Iboga Treatment


Our establishment is situated in the picturesque location of Vredehoek/Devils Peak in the city bowl of Cape Town; beneath the foot of our famous land mark Table Mountain. Cape Town has been noted as a top destination marked for travel and tourism (and medical tourism) and offers a unique and unforgettable experience in this respect. Many patients consider this as an advantage of the treatment taking place in such a unique locale. View some pictures of our center and patient accommodation and learn more about our staff.

We offer treatment along with 48Hrs of constant nurse supervision in an idyllic environment suited to the treatment process. The patient and their vitals are monitored for the duration of stay; and we will go to great lengths to assure the patients comfort and privacy throughout the course of their stay. Any special requirements such as diet and so on will be considered.

Let us know before hand and we will do what we can to accommodate you.

We now have a second; and now our primary treatment centre in Cape Town.

The treatment centre is up market; private and in an inviting renovated hotel; a piece of history. I will be writing more shortly on the subject…watch this space and have a look at the photos!

Treatment process

We treat one patient at a time to ensure the maximum amount of attention needed to address the condition and to enable the patient to achieve their goal whatever that may be; as we believe every patient requires individual attention and unique approach to achieve a successful long term outcome.

Ibogaine allows the brain to enter a waking REM state where memories; life experiences; and issues of trauma are processed in a subjective manner. In the majority of cases I have worked on personally or studied: At the root of any given destructive behavioural pattern or coping mechanism was a repressed trauma; which ibogaine allowed access to while resetting the reward pathway and preventing withdrawal symptoms by 95% or more. Ibogaine negates the craving associated with with opiates like Heroin and Oxycontin; Cocaine; Methamphetamine (TIK); Alcohol and Nicotine.

Ibogaine has been found to activate a growth factor; Glial cell line-derived Neurotrophic Factor; that regenerates dopamine neurons suppressed by excessive drug use; and also back-signals the cell nuclei to express more GDNF by effectively creating a loop.

Ibogaine has been found to activate a growth factor; Glial cell line-derived Neurotrophic Factor; that regenerates dopamine neurons suppressed by excessive drug use; and also back-signals the cell nuclei to express more GDNF by effectively creating a loop.

A treatment is looked at over a period of up to six months where we can administer low doses of iboga root bark or the precipitated alkaloids to help the patient with craving and mood swings after the initial treatment or re-set which is common after any type of detox procedure. This stage of the treatment can be done on an out patient basis with a minimal amount of supervision or contact between the patient and provider; to ensure long term success and also to buy the patient more time to make life style changes.
Another reason for looking at treatment over an extended period of time is because we can not guarantee the psycho-spiritual depth of the experience from a single treatment.
We found that there were considerable differences even when the same dose and same batch was used on the patient at a different time; the depth of the experience varied (or can vary) and at times quite considerably with regard to psycho therapy and personal awareness.

Ibogaine is metabolised and stored in the liver as Nor-Ibogaine which leaves the patient with no or little desire to use drugs and an anti-depressant effect causing the patient to feel positive after treatment. This effect can last several months but may be extended by the use of low doses of Iboga root bark or extracts which are commonly referred to as boosters.

More on GDNF and Ibogaine

One reason Ibogaine is so interesting is that it increases levels of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the brain (He & Ron 2006), and this in turn appears to have neuroprotective properties that promote the survival of both dopaminergic and motor neurons (Bermingham et al. 2004; He and Ron 2006), which may be one of the reasons for the prolonged afterglow often experienced following treatment with the drug. GDNF has also been identified as having anti-addictive properties (Ron & Janak 2005; Carnicella & Ron 2008).  Furthermore, GDNF can cause sprouting of dopaminergic fibers and clinical improvement in experimental animal models of Parkinson’s disease, as well as a similar sprouting of dopaminergic fibers in humans with the disease, with the resultant clinical improvement in symptoms (Love et al. 2005). This may be one of the reasons for Ibogaine’s effectiveness in treating drug addicts with impaired receptor function, but this drug may also be a considerable ally to those with degenerative neurological diseases.

 

Both Parkinson’s disease and Motor neuron disease are chronic disorders with no known cure, and require management with drugs that can have considerable side effects, causing a very poor quality of life for terminal stage sufferers of these diseases. By contrast, a low dose regime of Ibogaine or Iboga alkaloid extract would be of low toxicity and free of serious side effects.

