Our coaching services support your existing treatment plan. We are familiar with many treatment centers and can talk to you about your plans, but its important that you get to know the treatment and the available options yourself before we talk. This guide is designed to help you when you’re working on finding an ibogaine clinic.
When you’re considering an ibogaine treatment, safety and experience is of the utmost importance because of the medical risks involved. This list of questions will help you figure out what to ask and what the answers might mean.
These questions are based off the Clinical Guidelines for Ibogaine-Assisted Detoxification published by the Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance (GITA). We recommend that you use this guide carefully and thoroughly. You can probably see where they stand on some of the following issues from their website, but make sure you ask them about anything you are not sure of. Even if their site is thorough, call as many clinics/providers as you can to connect personally and see how comfortable you feel with their program.
Keep in mind that in some cases the time-frames listed here are recommended minimums. There are different protocols and different approaches to treatment. Some providers prefer to work with patients during longer stays of several weeks or more, giving more time for therapeutic work. Others have shorter stays to reduce cost and make the time-frames accessible for people who work full-time.
- Why are they doing this?
- If they have personal experience with addiction and detoxed with ibogaine, how long ago was this? How have they been trained?
- How much experience do they have with ibogaine or in related professions?
- What medical tests do they ask for?
- Make sure they are asking you to provide at least an EKG and a liver panel.
- How often do they have to turn people away? Under what conditions would they reject your application?
- This will give you a sense of how discerning they are with their intake.
- If you are taking long-acting opiates, how long do they suggest that you switch to short-acting opiates? Do they have any resources to help you with this switchover?
- Ideally you would be off of suboxone or methadone for at least four or more weeks before ibogaine depending on the length of time on those medications and the dose, sometimes a bit longer.
- How long do they keep people on-site for observation and stabilization before the actual treatment?
- Depending on the substances that you are taking, a period of stabilization and observation can greatly improve your comfort level during treatment. A period of four days is a sign that clinics are highly concerned about safety. Sometimes clinics do less to accommodate limited time-frames.
- If you are taking benzos then a period of stabilization prior to treatment is even more critical for safety. Make sure your provider has experience stabilizing benzo doses.
Safety During Treatment
- What medical personnel do they have on staff? Which of them are present during the treatment?
- They should at least have a doctor who they consult with.
- Is there a doctor present during the treatment? If so, how much experience do they have with hands-on emergency procedures?
- Is there a nurse or paramedic is present? If they are the only medical staff during treatment, do they have standing orders from a doctor to prescribe medication in case of emergency?
- How much experience do the medical staff have with ibogaine treatment?
- How do they monitor your vitals during treatment? Are you hooked up to a heart monitor? If not, how often will they monitor your vitals?
- Ideally, your vitals will be checked every 30 minutes. They should be looking for
- What emergencies are they prepared to handle on-site? What equipment do they have?
- Ideally, there is a full crash cart including emergency medications, a defibrillator, and oxygen tanks.
- How close is the nearest hospital?
- In the worst case scenarios you want to know you are 15 minutes or less from a hospital.
- How long will they keep you under medical observation afterwards?
- 72 hours is the window in which adverse events have happened post-treatment. There should be medical observation at least this long.
- A period of 3 or 4 days after treatment is a minimum to be confident that you are leaving without residual withdrawals.
As you talk to the provider about your specific circumstances, here are some major things to watch out for:
- Saying they can detox you directly off of alcohol.
- If there is any chance you could have a seizure, you should detox prior to ibogaine treatment (5 days minimum). This requires a medically supervised detox.
- Saying they can detox you off of benzos with ibogaine.
- Coming off of benzos requires a long slow taper under medical guidance and many people continue to take benzos during their treatment, then taper off of them later.
- Saying they can treat you directly from long term use of suboxone or methadone in less than 4 weeks.
- Be prepared for serious post-acute withdrawal symptoms.
- Any heavy cleanses prior to treatment.
- Fasts, enemas and Kambo in the three days prior to ibogaine can be dangerous because of the electrolyte depletion that occurs. If these are part of the protocol prior to treatment, it should be at least days before and a new electrolyte panel should be obtained prior to treatment.
- The best approach is just to eat healthy normal meals and stay well hydrated.
Again, the most important thing is to get to know your prospective providers well through a series of phone calls and emails.
Ibogaine can work if you make a comprehensive plan and you stay committed to implementing it. It’s all up to you, your willingness to make major life changes, and your willingness to ask for help when you need it.
If you have already done a significant amount of this research and have additional questions, then feel free to bring them up in our orientation call.