March 21, 2012
tabernanthe iboga

Tabernanthe iboga (plant source of Ibogaine)

About Ibogaine

Ibogaine is a psychoactive indole alkaloid derived from the rootbark of an African plant – Tabernanthe iboga. In recent years it has been increasingly noted for its ability to treat both drug and alcohol addiction. Both scientific studies and widespread anecdotal reports appear to suggest that a single administration of ibogaine has the ability to both remove the symptoms of drug withdrawal and reduce drug-craving for a period of time after administration. In addition, the drug’s psychoactive properties (in large doses it can induce a dreamlike state for a period of hours) have been widely credited with helping users understand and reverse their drug-using behaviour.

Studies suggest that ibogaine has considerable potential in the treatment of addiction to heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, methadone, and alcohol. There is also indication that it may be useful in treating tobacco dependence. It has also been suggested that the drug may have considerable potential in the field of psychotherapy, particularly as a treatment for the effects of trauma or conditioning. A single administration of ibogaine typically has three effects useful in the treatment of drug dependence. Firstly, it causes a massive reduction in the symptoms of drug withdrawal, allowing relatively painless detoxification. Secondly, there is a marked lowering in the desire to use drugs for a period of time after taking ibogaine, typically between one week and several months. This has been confirmed by scientific studies. Finally, the drug’s psychoactive nature is reported to help many users understand and resolve the issues behind their addictive behaviour.

Ibogaine can be easily administered, in capsule form, and has no addictive effects itself. It is essentially a “one-shot” medication and, used in a fully clinical setting with proper advance medical screening, the drug thus far appears to be safe to use. Whilst it certainly happens that some individuals stop using drugs permanently from a single dose of ibogaine, for many the treatment should best be regarded as simply the initial component in an overall rehabilitation programme.

Although approved for clinical trials (trials on humans) for the treatment of addiction in the US in the early 1990s, problems with financial backing and other issues have so hindered the development of ibogaine that, as of early 2005, it remains undeveloped and thus unavailable to the majority of addicts worldwide. There are however now an increasing number of private clinics, located mostly around the Caribbean and Central and South America, that offer ibogaine treatment at prices starting around £2,000, (approx US$4000). Some lay treatment providers offer lower cost treatment, with varying levels of medical facilities, in Europe. In addition, ibogaine, either in pure form or as a plant extract, has become available from some lay sources on the internet.

Ibogaine’s current legal status in the UK, and much of the rest of the world, is that of an unlicensed, experimental medication, and it not therefore an offence to possess the drug, though to act as a distributor may be breaking the law. Ibogaine is a restricted substance (possession is illegal) in some countries, including the US, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Belgium.

Please see our other pages about Ibogaine Therapy , ibogaine treatment centres and related experiences of working with Ibogaine.









Howard Lotsof – father of Ibogaine passes away

March 20, 2012


Howard S. Lotsof

Howard S. Lotsof the father of ibogaine

Announcement – Howard Lotsof, father of ibogaine passed away on Sunday January 31st 2010 after some years of illness. He was active in promoting ibogaine right up until he left. Without Howard many people would likely never have beaten addiction and perhaps the world would still not know about this amazing natural substance. We all owe him an immense debt of gratitude – Nick Sandberg, website owner.

Important information for those thinking of taking Ibogaine

March 22, 2012

With Ibogaine treatment now more available than ever before, in an ever-widening range of settings, more and more knowledge about the drug is gathering. At the time of writing, March 2007, one thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that there is a reasonable degree of risk associated with taking the drug. At least 12 people are recorded as having died in connection with taking ibogaine or other iboga substances over the last decade or so, and there is reason to believe that the number may be higher, with other deaths having occurred in non-clinical settings and without being recorded.

Here is some safety-related information about the drug:

– There is an inherent level of risk with ibogaine treatment. Twelve people are known to have died in connection with taking ibogaine or other iboga alkaloids. In actuality, the figure is likely higher, given that ibogaine is frequently administered in surroundings where people may be reluctant to contact the authorities in the event of something going wrong. Statistically, a ballpark figure for deaths during treatment is probably of the order of 1 in 300. (This is based on 12 recorded deaths having occurred within 3611 recorded treatments, outside of Africa, as of March 2007). The following factors have been identified as having caused death:

  • having a pre-existing heart condition, sometimes one not detectable by EKG
  • using opiates when on ibogaine, or shortly afterwards
  • using the rootbark or iboga extract. Ibogaine HCl is statistically much safer
  • taking ibogaine outside of a clinical facility. Persons taking ibogaine need constant supervision and, ideally, online heart monitoring

– Ibogaine is principally recognised for its ability to vastly reduce the symptoms of drug withdrawal, thus allowing addicts to detox relatively painlessly. Any other claims made for the drug, such as that it creates long-term drug-abstinence, or removes the effects of trauma or conditioning in either addicts or non-addicts, may have a degree of truth but are a great deal less substantiated.

