For years, ibogaine therapy has remained controversial because of its hallucination-inducing and mind-altering effects.

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And, although scientists are still researching the exact effects of ibogaine on the brain, they claim that it helps to prevent excitotoxic damage to the neurons. Some drugs like opiates are known to cause excitotoxic damage. 

How ibogaine helps a recovering addict

When you take ibogaine, it is changed into a compound known as noribogaine. Now, this compound targets your brain that has been affected by the drugs you have been taking. Noribogaine repairs these areas, thus allowing your brain to restructure into its original state before you become an addict. 

And, although ibogaine can ease the effects of withdrawal and prevent cravings, the process is more of a detox, than stopping an addiction. That means, there are additional steps that you must take after you stop taking or searching for drugs to abuse. 

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So, if used for addicts recovering from opioids, ibogaine works following this timeline:

  1. Acute phase – typically, this begins within the first 1 to 2 hours of ingestion. The acute phase lasts for around 4 – 8 hours. During this period, the recovering addict can experience hallucinations and visions, in a very emotionally intense format. 
  2. Evaluative phase – this follows immediately after the acute phase can last somewhere between 8 – 20 hours. Introspection, contemplation of behaviors and life, as well as personal reflection are likely to take place during this phase. 
  3. Residual stimulation phase – this is the next stage after the evaluative phase. It happens within 12 – 24 hours and can last for 1 – 3 days—and even longer at times. During this phase, attention moves from internal to external stimuli. Besides, the effects can last for some time before fading away. 
  4. The recovery phase – this is the last phase of ibogaine therapy, where the substance users abstain from drug and substance abuse because all drug cravings are erased. However, self-destructive behavior patterns and thoughts need attention from professional therapists and counselors. 
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The experts from Clear Sky Recovery, ibogaine treatment clinic say that ibogaine therapy should be done in a quiet, calm, and secluded location. Besides, the recovering addict needs to have 24/7 medical care and supervision. In addition, ibogaine can keep a person alert and awake for several days in the course of the treatment. Therefore, users might require to rest after they are done with their treatment. However, it’s important to note that ibogaine isn’t a magic solution for drug and substance abuse. Therefore, recovering addicts require additional therapy, follow-up care, as well as learning new mechanisms to cope for them to avoid relapse. 

The success rate of ibogaine therapy

Medical experts who use ibogaine therapy to treat substance addiction say that it has an average of 50-80% success rate. Although this might sound a bit promising, ibogaine therapy works differently on different people. The long-term success of these treatment methods depends on the support that the patients receive after ibogaine therapy. Therefore, we shouldn’t rely on the treatment success rate alone here. 

A study conducted in 2017 revealed that ibogaine is linked to a reduction in opioids, total abstinence, as well as permanent positive psychological results—this includes reduced rates of anxious and depressive symptoms. 

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Additional treatment options that can be used alongside ibogaine

As said earlier, you might need additional treatment options, alongside ibogaine for your recovery to be effective. However, if you are searching for any form of treatment to overcome addiction, make sure that you consult a professional before you begin any treatment. Here are additional treatment plans that you can consider:

  • Detoxification – this helps to get rid of drugs from your body. This can be done in a medical facility or at home, but under the supervision of a certified medical professional. There are hundreds of medical centers across the country that offer this service, and the medical professionals in these centers are trained to help you with detoxification. Your doctor can also prescribe medications to assist you to manage any pain that you experience during your detoxification treatment.
  • Behavioral counseling – a psychologist who specializes in drug addiction can work with you and help usher you into a new life, free of drugs. With behavioral counseling, you can feel free, safe, and secure to share your issues, since the counselor will not share whatever you say with anyone. However, it’s important to look for a counselor you are comfortable with if you want to make a speedy recovery. Your counselor can also do an evaluation to check for any possible mental issues like anxiety or depression, as they are very common for someone recovering from drug addiction.

It’s important to note the importance of long-term follow-ups, even when you feel that you’ve recovered from your addiction problem. Overcoming drug and substance addiction is not an easy task. Therefore, it’s important to prioritize seeking help and support from counselors and medical professionals if you don’t want to relapse.