Ibogaine: Can it Cure Addiction Without the Hallucinogenic Trip?

The substance has helped addicts kick heroin, meth, and everything in between. Is it the trip that does the trick?

The experience was so profound that she elected to stay on at the clinic as a volunteer. Confident and chatty, with long brown curls and a disarming smile, Wilkins feels she has a knack for guiding patients through their ibogaine-induced spiritual awakenings.

"On ibogaine, all your walls come down," she says. "You can't lie. You get an opportunity to look at yourself honestly and see how you respond. My role is to be there as a comfort. People compliment me by saying, “You knew exactly when to hold my hand.' ”

In 2006 Ibogaine Association director Martin Polanco offered Wilkins a full-time job. She'd heard rumors that he was considering selling the clinic in the coming year, and on a whim she offered to buy the operation from him outright.

Clare Wilkins is director of Pangea Biomedics, a rehab clinic in Tijuana's Playas neighborhood that administers ibogaine to drug addicts.
Keegan Hamilton
Clare Wilkins is director of Pangea Biomedics, a rehab clinic in Tijuana's Playas neighborhood that administers ibogaine to drug addicts.
Bill Boulanger, CEO of Obiter Research, holds a few grams of 18-MC (18-methoxycoronaridine), a synthetic ibogaine derivative that he believes can cure drug addiction.
Ramzi Dreessen
Bill Boulanger, CEO of Obiter Research, holds a few grams of 18-MC (18-methoxycoronaridine), a synthetic ibogaine derivative that he believes can cure drug addiction.

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"It was one of those 'Can I put that back in my mouth?' moments," Wilkins recounts with a laugh. "I didn't have the money, I didn't even have a car."

Wilkins borrowed $3,000 from her mother for a down payment, changed the clinic's name to Pangea Biomedics, and made monthly payments to Polanco for the next year and a half.

Having paid off the $65,000 debt, Wilkins's first order of business was to relocate. Tijuana residents—and rehab clinics in particular—have been terrorized during Mexico's ongoing drug war. Late last month, gunmen stormed a clinic and murdered 13 people, execution-style. (The mayhem wasn't random; drug gangs operate such facilities as safe havens for their foot soldiers.) Wilkins's primary concern, however, was noisy neighbors in the duplex, not narco-violence.

"We'd hear cell phones ring through the wall, and ranchero music—you'd hear everything," she recalls. "You'd try to go into a guided meditation and hear someone hammering a nail."

Wilkins now rents a lavish four-bedroom home on a hill overlooking Tijuana's upscale Playas neighborhood. Amenities include a hot tub, weight room, fireplace, and veranda with panoramic views. Safety was not overlooked: The subdivision is gated, and security guards inspect every vehicle that enters.

Stays at Pangea aren't cheap. For the standard 10-day detox, Wilkins charges $7,500, travel not included. She employs a staff of 10, including two Mexican physicians, a paramedic, a masseuse/acupuncturist, and a chef. The chef, Wilkins's sister, Sarah, is a recovering addict who credits ibogaine for kicking her drug dependence.

Aaron Aurand, a live-in volunteer, feels the same way.

"I did eight months of court-ordered inpatient treatment before I came here," says Aurand, a native of Spokane, Washington. "I got more therapy here in five days than I did in that entire time. Lots of junkies don't want to look inside themselves. With this, you'll get shown."

In addition to ibogaine, Clare Wilkins emphasizes nutrition. The clinic's pantry is mostly organic and gluten-free and boasts a cache of vitamins and supplements that patients gobble by the handful.

“The body has its own framework and can heal itself if you remove harmful substances and balance the systems. We do colon cleanses and liver cleanses even before they get the ibogaine,” Wilkins explains, pointing out that there are practical reasons for the former: “You get people who come in here—especially opiate addicts—who are clogged up.”

To date, Wilkins says, she has treated more than 300 patients. "Sixty-two percent of our clients are chronic-pain patients," she says. "You're not talking IV [heroin] addicts or crack addicts. You're talking grandmas on Oxycontin."

Some people come for "psycho-spiritual" purposes. Ken Wells, an environmental consultant from Santa Rosa, California, with a neatly trimmed gray mustache and wire-frame glasses, says he underwent conventional counseling for depression for 15 years before trying ibogaine as a last-ditch effort to save his crumbling marriage.

Three days after taking ibogaine for the first time, Wells compares the experience to "defragging a computer hard drive." He experimented with psychedelics decades ago in college but says ibogaine is like nothing else.