– You must be medically tested before you take ibogaine. Proper clinical testing of heart and liver function are the absolute minimum. The site author is not aware of any reputable treatment provider who would allow you to take ibogaine without prior medical testing. Do not go with someone who does not insist on it. Ideally, you should have constant monitoring of heart function whilst on the drug, and medically-trained staff present.

– Beware of listening excessively to the advice of just one individual when deciding whether or not to take ibogaine. Ibogaine’s effects can be life-changing, and it is common for someone who has had a very positive experience to do their utmost to “spread the message,” possibly allowing their enthusiasm to override the very real concerns about safety.

– If you are thinking of taking ibogaine for personal development and haven’t yet been involved in proper therapy (therapy where there’s an open admission by the individual of the presence of emotional issues), be aware that you may be being attracted to a “quick fix” strategy that avoids really dealing with deeper issues. If this is the case, ibogaine could possibly make things worse. For some, using psychoactive substances can invoke disturbing reactions as the mind’s defences struggle to keep down rising repressed material. Drugs like ibogaine, ketamine, LSD and MDMA (Ecstasy), have been used in the past by therapists, but only as one component of an overall therapeutic strategy. Using the drug out of this context could cause more harm than good.

All the above said, ibogaine still potentially represents a major medical breaththrough, especially in the field of treating drug dependency.

Ibogaine – Latest News

March 22, 2012

(This page last updated October 2009)

Please mail me if you have an ibogaine-related announcement you would like to put up on this page. Details of how to reach me available on the Contact page.



Howard Lotsof to be honoured at the 2009 International Drug Policy Reform Conference in New Mexico, November 11-14 2009

Howard Lotsof, ibogaine’s “founding father” in the West, will be awarded the Robert Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action at this years’ International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This will be a major ibogaine event and I urge anyone able to attend to do so.


The Ibogaine Medical Subculture

Check out this fascinating review document from Dr Ken Alper, associate professor of psychiatry at the New York School of Medicine Click here to read this paper.



New Iboga Book Published

Iboga: The Visionary Root of African Shamanism, by Vincent Ravalec, Mallendi, and Agnes Paicheler has been published by Inner Traditions, October 2007. See listing on Amazon for more info.



US Ibogaine Freedom Walk to take place September 2007

“Freedom was the ideal upon which the United States was founded. Freedom from oppression, freedom from tyranny, freedom from persecution…Well, we’re not done.”
“The Ibogaine Walk is for freedom from drugs and alcohol for any addicts or alcoholics who choose it.”
Visit www.ibogainewalk.com for more information.



Paper Published on Ninth Recorded Ibogaine-related Death – Sep 2006

French scientists researching the death of a 48 year old white male, following consumption of iboga rootbark, have published their findings in the Journal of Analytic Toxicology. The man had a history of drug use, but no further details are currently available.
The abstract is online at www.jatox.com/abstracts/2006/september/434-bressolle.html



New York Ibogaine Conference 2006 – Pics and Reports

The 2006 New York Ibogaine Forum took place at Lerner Hall, Columbia University, New York and the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, New York, on Sat 25 – Sun 26 February 2006.
For a conference repost and link to pics check ibogaine.mindvox.com/Art/CoSM2006/CoSM2006.html and http://ibogaine.mindvox.com/News/2006Columbia-COSM.html.



Ibogaine death in Mexico – January 2006

Jason Sears, a 38 year old rock singer from Santa Barbara, died after taking ibogaine at a clinic in Tijuana. He was seeking treatment for drug issues. The cause of death was pulmonary thrombosis, according to an autopsy report. State authorities weren’t planning on filing charges because Jason Sears appeared to have died of natural causes due to other health problems, a spokesman with the State Attorney General’s Office said. This is the eighth recorded ibogaine-related fatality.
A media report is online at www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/tijuana/20060202-9999-7m2detox.html



Ibogaine film released on DVD – May 2005

Ben de Loenen’s excellent film, “Ibogaine – Rite of Passage,” has now been released on DVD.


Ibogaine related death in Nevada – April 2005

A 43 year old male heroin addict tragically died 3 days after an ibogaine detox in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cause of death is, as yet, unknown. Prior EKG and liver testing had shown him to be in reasonable condition. A coroner’s report is expected around June 2005. More details will hopefully be released when available. I wish to extend my heartfelt sympathies to his wife and 4 children for their loss.
This is the seventh recorded ibogaine-related fatality.



