The Ibogaine Dossier
The Ibogaine Dossier

NYU Conference on Ibogaine Nov 5-6, 1999

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The anecdotal reports on this page have not been verified by The Ibogaine Dossier.

My friend and I

January 2002


30 yrs old, 8 years of opiate and to a lesser extent crack use. 'Experienced' UK state methods for maintenance/detox incl. methadone, psyseptone, DF118s, naltrexone, lofexidine, clonidine and most recently buprenorphine.

This is my second try with ibogaine, the first attempt with rootbark failed completely due to weak batch/vomiting.

My tolerance for opiates at the time of trying the HCl was down to around 0.3 gm /day of heroin. Heroin in this part of the UK is notoriously pure due to close proximity to the UK import capital of Bradford, Yorkshire.

The Experience:

Day 1

15:00 - Took last IV hit of heroin, just enough to maintain comfort, probably 0.1 gm if that.

20:00 - Took 3 travel sickness pills

21:00 - Took 1 full gm of Ibogaine HCl (at least we hope it was that and of a good purity, maybe you will be able to tell). Myself and sitter had both forgotten to get some gelatin capsules so the powder was mixed in water/orange juice and drunk. I noticed familiar psychedelic 'twinges' within minutes. Probably due to the liquid solution, the onset of effects were pretty rapid.

21:30 - Retired to prepared bedroom, heard familiar tryptamine buzzing tone which turned into oscillating wave. External visual distortion began. Some colours with eyes shut.

22:00 to peak...

For the next few hours I experienced a variety of effects, some of which are listed below.

Note: there was no nausea at all during this period, body was pretty much immobile.

A hypnotic tribal drumming sound began in the auditory distance and then got louder. Also heard chanting. There was a large amount of 'trivial' imagery at start, I found this distracting as I couldn't totally 'get off'. Concentrated on the tone sound and found on several occasions that I broke through into seemingly different spheres. Eyelid images became vivid. Floating over landscapes, distinctly recall flying over drumming African archetype warriors, one of which turned and watched as 'I' floated past.

I am familiar with the idea of visual language and synaesthesia-like effects on psychedelics such as DMT. The one episode which really stood out on ibogaine was when a rectangular object appeared in the distance. It appeared to have a stage within it (this may be a poor metaphor for the actual phenomena) and contained several coloured objects. As this item came closer into my field of vision, I realised that my thoughts, or words spoken in my mind were representing themselves across this 3d stage within the rectangle. This was an amazing revelation at the time... I realised that the dichotomy of space and time had collapsed and that meaning was being represented in a multitude of ways... expression was multi-modal.

01:00 - According to my sitter I left the bedroom and entered the room where they were. Mobile at this stage?? I retired again to the room. I remember being unsteady and still having heavy visual distortions.

05:00 - I remember thinking to myself that the most intense part of the experience was over. Again I moved to the room where my sitter was (asleep) and sat in a chair.

08:00 - By this point I started to feel some anxiety. I realised I had not been through and sort of introspective visual element, neither did I feel any sort of emotional reviewing of anything I *may* have experienced perhaps subconsciously. To add to this, as the anesthetic effects of the drug wore of, I began to experience classic withdrawal symptoms: chills, sneezing, tears and most of all I had pretty nasty muscle/leg cramps/aches. The latter were beyond anything 'manageable'.

10:00 - By this time I'd woken my sitter and urgently requested he let me drive to the pharmacy to get his methadone script so I could have something. I was prepared to DRIVE less than 12 hrs into an ibogaine trip that should be at least 24?!? Anyway, after an amazing amount of 'negative' synchronicities which stalled obtaining the methadone for 6 hours (you wouldn't believe half the things that occurred on a simple trip into town!), I took 20-30mg methadone and felt better.

The main point I want to make is this: I have had significant experience with psychedelics and many bouts of nasty opiate withdrawal to my name. I KNOW the difference between feeling rough coming down from a trip and opiate withdrawal. I was so into the ibo working I was *prepared* for some discomfort... the fact I severely CRAVED a shot of heroin 12 hours after taking the drug goes against everything I've read and discussed with the ibo crowd does it not.??

There was however, strangely enough, success with smoking. My ashtray is still filled with one-drag stumps.

I can also back up the story of Heerte F? (a women featured in the Ibogaine Story I think) because trying a small amount of heroin 24 hrs after I noticed how it brought back an ibogaine/opium type feeling. My opiate use/craving has since declined... I've been medicating enough to keep away full withdrawal, no more. I also feel a slightly more 'in control' outlook on life.

I'm not disillusioned by my experience, just confused as to whether I was expecting too much. Why did I have a full blown experience for the first 4 hrs and then not enter any state that played out interpersonal stuff in the form on a lucid dream?? I could see how this could happen on ibogaine, it is the perfect substance for interacting with visions but it just didn't happen. Neither was there any real emotional introspection at the end... I felt pretty 'flat' at the 12 hour stage.

As I write this, my friend is due to take the second gram. I'll let you know what happens this time. Any feedback appreciated. If I think of more things, I'll mail you.