"It was outrageously powerful," Wells says. "It was like the inside of my eyeballs was an IMAX screen. It was all-encompassing, just a multitude of images, like 80,000 different TVs, all with a different channel on—just jillions of images, shapes, and colors."

Did the experience help him find what he was looking for?

"I think I'm different," he says. "But I don't know."

It's easier to track ibogaine's effect on hardcore addicts. Wilkins, who keeps tabs on former clients, estimates that one out of every five stays off his or her "primary substance" for six months or more.

Tom Kingsley Brown, an anthropologist at the University of California–San Diego who describes his area of study as "religious conversion and altered states of consciousness," recently began recruiting Pangea patients for an independent assessment of ibogaine's long-term efficacy. Brown follows up monthly with opiate addicts during the year regarding their ibogaine treatment, to gauge whether their quality of life has improved.

"People I've interviewed at the clinic have had really good results, especially in the first month or so," reports Brown, who has enrolled four study subjects to date and hopes for a group of 30. "We know ibogaine interrupts the addiction in the short term, but what we're really curious about is: Does that translate into long-term relief from drug dependence?"

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16 comments
christine.bravo
christine.bravo

Its good to hear about another herbal medicine. I had heard a lot about kratom, which I think has a lot of benefits. This is the first time I heard about Ibogaine. However, any medicine surely has bad effect if not use in a proper way. 

dyanneandrews
dyanneandrews

My Friend ! I have wanted for so long to get back to you...I have been NUTS taking care of 2 aging and unwell parents ! I have been trying to get my doctor to wean me off of the Suboxone...but feel as if he wants to keep me tied to it ! I have no desire to use anymore, but am not sure if it is BECAUSE of the Suboxone OR because it has been SO many years since I have used dope ? I want to do the Ibogaine treatment...but am not financially in a good place, as I am supporting my family AND can't really travel too far ! What do you think ? How's everything going in your world ?

Be Well,

Dyanne.

dyanneandrews
dyanneandrews

Hey there ! I wasn't blowing you off...just been crazy busy taking care of to aging and unwell parents ! I am currently still on the Suboxone and have been talking to my doctor for MONTHS about weaning me off...I hate feeling like I do ! I:feel that I am strong enough now to be away from it and consider it NOW for Me to be a crutch that without it I feel dope sick and grouchy ! I feel very frustrated with the whole situation ! I would LOVE to be able to do the ibogaine treatment...but don't think I can afford it AND don't have the ability to travel too far ! What do you think ? How's everything with you ?

roland.kelly
roland.kelly

 ibogaine HCL, TA root barks and iboga capsule for sale

 We have high quality iboga products (Ibogaine hcl, iboga TA, iboga capsules, and dried iboga root barks) for sale. contact us via (centralphorm@live.com) for more information if interested .

ICEERS
ICEERS

Hello,

We have been working on this field for years, maybe the info can help to push this interesting debate.

 www.iceers.org


Hugs from Barcelona!

gotibogaine
gotibogaine

Big Pharma will spend millions blocking ibogaine access to US patients! 

GotIbogaine.blogspot.com

whitney421
whitney421

i did ibogaine and it saved my life.  not only does it pretty much take away the worst, and esp mental withdrawl of drugs, methadone in my case, it completely eliminates all mental issues. my anxiety, depression, ocd, and co dependency dissapeared. i left my broken home, verbally abusive husband, which i never had the strength to do before. i was on methadone for 7 years.  i can tell the ibogaine slowly wears off after 4 months, but by that time, and luckily in my case, most people are already on the right tract. i have been starting to feel the achiness of the withdrawl again but the worst is over. methadone withdrawl lasts slowly over a yr, getting better each month, but the ibogaine got me through the worst part, the first few months, and iv already made the decision im not going bak to opiates ever again.  yes the methadone gets you off the st and functioning, i did it for 7 yrs, but the entire time i was numb. it numbs you to everything, emotion and pain wise, you just dont realize it until you get off of it. i slept alot, didnt care about stuff.. ibogaine makes you grow up. that is why i believe they give it to the teenage boys in the bwiti tribe. you mature. you become like new again. healthy food tastes good, anything unnatural u put in your system you can feel it adversly affecting you, which wears off a little over the 4 months but its up to u to keep it up. i now see why the rastas live the way they do,, it makes you feel healthy and good.  ibogaine made me analyze my past, figure out why i started using in the first place, and it just knocked the sense into me. i knew what i had to do and just did it. its worth every penny. i also found out from a brilliant dr at the treatment center in mexico from a machine they dont use in america. it literally took ten seconds, placing my hands and feet on metal plates, sticky things on my temples, forgot what they are called, and a massive detailed reading came out showing all things wrong with me healthwise. it was the first time i was told i was allergic to milk, having horrible issues all my life. now ive stopped the milk and my stomachs much better and i can eat healthier and more. this is truly a miracle and its a dire shame they wont legalize it. it would help so many people, not just drug addicts, but then it helps mental issues so much better than chemical antidepressants drugs. guess it would replace all those nasty pharmaceutical drugs and they dont want that happening

