Bwiti man in initiation Iboga ritual with Ibogaine

Ibogaine Therapy for Opioid Addiction

Iboga is the root bark of a bush, Tabernanthe Iboga, which grows in central Africa and the Ibogaine alkaloid is the primary psychoactive ingredient derived from this plant.

This substance is a very powerful entheogen, which means “generating the divine within,” and is the chemical substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual contexts. It often induces psychological and physiological changes, sparking intense introspection and interrupting addiction.

It as long been regarded as a rite of passage and spiritual catalyst by the Gabon peoples who follow the African traditions of Bwiti. It has increasingly been used as a detoxification treatment from opiates since the 1980s. Ibogaine is an effective addiction interrupter for most substances including heroin, methadone, methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycontin, ketamine, hydrocodone, amphetamine, fentanyl, alcohol, and nicotine.

Next thing I knew, I was straight

In the west, it was first discovered to have anti-addictive properties in 1962 by an American scientific researcher Howard Lotsof. When he passed away in 2010, the New York Times was quoted as describing him as a life long advocate after trying it on himself. “The next thing I knew,” he told The New York Times in 1994, “I was straight.”

Ibogaine quickly caught on in the detox and rehab underground, and more and more is hearkening back to tradition and is used in holistic alternative health therapies for psycho-spiritual growth.

Through the years, Ibogaine has also been promoted as a physical and mental stimulant and aphrodisiac and just recently, a research team at Columbia University have been investigating the alkaloid’s use in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Check out our Resources page for more info.

What to expect

How Safe is Ibogaine

This is a comman and valid concern often shared with us and this is an exceptional answer from expert Clare S. Wilkins, founder of Pangea Biomedics.

During Ibogaine Treatment

Your Ibogaine experience can generally be broken down into 3 different phases:

Phase 1: Ibogaine is setting up in your body. Your room is made comfortable by blackening the windows, lightning candles, playing meditative music, refreshing your bed, making comfort and a quiet space.

Phase 2: This is what’s referred to as the peak time. Most clients will experience oneiric, dream-like visions. These will be like pictures and/or moving-film views of certain aspects of of their life which might be a bit jumbled while the medicine creates new neural pathways.

This is when providers are sitting with the clients, ensuring the overall comfort and safety of the client and to assist with the journey, if need be.

With higher dose Ibogaine protocols, one of our registered nurses are there to take vitals during the pertinent stages.

Phase 3: The experience has subsided and clients may enter a reflective twilight. Time will be unreal – stretched and contracted – as the re-routing of the pathways solidifies in the brain.

The environment on these days and those after are of meditative reflection, where the electronic distractions of TV, phones, etc., are kept to an absolute minimum.

This is the time to allow the medicine to work through the body, stacking as each day goes and thus working it’s powers to interrupt your current addiction.

What to expect afterward

Once the initial part of the session is over, a long period of mental processing usually takes place. This is usually quite exhausting but important and necessary.

There will be what is refereed to as “gray days” after your Ibogaine experience and this is a common side effect for people fighting addiction. Your Iboga treatment can leave the body feeling sore, depressed and sad.

Some clients have difficulty with this. Sleep can be very difficult and interrupted, where it seems that getting any asleep is impossible. Feeling a little restless is part of the process.

We’ll help you honor the process while remembering that this too shall pass. We have lots of supplements, good food and we’ll get you out for some light physical exercise in the natural beauty that is BC. You’ll be well looked after and have an arsenal of tools like aftercare practices and resources to carry on with the process once you leave.


So you can be as informed as possible, we are dedicated to compiling an ongoing list of resources and info. Topics include drug addiction detox, trauma, plant medicines, rehabs, recovery, aftercare, and integration. Please feel free to make suggestions for further learning for us all. 


Aftercare and Integration

Ibogaine Info

Plant Medicines


Inner Realms Center is located in British Columbia, Canada and specializes in treatment for addiction and PsychoSpiritual healing using Ibogaine and Bufo Alvarius methods.


This website does not provide medical advice.

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