As is implied in the name, Calle began as an aftercare facility. Following my treatment in September, 2009, it took several months for me to get back on my feet…don’t despair, there were several contributing factors to this time frame (eg. My age, 60 years, length of time on high doses of oxycontin and fentanyl, daily for 11.5 years, and the injuries sustained which lead to my dependency in the first place, two fractured discs in my neck leading to disc degeneration, and several broken ribs). During this recovery period I spent a few months living in San Pancho and interacting with clients there who had been treated with ibogaine. I learned, both through my own experience and in these interactions that although it is a detox tool par excellence, it is not a “cure” for addiction. (this from Bob Sisko–“….contrary to sensationalist claims found in popular media, it is not a ‘cure’ for addiction, but is an ‘addiction interruptor’ that is particularly useful for facilitating detoxification. Success should be defined not by a ‘drug-free’ life but by an ‘addiction-free’ life in which the individual has the ability to choose whether or not to use drugs.”) It is not a magic pill and recovery is an on-going process, rarely if ever complete after one dose of ibogaine. (and from Ken Alper–“optimal persistence in the self-administration of drugs by animals, or persistent reductions in drug cravings by humans may be achieved with a regimen of multiple doses over a period of time rather than with a single dose.” Alper, 2001) This, in my personal experience, and in observation of friends and clients, has proven to be the case. For this reason, multiple doses of ibogaine are administered, often as booster sized doses in the period following treatment, sometimes as “carry-home”.
I returned to Playas and opened an aftercare in conjunction with the clinic I was treated at. When that clinic changed locations and moved to San Pancho, began doing pre-care work (stabilizing clients off methadone and suboxone prior to treatment) in addition to aftercare. By this time I had had 11.5 years of personal experience with opiates and several months experience working with low-dose ibogaine, both personally and with clients.
As time passed, friends who had been treated and relapsed, and who could not afford another full-on treatment cost began asking for help. Given that I had access to the medical staff from the relocated clinic and had been ordering medicine direct from an established African source for some time, we began to accommodate these requests, and offered low-cost treatments following a protocol similar to that used in my own treatment. We did our first full flood in November of 2010, and we have worked with sixty-five people since that time.
Our focus from the beginning was, and continues to be, on the recovery of the individual beyond detox. I repeat, it is not a cure and it is not a magic pill. It is the most amazing detox tool found to date and anyone who has a dependency on opiates knows that the primary thing that often keeps us using is the fear and inability to deal with withdrawal symptoms and sickness, and the cravings that accompany this need to stay or regain being well. The elimination of these problems is ibogaines’ forte as it stops most all withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings for a period of some weeks to several months.
Following are a few quotes from a report by Dr. Thomas Kingsley-Brown who has been working with MAPS in their research of ibogaine for drug detoxification/addiction.
“All patients in the opiate detoxification study were successful in the detoxification process and many were able to maintain abstinence for a period of months following treatment.”
“Bob Sisko, the Director of the International Coalition for Addict Self-Help (ICASH) argues that success should be defined not by a “drug-free” life but by an “addiction-free” life in which the individual has the ability to choose whether or not to use drugs.”
“Dr. Charles Kaplan reported on some of the significant themes that had emerged from a study of an unstated number of heroin addicts treated with ibogaine and participating in a focus group in the Netherlands (Kaplan, 1993). The author states that the questionnaire responses provide a “thick description” of the subject’s lived experience over the course of a 7-day period. Each member of the focus group reported an extended period of abstinence following ibogaine treatment, “a state that they never thought they would reach given their former nihilistic, depressed view of life.” (Kaplan, 1993) and “…..the group provides an “exogenous” means of effecting positive health outcomes that are reflected in correlated “endogenous” states such as changes in neuronal receptors and brain pathways.”
“Most people treated with ibogaine report post-treatment improvements in medical health, relationships with significant others and psychological well-being. (According to one Dutch study, by 58%, 88% and 96% respectively.)”
“The most common themes emerging from the interpretations of the experience included a sense of insight into destructive behaviors (86.7% of respondents, a felt need to become abstinent (68.3%), the experience of having been cleansed, healed and reborn (50%),and the sense of having a second chance at life (40%) (Mash, 2010)”
Ibogaine is not for everyone but if you truly want to have a choice, if you truly want the best chance to abstain from using, and if you are medically sound, it may well be the right choice for you.