dyanneandrews
dyanneandrews

I WISH the drug companies would stop being such as-----s and give way to this drug in the US ! I have been an addict since 12 years old and am now 46. I have been on Suboxone for the last 10 years and getting off of it for surgery last year almost made me go back to junk, or worse I had thoughts of taking my life ! I can't afford a trip out of the country and even if I could, I wouldn't even begin to know where to look !

LITTLEMISSJANE
LITTLEMISSJANE

Funny to find these great reviews about Beau Mason http://www.complaints.com/2012/march/25/Beau_Mason__Fraud_Scam_264975.htm


It seems to me this is a dangerous drug, but this shady Beua guy looks deadly, just saw this short doc on vice, hard to believe this is a safe treatment. If you ask me, "I" love being on methadone, and it saved my life. I get my high and dont have to go looking to steal things anymore to stay well. I function just fine.


JasonTillings
JasonTillings

Experiencing Ibogaine was a life changing moment. For the past 2 years, my life had become a disaster, due to my struggle with heroin and oxycontin addiction. When I did some research online, I found  Transitions Rosarito Beach Ibogaine treatment. I spoke to Beau Mason about treatment options and felt confident that Transitions was the right place for me. After Ibogaine treatment, my life has improved a lot.

Thank you to staff, doctors, and nurses at Transitions Rosarito Beach.

sageleaf84
sageleaf84

what happened to all the comments that were here? lots of valid info got lost......... well one day it all catches up to you anyways.... but seriously village voice just deletes comments or you need to hite lawyers or something?

dv.geac
dv.geac

@roland.kelly hook me up on credit.....at least ther might be one more thing to try im just about spent and ready to give up, fukin bullshit opiets herion methadone suboxan but im pretty optimistic bout it iv been in inpatients outpatients rehabs clinics drs na so sick of the happy story bullshit of people getting cleen those are the ones who were never tru addicts from the start cuz i have done everything i can did everything they said since i realized i wanted to see life through reel eyes and nothing has ever satisfied the beast. just heard about this shit today maybe for a reason cuz i am all out of hope and strength to the point of balancing a quick end or stickin it out in this bullshit....poor me i feel like im pissin and moanin like a bitch my problams are self inflicted there is a lot of people with real problams they didn't choose or maybe some one will here my cryin and quit before they cant or maybe im just a fuked in the head junkie lunatic tryin to feel better through sympathy and guilt because i am the defenition of selfish FTW


dv.geac
dv.geac

@whitney421 I had to cold turkey my methadone do to Obama care shit messed up my ins. im on month three and cant take much more first 2 months I never left the bathroom floor now im not violently sick but can hardly get out of bed gravity has no mercy and 3 months aint shit realy but every moment awake is hell iv been on narcotics 21 years and im 33 It would be nice to no there is one last option if that shit realy works but realistickly I prolly will never be able to afford it but a little shred of hope helps a lot in my case i don't have much and my clock is tickin fast i should have stayed on dope the withdraws never lasted this long,but i have also never been cleen this long not since i was around 12 maybe i will just have to realize i will never be able to function without drugs if i only new then what i no now i would not be on my way to a slow suicide i get to watch unfolding every day anyway im just sayin thanks for the hope

dv.geac
dv.geac

@dyanneandrews no it to well i too have been on shit since 12 graduated to the needle at 16 im 33 now its cool i saw ur post cuz i have been wanting to no if any one else has been this fucked since a young age that is still alive and  im on month 3 cold turkey from methadone longest ever sober and every day is wors than the last besides two straight months of vomit soaked skin (Obama care is to blame) and i cant leave the country eather  so i guess i will just admit to no such thing as sobriety for me and ther is no one to blame but myfukinretarded self, right on

browardboxing
browardboxing

@dyanneandrews  I couldn't afford to leave the country.  But I found a company that saved my life.  Look up Ibogaworld.com.  I would be dead or in jail if I didnt find it.  Around $500 to $600.  If you fly to one of the country it would cost you $5000 to $10,000.  You can e-mail me at browardboxinggmail.com to talk.


 
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