Ibogaine: Miracle Cure for Everything…?

Copyright © 2001, Patrick K. Kroupa
All Rights Reserved

Original Publication: Heroin Times

 “It’s been a while, since I’ve gone and fucked things up, just like I always do…”

–Staind (It’s Been a While / Break the Cycle)

Over the course of the past coupla years, ibogaine has started to make the near-endless journey from obscure, miracle-cure, known and written about mostly by a very small collection of activists and underground self-help groups; to a treatment modality being given at least semi-serious consideration by entities such as the FDA.

At the present time, in the United States, ibogaine research is mostly in a twilight-zone of having been green-lighted by the FDA for clinical trials on human, drug-dependent individuals, but suspended due to a lack of research funding.

To paraphrase THEM and THOSE PEOPLE, “Okay, it might work, but really, nobody wants to fund the research, and also, there’s this whole entire ‘tripping out’ part of the equation which kinda, sorta, possibly, makes us just a little uneasy.

Furthermore, who the hell wants to invest money in a drug that people only take once. How’s anybody ever going to make any money on this?

So what if it works, methadone clinics ‘work’ too AND they generate lotsa cash. If you don’t like methadone, go take buprenorphine or LAAM while it’s still available; Q-T prolongation and torsades are actually GOOD for you.”

Additionally there are a large number of true-believers running around with a plethora of opinions regarding the possible efficacy of tabernanthe iboga, and what it may or may not do for you. There are a near-endless series of experiences, both first-person and secondhand, informed and uninformed; regarding ibogaine, its origins, uses, and mode of action.

Some are highly useful, some fall under that broad category of people who have sumthin’ to sell you, and really don’t have a clue as to what the fuck they’re talking about; and much of what remains is a collage of opinions about doing ibogaine for personal development — as opposed to kicking drugs — or endless meandering about how someone took ibogaine, gained incredible insights, and managed to stop smoking or get drunk less often.

Okay, I don’t mean to disparage anybody’s life struggles, but… whatever planet you’re on, it ain’t where I’m coming from.

If my major problem was smoking too many cigarettes, I would have been extremely grateful. Chain-smoking doesn’t even make a dent in my top-10 list of issues. Best of luck, but what you’re talking ’bout has little or nothing to do with me.

So, basically, what will follow is my best attempt to present the realities of what ibogaine actually does; what it doesn’t do; and what YOU can do to stay off heroin once you’ve dosed with it. I don’t sell ibogaine, I am not involved in aftercare treatment, and I don’t in any way profit from any of this — in short, personally, it makes absolutely no difference to me what you do with yourself to get clean, or how you maintain after the fact.

To provide a brief summation of my life prior to ibogaine: I’ve chipped with heroin since I was 14 years old, this took roughly a decade to turn into what I would personally define as a “problem.”

At the time I first got strung-out, my partner (Bruce Fancher) and I, were running the first ISP (Internet Service Provider) in New York City — one of the first three in the United States — in the years that followed I’ve shot up and smoked, well over 7 figures; repeatedly burnt down opportunities, relationships, companies, book deals, and a wide assortment of “stuff” that would fall under the categories of: possessions, personal values, and finally; freedom . . . all in the pursuit of heroin.

Because — if I get real about it — I was ultimately forced to conclude that none of it mattered to me as much as dope, and I was willing to trade all of it for another fix.

At the time of this writing I’m 32, and I’ve been clean from all opiates/opioids for ’bout a year and a half. Which is the longest I have ever made it in my entire “adult” life. While I don’t particularly knock ’em — they definitely provide a higher, overall positive outcome, for more individuals than probably anything else going — I’ve been to three 12-step meetings during this entire time.

I finally kicked dope while hangin’ out at a Buddhist monastery located just outside of Bangkok, and surrounded by the cheapest, highest quality heroin on the planet.

To answer the number one question, which has probably appeared in my mail more times, than every other ibogaine-related query combined: does ibogaine cure drug addiction?

The short, simple answer: NO.

“Cure” implies magic wand, something outside of you, which will somehow make everything totally different, without any effort on your part.

The term “addiction interrupter” has come into use — and really, that’s pretty much the best possible description of what it does.

It’s something more than a simple detox; from the personal standpoint of somebody who’s used it to kick really heavy habits, what it does is nothing short of amazing. It seems to hit a <Reset> on your entire physiology, you are not detoxed, it’s more like, your habit is non-existed. In this respect it basically amounts to being a magic wand.

Ibogaine provides a window of opportunity. What you do with this time is entirely within your power. “Wow man, the sun is sunnier, the clouds are fluffier, life is so great… Ya know, if I did some dope right now, I bet I could REALLY feel it!” Absolutely.

Out of all the things it DOES, ibogaine doesn’t simply hand you a brand-new life, it’s not a magic force-field that will keep the drugs away from you, and it won’t make everything completely different, without a lot of work on your part.

The problem usually isn’t your habit … ibogaine can solve that part of it; the problem is that your habit is the solution to your problems. And that’s gonna take some effort to change. There is nobody and nothing that can make that choice and follow it up with action, except for you.

Tune in next time when you get even more insightful answers to burning questions; “Wow, okay, I’m clean. So, like, how do I stay that way, and what the fuck do I do with myself now…?


At the present time the only entity involved in doing large-scale clinical research on human, drug-dependent subjects, is the Ibogaine Research Project; under the auspices of Dr. Deborah Mash.

Ibogaine Research Project: http://www.ibogaine-research.org

Some particularly lucid and well-articulated writings on the topic of using ibogaine for personal development appear in the work of Nick Sandberg, and are available here:


Places to go when you’re not bangin’ up or hittin’ the crack-pipe:

MindVox: http://www.mindvox.com
WackyCrackHeads : http://www.wackycrackheads.com

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