Deciding to take ibogaine
The decision to take ibogaine should always be yours, not that of your father, mother, husband, wife or friend. It is a serious undertaking that can be difficult and requires hard personal work. True motivation should therefore be the basis for this decision. If not, it will probably not have the result your relative had hoped for, and it could even cause blame and conflict between that relative and the individual if the experience is too challenging.
Key questions in making such a decision are: “why do I want to take ibogaine? Am I willing to confront my most difficult personal aspects in such a drastic manner?” There are other alternatives to ibogaine, whether it is for addiction treatment, psychotherapy or personal growth. Some might be more effective than others; some slow, some faster. Ibogaine is an extremely efficient therapy tool, but its potency and the experience it induces might be too much for some people.
Be informed about the potential risks and benefits, exclusion criteria and effects before deciding whether or not you want to go ahead.
When choosing an ibogaine center, psychotherapy program or personal growth session, there are some important factors to take into account. Prices of such programs vary from 300 to 15,000 Euros or more, and the interventions, protocols, settings and staff vary greatly. The price should not be the main factor which you base your decision on. What is more important is the qualification, safety standards and professional ethics of the center. Detoxification from drugs using ibogaine is a medical intervention, so medical staff (a doctor and/or psychiatrist), is essential, as well as a psychologist or psychotherapist. Some centers also have naturopaths, yoga teachers, massage therapists, etc., which is a great add-on, but the medical staff and psychological backup is essential to guarantee a safe and efficient intervention.
If you are seeking a psychotherapeutic or personal growth session with ibogaine, the medical procedure is less critical, so an experienced ibogaine facilitator with a medical doctor on call for eventual adverse events is in most cases enough, only if a medical examination was conducted prior to the session.
There are also lay treatment providers doing treatments in hotel rooms, apartments or houses, some with, others without medical knowledge. Some require previous medical and psychiatric examination, others don’t. Some work underground in a country where ibogaine is illegal, others in unregulated context. These sessions can imply greater risk than the ones in centers that have an experienced medical staff, but sometimes one has no choice because of financial limitations, passport issues making it impossible to travel to another country, etc.
There are also online vendors of iboga root bark, iboga extracts (Total Alkaloids - TA, Precursor Total Alkaloids - PTA) or ibogaine HCL. The quality and potency of such products vary greatly, and batches might be mixed with other potentially dangerous substances. Some offer treatment guidance through email or skype, but this is not safe at all. Taking ibogaine on your own is dangerous. An experienced facilitator present during your session is crucial.
How to choose the right center
Another important factor is the transparency of the people running the center. It is an ethical obligation for centers doing medical interventions to mention the staff members with their full names, titles, training and experience on the website. If this is not the case, there is no guarantee that what they write on their website is what you will find once you arrive at the center. Some centers might not mention names because of potential legal implications, not working with a license.
If they don’t ask you for a medical (minimum ECG, blood test with liver panel) and psychological/psychiatric screening as a condition to enroll in the program, this should be an alarm about the responsibility of the staff. If contraindications come up in the screening, not respecting the exclusion criteria implies a serious increase in risk which can potentially end up in an adverse event. However, due to the destructive nature of some chemical dependencies, determining whether the intervention contains too much of a risk for you might be more complex to determine. Many cancer treatments, for example, have a high risk; but, as cancer can be a life threatening condition, the patient is free to choose what risk he is willing to take to heal the cancer. In the case of severe addiction, this is also the case. It is important, however, to be conscious about the risks an ibogaine treatment can carry for your health profile. Centers or people working with ibogaine should always have an emergency protocol and be in the range of a hospital.
Aside of the previously mentioned factors, it is wise to have a live conversation (skype, telephone or in person) with the individual responsible for the centers that have passed your first filter. The philosophy of the center, the sensitivity of the person and personal connection you might feel will draw you more to one center or person than to another.