New Ibogaine Book Released – August 2004

Amazing Grace, by Lee Albert. Irishman Lee Albert’s much-awaited book on ibogaine is now available. “Amazing Grace,” an account of Lee’s spiritual journey with ibogaine, is thoroughly recommended to anyone interested in the drug. Available on Amazon from September 2004 onwards or direct from the publishers at www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=20623 or www.myeboga.com/amazinggrace.html
Check out the author’s own website at www.myeboga.com for more information.
Free copies of Amazing Grace are available to the media. Check out www.myeboga.com/freecopy.html for details.



Ibogaine Death in Germany – July 2002

A young woman tragically died during an informal ibogaine session in Germany last month (July 2002). The death occurred about one and a half hours after taking 500mg of ibogaine HCl for personal development purposes. An autopsy apparently failed to isolate an exact cause of death. The woman, aged 35 years and weighing 63 kg, had used the drug previously on one occasion without problem. I do not have information about whether she had taken advised medical tests. She had previously complained of problems with her heart, breast, and uterus. Medical tests, conducted at the time, failed to reveal any problems. Note this is the fifth recorded ibogaine-related death in the last 10 years.



London Ibogaine Conference – Dec 12 2001

Around 60 people attended the conference, held at The Resource Centre, Holloway Rd and, from the feedback, most people thought it was a great event. Sadly, Mallendi, a Bwiti priest now living in Paris, couldn’t give his talk, due to last minute visa problems, but slides from Gabon were shown instead. We are hoping to be able to release video, audio or written material from the conference in 2002. Stay tuned for details. Conference details are online at www.ibogaine.co.uk/2001.htm



UK Coroner records death was caused by Tabernanthe iboga extract – Feb 9 2000

The inquest into the tragic death of JW, a 40 year old male heroin addict, concluded this morning at Westminster Coroner’s Court, London, having been adjourned from Jan 10 2001, pending examination of reference toxicological data from the lab of Dr Deborah Mash, an acknowledged scientific authority on ibogaine and iboga species.

Having heard evidence from J, who carried out the treatment, the pathologist, the police toxicologist, and Nick Sandberg, (myself), amongst others, the coroner, Dr Paul Knapman, found that JW died approximately 40 hours after ingesting 6g of a Tabernanthe iboga preparation, (T. iboga is the source of numerous active alkaloids including ibogaine), in an attempt to break a lengthy heroin addiction, having had no success with other detoxification strategies. He stated that “it seems that the most likely explanation is that he died as a reaction to this preparation.”

It was therefore ruled that JW died principally from a fatal reaction to Tabernanthe iboga preparation, the fact that he had suffered liver damage as a result of Hepatitus C being recorded as a secondary cause. A verdict of ‘death by misadventure’ was recorded.

In addition, the coroner stated that he shall be “writing to the Medicines Control Agency, drawing to their attention the existence of Tab iboga preparation used for therapeutic purposes, for their consideration of some regulation of the sale or supply of this substance.” Essentially this means that Tabernanthe iboga and-or its recognised alkaloid content, (including ibogaine), may shortly be scheduled as a ‘restricted drug’ in the UK, making possession illegal.

With regard to reports that the deceased may have died as a result of ibogaine toxicity, the coroner recognised the presence of other active alkaloids in the preparation ingested by JW and made the statement that the blame for this death “need not necessarily be laid at the feet of ibogaine.”



Ibogaine Protest outside the offices of The Observer

Demonstration undertaken Feb 1st 2001, 12 noon, outside the London offices of The Observer, protesting their publishing of an appallingly inaccurate article about ibogaine and subsequently refusing to publish a retraction. Click here for details of the article and our response.



Dr Mash publishes clinical study – November 2000

Dr Deborah Mash publishes a clinical study of ibogaine for the treatment of drug dependence in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Ref: Ann N Y Acad Sci 2000;914:394-401
Full article online here.



Dan Lieberman dies – August 2000

South African iboga researcher and ethnobotanist, Dan Lieberman, tragically died in a car accident on August 1st 2000, aged only 33. Dan, a graduate student at Rhodes University, had been involved with Tabernanthe iboga on a multitude of fronts and his death is therefore a tragic loss of many levels.

Dan gave presentations on iboga around the UK in the Spring of ’99 and further presented a fascinating paper on the ritual use of iboga at the New York Ibogaine Conference in November ’99. In addition, he both worked with iboga in his native South Africa, taking people out into the bush to use the drug, usually for substance problems; and further organised trips to Gabon for those who were interested in undertaking Bwiti initiation.

His death is a tragic loss and he will be remembered by all from the world of iboga and ibogaine. A tribute site is online at www.gammalyte.com/dan.

