary), excessive smoking (we allow only loose organic tobacco) and processed or sugary foods. Meanwhile, participants are asked to engage in a rigorous program of various body therapies, occupational therapy, thought exercises, intensive psychotherapy, and, later in their stay, medicine work with sacred plants.
Finally, we do not overlook the importance of life planning — even for those who come for therapy after ibogaine, the path is not over! Constructing a plan for transitioning back home, continuing self-care and pursuing new life opportunities is crucial. To that end, we work closely with each participant to be sure that they are transitioning to a safe environment with a strong sense of direction and purpose.