I'm trying to get my friend to write up his experience, till then here is my version of what he told me and my experience as a sitter.


The second gram of ibogaine was to be taken by a long-term friend of mine. He is 33 yrs old and again has an 8/10 year history of pretty regular opiate use. The last attempt he had at getting clean involved a stay in one of the UKs Phoenix House units where they use pretty intense transactional analysis. This followed a fast detox in a hospital with valium and naloxone (not pleasant). After 12 months in the unit, he stayed clean for a further 9 months. Since then he's been on a steady dose of 40mg methadone with occasional (smoking) heroin use. He is certain of Burroughs (& apomorphine*) claim that he has NEVER been METABOLICALLY cured and thus has high hopes for ibogaine.

* What happened to further research use of this stuff?


Waited for 12-18 hrs after doing his last dose of methadone. Due to the possible failings of my ibo experience he was determined to rule out any variables that may affect the ibo. He took NO sickness pills and wouldn't use water to mix the powder with - this is because I suggested the chlorine/fluoride in the water may have interacted with the ibo in some way?!?

Although he felt initial mild effects, the ibogaine didn't make him feel unstable/woozy for a long time. Both our trips demonstrated the differences between metabolic rates. I was 'out' within 1/2 hr and could walk steadily after 12. After 2 and a half hours he retired to lie down and visuals/full ibo experience followed for the next 4-5 hrs. 24 hrs later he was having problems crossing a room to use the toilet.

During this period he also backed up my experience where we were both overwhelmed with what can only be described as trivial images. We both agreed that this element to the ibo experience has not been well documented. From our discussions we decided:

  • 1. These visions are predominantly cartoon like in nature.

  • 2. Unlike experiences on other psychedelics it is difficult to interact with these icons/visual concepts and shift them into another metaphor, make them 'progress' or simply get rid of them! They are definitely ibogaine-like phenomena and distinct from other hallucinogens.

  • 3. Ibogaine definitely alters the visual/semantic modes of consciousness. I would go as far as to say the visions fall into two spheres in this area. There is the phenomena I was involved in during my experience where within the medium of the rectangle/stage I saw my thoughts 'travel' and appear in differing sensual formats under a collapsed space/time vector. I count this visual language experience as separate to these other images we experienced. The other images which dominate the main part of the visual trip seem to be driven by internal dialogue/thought patterns but are of a lower syntactical dimension to that described above. They are very much black/white or on/off and seem to be caught up in the basics of linguistic dichotomy, a kind of semantic mobius strip! This isn't as mind-blowing as it sounds... one cannot interrupt the loop, try to think outside the concept and it will appear in another way almost instantaneously. At one point my friend said the experience of this phenomena reminded him of:

    "Being at a funhouse inside a [mental] asylum controlled by the cosmic clown"

    We put the nature of these images down to a symbolic representation/manifestation of the struggle between opiates and iboga but boy does the plant over-play this part... not the most pleasant thing.

Note: I'm interested in your thoughts on this area, especially that this element seemed to dominate both our experiences. Is this similar on the rootbark I wonder?

- After the 4/5 hrs of visuals slowed down, my friend managed to call me into the room where he was (he said this took him a long time to get the words/concept out) and said he was suffering 'bad' withdrawals and requested methadone. I attempted put him off this as I knew that to an extent he was pre-programming this to happen as it had done to me at the end of my experience. I also knew that really the Ibo should still be having the anesthetic effect at this stage in the experience. Still, I eventually relented and gave him 20mg. Everything went quiet for a 1-2 hrs and he returned to a visual part of the trip.

- Later he recalled distinctly having 'astral' traveling experiences. Strangely, he did pick up on the fact that he went and visited old friends. For example, an old g/friend he hasn't seen for 6 years was visited. He said she looked 'perplexed' as he tried to alert her to him being there. He also said that all the people he 'met' had aged as he thought they would have given the period of time he has been away. This could well be classed as a lucid dream element - the closest thing to what both of us were expecting more of. He also recalls having the ibogaine plant make him watch itself root and grow in the planet.

- 2 hours after the methadone he vomited. The vomiting also happened again at around the 12-14 hour mark.

- 18 hours later he emerged and sat in a chair still unable to negotiate movement and feeling very confused and tired. Usual trails of light/explosions were evident to him.

Shortly after I left and returned to my flat. The next day he arrived in the morning (approx. 36 hrs post Ibo) and to my amazement said he had had 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep! Now given the fact that this was a good 2 and 1/2 days since his methadone (if you discount the 20mg due to vomiting), 12 hrs of sleep is pretty good. He then walked a good 2 miles into town with me and his only physiological symptoms were what he described as a cycle of exhaustion followed by xs energy. He even went to the pharmacy and gave me his daily bottle of methadone.

So far this seems the best potential position he's been in re addiction, so long as he's away from addictive cues and behaviour he should do well. He said the CHOICE re going out to score H or staying clean had become irrelevant. This is crucial to me... it was what I was looking for, this type of interruption in the decision making process.

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