Are We Being Told The Truth About The “War on Drugs”? by Nick Sandberg

March 21, 2012

The massive and ever-increasing presence of illicit drugs within our society is prompting much concern. The US government’s “War on Drugs” is demonstrably not working and further considered by many to be counterproductive.

Here in the UK, the number of people using heroin is now reckoned to be approaching 2% of the general population of some cities. Yet little effective strategy to combat the problem appears to be forthcoming from government. And the impression we’re invariably given by the media is that there is little that can be done except punish the user. My opinion is that there are in truth a great number of things that could be being done, but that for various reasons governments are highly unwilling to undertake them. Preferring instead to bombard us with laughably ineffective media campaigns to ‘just say no’ and similar.

I believe there are four principal reasons why government is allowing the drug situation to get so out of control.

Firstly, heroin, and also cocaine, are now such major commodities, any effective attack on their presence would inevitably have a considerable knock-on effect on the world markets. Some analysts suggest effective action to lower heroin and cocaine supplies could end the current bull run and cause the market to enter a phase of depression. Something those who run the worlds finances seem determined to prevent.

Secondly, it helps facilitate transnational corporate expansionism. In a world where very big companies are seeking to get bigger still; to expand their holdings, both fiscal and human; it is very useful to be able to both socially and politically disenfranchise those persons who, for one reason or another, do not quite fit into the corporate gameplan. Heroin achieves this aim admirably. It is a high-strength painkiller, the action of which is to reduce the emotional impact of incoming stimuli on the user and so lower our response to our environment. People using heroin simply ‘care’ less. Junkies typically neither vote nor riot. They are rendered socially and politically inactive by their drug of choice and so do little to threaten the advance of corporate culture. Some writers have noted that anarhist or anti-capitalism groups frequently appear to be actually ‘targetted’ by drug gangs selling heroin.

Thirdly, the international crime syndicates and local criminal gangs that are the inevitable result of the illicit drug trade permit the expansion of anti-crime legislation and the erosion of civil liberty. Greater regulation of financial transactions, increased public surveillance by camera, and increased “stop and search” powers for police being a few examples.

And finally, the obvious presence of a drug-using underclass within our society provides both a useful excuse for the prevalence of many social ills that in truth relate to government-induced social inequality and policy failure, and serves as a “warning” to those who are attracted to a life of non-conformity of what can happen to people who don’t do as society wants.

So, what could really be being done about the drug problem?

One solution to the problem of illicit drugs was explored at a recent international conference in New York. In June 1998, at a Special Session of the United Nations Drug Control Programme, newly elected UNDCP head, Pino Arlacchi, delivered an address to some 168 world leaders and their representatives. In it he outlined his “grand plan” to eliminate heroin and cocaine worldwide by the use of crop replacement programmes, (schemes to encourage or compel poppy and coca farmers to switch crops to something less damaging). Arlacchi, a former mafia-buster in his native Italy, had pioneered such schemes in places like Burma and Afghanistan with considerable success.

Arlacchi’s plan was costed at US$5 billion, divided between participating nations and spread over ten years. This is not a lot of money, especially when one considers that the US State Department openly admits illicit drugs cost the US economy alone over $75 billion per annum. There are problems but Arlacchi insists they could be overcome.

(What is also interesting about Arlacchi’s plan is that, despite the presence of Clinton and countless other world leaders at its unveiling, barely a word of it has escaped to the media. In the UK, to the best of my knowledge, it has not attracted a single column centimetre of coverage in any major newspaper. In a country where tales of playground drug dealers regale our front pages on a weekly basis, it seems it’s decided no-one would be interested in hearing about a UN head who says he can eliminate drugs at source! Needless to say, the plan to eliminate heroin and cocaine has received virtually no funding to date).

In addition, much recent research reveals that drug addiction is not some random social ill induced by hedonistic lifestyles or poverty, but rather a “coping stategy” used by people who’ve suffered childhood trauma. If further resources were diverted to both informing the public of this and treating the cause of the problem not the symptom, great progress in the battle against addiction would very likely result.

And finally, many people are also not aware of the existence of substances that can eliminate the symptoms of withdrawal associated with drug addiction. The most noteworthy of which being ibogaine, an indole alkaloid derived from an African plant source. Ibogaine, in addition to removing withdrawal symptomology, is beneficially oneirogenic. Meaning it induces a dreamlike state in which the user can begin to examine his or her drug-using behaviour from a new perspective, frequently helping to facilitate long-term drug abstinence.

To sum up, I believe that if people want to see an end to the problems drugs are presenting within their communities they need to stop listening to the opinions relayed to them by the media and go out explore the issues for themselves.

Nick Sandberg, Winter ’99