 

GDNF has been shown to have potent neurotrophic factor in both rodent and primate models of Parkinson’s disease (Gill et al. 2003). Direct brain infusion of GDNF into the brains of five Parkinson sufferers resulted in a 39% improvement in the off-medication motor sub-score of the Unite Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and a 61% improvement in the activities of daily living sub score (Gill et al. 2003). Positron emission tomography (PET) scans of dopamine uptake showed a significant 28% increase in putamen dopamine storage after 18 months, indicating a direct effect of GDNF on dopamine function. Furthermore, after one year, no serious clinical side effects were observed (Gill et al. 2003). The use of Iboga alkaloid extract or Ibogaine would provide a longer term and much less invasive method of GDNF administration than direct brain infusion. Thus, further research on Ibogaine and GDNF is certainly warranted.

 

Regarding motor neuron disease, the little research that has occurred in this area, such as gene transfer of neurotrophic factors, suggests new prospects in the treatment of motor neuron disease (Haase et al. 1997). Again, Ibogaine therapy may offer a straightforward, non-invasive, cheap, low-toxicity method of treatment for sufferers of this disease.

Thus based on this previous research, it seems clear to me that further research with Ibogaine, GDNF expression and neurodegenerative diseases is certainly warranted, despite the financial and political hurdles of working with Ibogaine, a largely scheduled yet natural alkaloid extract from the root bark of the West African shrub Iboga (Tabernanthe iboga). The drug is of little financial interest to pharmaceutical companies, and quite inaccurately deemed to be of “no medical value”. Legal red tape is less restrictive for Ibogaine here in the UK than it is in many other parts of the world.


Ibogaine has been used in treating or facilitating the following:

Once the patient has made contact and adhered to the screening process; which includes and ECG (electrocardiogram or heart stress test) to test for a prolonged Q-T interval as well as a blood-liver panel to ensure a clean bill of health. A 50% deposit is required in order to set a date for treatment. We work on a first come first served basis but in general a patient can expect treatment within a week to ten days after the patient is deemed suitable for treatment and the deposit has been received. | back to top |

We will not tolerate any type of coercion even though treatment saturated patients become treatable after the ibogaine experience. We want the patient to be able to take on the responsibility of their own treatment or recovery in time; with the tools and support we make available or suggest to them. Parents or friends are welcome to make inquiries but it is crucial to long term success to have the full commitment of the patient as well as the friends and family in addressing these issues.

We offer support at any given time but encourage the family and or friends to take an active role in the recovery phase as a support base for the patient; acceptance; tolerance and understanding are key not judgement and punishment.

As part of the screening process the patient will be issued a questionnaire and a pre-treatment supplement. The questionnaire will provide us with a medical; psychological and social history which should be filled out with as much detail as possible. The Pre-Treatment supplement will provide you with information on how to prepare for the experience; what you should or should not do (like eating grape fruit; which is a no-no and interferes in the metabolisation of ibogaine)
What to bring and what to expect during your stay as well as information related to after care and dietary supplements that are beneficial to the process.

Once again if there are any questions that have not yet been addressed feel free to email or call.

Simon Loxton
NHP/D.Emed

 

Frequently asked questions

What sort of pre-treatment procedures do you follow?

"We cater to people all over the world – So we put them through a thorough screening process, first through correspondence, then in person.
That person really needs to want to make a lifestyle change otherwise its just a waste of our time and their resources. Then they are examined medically – General, ECG (Q-T interval checks), Liver, Kidneys and Pancreas; blood panel. We try to avoid high dose treatments on anyone who is not in the best of health; in some cases the person needs to work on nutrition first. Depending on the situation, we can administer lower doses at regular intervals to people who are not 100% healthy. This is a little safer and less of an ordeal to go through. For example: People suffering from depression are able to use about a half gram of iboga root bark every four days; the effects are immediate other than with pharmaceuticals that are addictive and which you have to take daily. "

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What does the actual treatment procedure entail?

Preparation is very important. With any sort of psychedelic or psychoactive drug you need to get the person taking it to be focused and relaxed. I try to spend as much time with the patient as possible to get to know them. As I have experience in taking the drug myself, I can empathize with and comfort the patient while reading his or her body language. Drug effects that may be seen as abnormal by a doctor are normal in my experience. A side effect of Ibogaine is sleeplessness for the first night– similar to what is experienced during opiate withdrawal. I explain step by step what they are going through in order that I may gain their confidence. Working with the drug, especially a psychoactive drug, it helps to have a good personal understanding and empathy of what the patient is going through. You learn to know the signs of distress. When the patient knows that you have undertaken the same experience, he or she trusts your judgment, perhaps more so than they may trust a doctor or employee in a more clinically minded environment.

First of all you start to feel heavy, and then you desire to lie down. For the first twelve hours, it is very much an internal experience. Everything happens when your eyes are closed – if there is any subject matter that comes up that is disturbing to you, you simply open your eyes and it is gone. In most cases these visions are things that needs to be worked through. Unlike other psychedelic drugs that create intense visual hallucination, Ibogaine is far more subtle in some ways. You may see visual changes when moving your head and experience auditory sensitivity, but that is with your eyes open. Every thing else happens behind closed eyes.

