Ibogaine: the Joy of Rehab

Copyright © 2001, Patrick K. Kroupa
All Rights Reserved

“Head like a hole; black as your soul; I’d rather die than give you control.”

–Nine Inch Nails (Head Like A Hole)

Original Publication: Heroin Times

Over the course of the last coupla articles, I’ve covered what it feels like to kick using ibogaine — to recap, it’s highly non-dramatic. Roughly 30 to 45 minutes after dosing you feel a sensation of heat in your solar plexus, this gradually moves up your spine. And… that’s it. Your habit is non-existed.

After coming back down to earth, you’re not sick, you’re not going through withdrawal, in short: you are not addicted. You also have noribogaine – a slow-acting metabolite of ibogaine – onboard for anywhere from a few weeks, to several months, depending on what type of metabolizer you are.

This is the “window of opportunity” that’s been mentioned quite a few times in relation to what ibogaine can provide, beyond the detox stage.

While I would say it’s extremely important to make positive use of this time in any way possible… I am extremely hesitant to say that it’s a great idea to check yourself into a rehab.

Taking a reality check, for some people it might be. I have met individuals who did rehab post-ibogaine, experienced positive results, and managed to maintain greater lengths of clean-time, than at any other point in their lives.

To be realistic, it amounts to harm reduction. If you’re in a rehab and blow out every couple of weeks, well hey, that’s an improvement over sticking a needle in your arm several times a day.

By the same token I’ve met just as many people who never did rehab, don’t go to any meetings, and aren’t on some interesting cocktail of medications, who have managed to hold things together pretty well. “Pretty well” ranges from complete sobriety, to occasional lapses, but generally getting their lives back.

While my experience with detox is extensive, my stay in any kind of “rehab” — post-ibogaine — was extremely short. I lasted for about 2 weeks before getting thrown out. Ostensibly for using, but being realistic, I got tossed for not nailing myself to a cross and fulfilling my guilt quota when confronted with this fact.

And basically, you wind up with people whose ego trip, self-definition, and cash-flow, all come from being an “expert” at sobriety. And this is okay, I mean it’s something to do, and most of them mean well at least on some level. But the reality is, their main desire is to make you over in their image of what you should be, redefine you on their terms, and convert you to their cult — whatever it happens to be. This leads to “do it our way or you will die” syndrome. Which, to be blunt, is completely untrue and absolute bullshit.

I mean, I’m not even sure how to express it as anything except really bad surrealism.

You are surrounded by people who may or may not actually be clean; in theory they all are, although in reality many of them have been involved in “drug-counseling” for years, while totally strung-out and actively using their drugs of choice, at the same time they are theoretically advising others to stay off drugs.

The advice is absurd, the life-stories are complete disasters, and basically the people who are supposed to be there to help guide you in establishing or re-establishing different patterns of behavior, are individuals who could either be doing what they’re doing, “drug-counseling,” or have a really exciting career in the fast-food industry.

In short, all of this feels like walking into the middle of a really bad comedy routine, that just keeps repeating itself, over and over, and over again, without ever getting to the punchline.

When I look at this space in time within my current perspective and sift through it, looking for what was there. Attempting to color it any other way, or imbue it with any sort of redemptive quality, I am forced to admit that it did provide me with an absolute turning point in my life.

Drug addiction sucks, it’s slavery. But as much as it sucks… it’s doable. I have gone through literally years of my life saying, “I cannot live like this another day,” but oddly enough the days keep right on passing into months and years. If this is as bad as it gets, I can handle it.

Jail or prison also sucks. But really, it’s all the same thing. Yet another sub-culture with its own set of rituals and rules, and more or less all the same bullshit you find anywhere else. The only difference being, you don’t have to do a whole lotta soul-searching to identify the bars of the cell you’re locked in.

Rehab… is not doable. If this is as bad as it gets, then fuck it, I opt for the lesser of two evils and want the drugs back, because this is absolutely intolerable. I have allowed myself to reach the point of nearly complete disintegration by shutting down my connection to what I really am.

And yah know… all that’s happening here is while I’m laying on the ground bleeding to death, I keep getting kicked in the face.

No matter how weak I am, no matter how tired I am, no matter how badly I’m just totally fucked up. I cannot swallow this shit. If you say black is white and up is down, 10,000 times, and fill rooms full of people who have grown to agree with one another on these topics . . . I still cannot make myself believe in something that does not resonate with my truth.

If I wanted to allow myself to be reprogrammed I would at least pick a cult that I liked and thought was somewhat interesting. This is just … nonsense, wishful thinking, and a whole lotta bullshit.

And ultimately . . . I am allowing myself to be subjected to this shit. I have not been sentenced here, this is not part of some deal my lawyer cut to allow me to avoid incarceration, I am here of my own volition.

And for the amount of money I’m paying to be at the receiving end of this, and live in a dump like this, I could be renting a really sweet hotel room, have my drugs delivered to the front door, order limo service, and find a lotta nice ways to entertain myself. I am starting to realize that I truly must be sick if I’ve checked myself into this place — there’s something definitely wrong with me, and I really do need to do SOMETHING — but this . . . this ain’t it.

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