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?

"Cocaine, meth, nicotine, morphine—we did the same studies with 18-MC, and it worked as well or better than ibogaine," Glick says. "We also have data that it will be useful in treating obesity. In animals, it blocks their intake of sweet and fatty foods without affecting their nutrient intake."

Glick and his cohorts have yet to determine whether their synthetic ibogaine has psychedelic properties. The rats, after all, aren't talking.

"You look at an animal given ibogaine, and you can't tell if they're hallucinating. But they look positively strange," Glick says. "You give them 18-MC and you can't really tell. But we hope when it gets to people, it won't produce hallucinatory effects."

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The first human testing of 18-MC is scheduled to begin later this month in Brazil. But scientists there won't be studying its effect on addiction. They'll be investigating the drug's potential as a cure for the parasitic infection leishmaniasis, an affliction similar to malaria that is common in tropical climates. Through pure coincidence, 18-MC is chemically similar to other drugs that are used to treat the disease.

The Americans jumped at the chance to test their product in South America. Although 18-MC has shown promise and no observable side effects in animals, not a single pharmaceutical company has shown interest in developing it as an anti-addiction product.

"We're fortunate we have this other disease apart from addiction where we know it can be tested," says Kuehne, a veteran of big pharma who worked for Ciba (a predecessor of Novartis). "Pharmaceutical companies don't like cures. Really, they don't—that's the sad thing. They like treatment. Something for cholesterol or high blood pressure that you [take] for years and years, every day. That's where the profit is."

Further complicating matters is the fact that 18-MC has proven difficult to manufacture. Obiter Research, a company based in Champaign, Illinois, that specializes in synthesizing experimental chemicals, spent nearly two years refining the process before successfully creating about 200 grams of the substance—just enough to send to Brazil to be administered to human subjects.

"Imagine a Tinkertoy Ferris wheel," says Bill Boulanger, Obiter's CEO and a former chemistry professor at the University of Illinois. "It's like taking that apart, then trying to use half of the parts to build a fire engine. Ibogaine is a natural product, and sometimes Mother Nature does a better job than the lab."

Boulanger is convinced there's money to be made from 18-MC. With Obiter, he plans to patent the manufacturing process and secure intellectual-property rights. He and two partners also created a separate company, Savant HWP, in hopes of eventually opening addiction clinics across the United States that administer 18-MC in conjunction with conventional rehab techniques such as 12-step programs.

“One part is resetting the trigger that's saying, 'Oh, I've got to have it,” Boulanger says. “That's helping the people fight withdrawal, and that would be part of the whole operation. But it's just one facet. It's got to be holistic. Just handing out a pill and sending them on their way is a bad idea.”

The notion of hallucination-free ibogaine, however, rubs the drug's die-hard supporters the wrong way.

"With methadone, they just removed euphoria from opiates," says Dimitri "Mobengo" Mugianis. "This is the same process they're doing now—removing psychedelic and visionary experience. Ibogaine works. What are they trying to improve or fix? It's not broken, and they're spending a great amount of time and money to fix it."

A former heroin addict, Mugianis is an underground ibogaine-treatment provider. He kicked his habit with the help of ibogaine administered at Lotsof's clinic in the Netherlands. The experience was so extraordinary that Mugianis was inspired to travel to Gabon to be initiated into the native Bwiti religion and was trained by local shamans. He says he has performed more than 400 ritualistic ceremonies on addicts, most of them in New York City hotel rooms, using ibogaine and iboga root bark.

Despite his strong belief in the power of ibogaine, Mugianis does not see it as a miracle cure for addiction.

"The 12-step approach really helped in combination with ibogaine," he says. "I say it interrupts the physical dependency, because that's what it does. There's no cure. It's not a cure. It allows you a window of opportunity, particularly with opiate users."

Efforts are afoot to legalize—or at least legitimize—ibogaine in the United States. Convincing doctors and elected officials to support a potent, occasionally lethal hallucinogen can be a tough sell. That pitch becomes doubly difficult when some of the ibogaine enthusiasts themselves inspire skepticism.

One of ibogaine's most outspoken advocates is Dana Beal. An eccentric character who helped found the Youth International Party (more commonly known as the Yippies) in the 1960s, Beal sports a bushy white mustache that inspired a New York Times reporter to liken him to "a Civil War-era cavalry colonel." Beal travels the country giving PowerPoint presentations touting the benefits of ibogaine and medical marijuana.

In June 2008, he was arrested by police in Mattoon, Illinois, and charged with money laundering. He was carrying $150,000 in cash in two duffel bags, money he claims was going to finance an ibogaine clinic and research center in Mexico. Beal maintains his innocence and is free on bail as the case heads to trial.

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10 comments
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?

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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