The second day is usually the most difficult for some people. While it is much easier to endure than withdrawal, the patient feels an excess of energy – he or he has spent a long time lying down and may feel uncomfortable. We have many means to alleviate these feelings – a warm bath or a therapeutic massage often helps. The patient just needs to communicate what they are feeling and if it’s bothering them; then we can take steps to address the issue.

On the third day, the patient enters the recovery phase; every day they will feel 50% better than the day before. Often the patient is able to move to a less supervised environment at this stage."

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In order to see long term results, do you need to do repeat doses of Ibogaine, or is it a once off treatment?

"At the end of the day, it is always up to the individual. Iboga will give you insight into reasons for your addiction, stop cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms – lasting for quite a period of time. Long term is up to the individual. What I sometimes do to buy more time for the patient to make lifestyle changes is to administer low doses of the root bark – it just keeps them on an even keel, so to speak. When any of the triggers for the addictive behavior show up, they just take a low dose. This is not like “Methadone maintenance” where you effectively replace one drug with another though – the only time you take Iboga is when you want to or feel the need to.

Iboga is definitely not something you have to keep taking once you have dealt with your issues. It helps you to heal internally and is not a physical crutch you depend on. There is no medical need to ever take it again unless you want to or feel the need or desire.

For me, involved in Bwiti, I take small doses occasionally. This is also like a renewal process, getting rid of anything that has ‘built up’ in the interim. Going back to the traditional aspects, if anyone has an illness or a grievance in the community, this would be addressed or vented when taking Iboga. What I feel what we lack in western culture is the enabling environment where we can really say what our problems are. We internalize these things and they become physical problems.

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Differences between mainstream drug addiction treatments and ibogaine treatment

What is the difference between an Iboga treatment and other conventional treatments?

"The duration of the Iboga experience allows the patient to fully explore and address issues which arise. The time limitations of conventional therapy sometimes curtail these developing explorations, or necessitate revisiting the same issues again and again with no real progress. An analogy which proves useful is that your brain is a filing cabinet of memories that Ibogaine systematically takes out on the first day and re-files in a better order on the second. This‘re-filing’ gives you tremendous insight into areas of your own personality that need work. Patients who choose the Ibogaine experience become much easier to treat and welcome the process, while often conventional treatments lead to patients being ‘treatment-saturated’. Some rehabilitation clinic patients could easily teach the program they have undergone, without getting any benefits from it themselves.

Unlike some other programs, not everyone can be given the same regimen, so our treatment is tailored to each individual. Physical makeup, backgrounds and tolerances are all different, so changes are made to the dosages. A typical treatment process takes about 72 hours, broken up into three stages. After three days people are generally able to move on to a less supervised environment or secondary care. I wouldn’t suggest going back into work after three days – you need to give it at least a week to fully recover and feel relatively normal and notice the full effect of the treatment."

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What is the success rate of Iboga?

"A tailored aftercare program is essential to a good success rate. Informal international studies have shown that Iboga treatment has an upward of 60% chance of successfully curing long term drug addictions. This is based on a single high dose, and only the absolute minimum supervision and no long term support care.

This can be hugely maximized by formulating a well thought out after care procedure. My personal professional success rate is 100%, in the sense that everyone who is treated by me gains a degree of insight into their addiction, experiences no withdrawal or craving and leave here totally drug free without the desire to use. How long that lasts is up to them. Some of my patients have such fantastic life changing experience, but if someone does not come into the treatment process willing to change their lifestyle, they will go back to their addictions. Ibogaine or iboga is a tool - and a good one - but the work is always the individual’s responsibility. This is also why I believe patients should have a realistic expectation from their treatment and another reason I like to spend as much time as possible with them beforehand to prepare them for it.

People mistakenly view Iboga as something of a ‘magic solution’. This is not the case. Although it achieves much faster results than other programs, the responsibility of a successful treatment still lies with the patient. While Iboga may give you clarity and access to spiritual resources buried inside you, you still have to put these realizations into practice. It is a very useful tool, but you still have to do the job."

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For someone who was not an addict, but merely looking for spiritual or mental rejuvenation and change, could you administer the same dose?

"Yes, but it’s not always necessary. For the last two years or so I have been studying the effects of administering smaller doses over an extended period of time. I have found that if you take someone who has been given a high dose treatment and compare them with a person who has been given smaller doses over a longer time period, they reach the same point, albeit over a longer time. The outcome of treatment is similar. There are still major benefits of doing the “Full” experience though. The best way to describe the treatment is to call it a “Rebirth”. This is also a way to describe the heightened sensitivity that the patient feels on the second day – very much like being a baby again, so everything is new. You even have to start with easily digestible foods specially prepared, etc."

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