Ibogaine requires both preparation and integration support to bookend the treatment and give it the best chance of success. It is imperative that you do your due diligence to understand the nature of the medicine and what to look for in its providers. With preparation you want to consider mental prep, physical prep, and life prep. Mental prep might include setting clear intentions, releasing expectations about the experience, getting honest with yourself in areas of denial, acknowledging fears, limiting beliefs, and negativity that blocks growth, and practicing mindfulness. Physical prep speaks to hydration and nutrition, movement and exercise, pre-cleansing your body, good sleep, and all around self-care.
Ibogaine for addiction treatment almost always happens in a medical setting with licensed medical staff. Individuals are pre-screened through a complete medical workup, exam, lab work, and an EKG. Treatments are administered via capsules and medically monitored throughout treatment. During the experience a person undergoing the treatment will lay on their backs for 12-18 hours often, in a awakened dream-state where all senses may experience dream-like hallucinations. Often people will see visions when their eyes are closed, and have blurred vision when eyes are open. One usually feels ataxic or dizzy like they can’t move, hears buzzing, feels temperature changes, gets nauseous, and feels many changing sensations from extreme comfort to discomfort. This is a long experience that requires patience, surrender, and endurance. The first phase commonly referred to as the “visionary phase” is most intense. The experience is a mystery until you step into it, there is no telling what you’ll experience, and every experience is unique.
The integration phase following an ibogaine journey is what this medicine is all about. This is the most important aspect of ibogaine addiction treatment, as the majority of the benefits come after the experience through changes in one’s life, environment, and sense of self. The medicine relieves a person of the withdrawal symptoms and physical dependency, but mentally, emotionally, and socially there is still a lot of work to do to use this short window of opportunity to permanently dismantle addictive tendencies. The process of recognizing the insights and opportunity from the experience and turning those insights into positive action in life-affirming and transformative ways, is the essence of integration. Since the addictive mindset still plays a role fighting for a position, a person has to work hard to take what they’ve been shown and run with it. This is why having a plan a place is essential because in this raw sobered state, the addictive mind will try to get you to flop.