Ibogaine Works

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Tue, 23 Jul 2002 12:19:04 GMT
[From a cures-not-wars newsletter]

From: "Patrick K. Kroupa" <digital at phantom.com>
To: "Dave Michon" <dajalyn at charter.net>
Subject: [Response To]: Re: Fwd: Re: yr email


This is a somewhat brief, point-by-point response to some of the topics which were raised in a letter Dana cc'd to me, and asked my input on.

Please try to bear in mind the following things.

[01]: I do not know who some of you are (I know Dana and Howard); who and what exactly you represent, what the goals of your organization happen to be, whether you like the Democrats, Republicans, or are guided by the Illuminanti. Whatever. I dunno.

[02]: Along those same lines, I have no way of knowing what exactly all your inter-organizational conflicts happen to be. Or even if you have these; but I'm gonna guess that'd be YES, since every group of people loves to disagree with some other set of individuals. Life's just like that.

[03]: Brief summary of ME: I don't smoke pot, I've done heroin since the age of 14, I LOVE heroin, think it's simply magical; I've usually had money, gone to every Dr. Feelgood who holds This Week's Answers! to opiate/opioid detox; done all maintenance (methadone and burpinex, never had the chance to do heroin maintenance, total bummer). Whatever. When I got unsprung my daily intake to get straight was 200mg methadone + 2 grams of heroin + 12mg Xanax, a day.

Do I have the super-exciting "heroin gene" Ernest Noble is all giddy and excited 'bout? You BET! Have a variety of interesting neuroadaptions taken place due to chronic, long-term administration of exogenous opiates? Sure thing mahn! Dope ro0lz! It's the only time I ever felt "normal." What's not to like? It FIXES everything!

Brief Media Kit is here: (Resume` Criminal Record & MANY Long Letters from shrinks, addictionologists, and "treatment professionals!" <giggle> available upon request!)


And off we go!

(Please understand that I am replying to THIS. I am unclear WHO exactly wrote this though...)

If you have had bad experience with addicts I can understand your ideas a bit better. This is, however, like painting any group with a broad brush. Opioid dependent people are not universally predatory and those that were, or are, were, or are, that way because of Prohibition. Addicts without the horrifying threat of withdrawal are generally very good people.

I agree, absolutely. The actions people take, usually fall under that very broad heading: "desperation." If drug prohibition were repealed, that'd be groovy. It would no longer be necessary to live like an animal or a slave, in order to support your "habit" if you happen to have made the choice to be drug-dependent.

And all of this ignores the very real biological factors involved. We all know folks who, back in the day, experimented with opiates and gave it up fairly easily. Others couldn't. They possess this disorder - whatever it is.

I am highly up on the latest science, specifically as it pertains to addiction. All of which ain't saying too much. In the last 10 years we have learned more about how the brain functions, then in all of recorded history up to that date. And... We still don't know very much.

The entire concept of "addiction" for that matter is very ambigious and vague.

What appears to be relatively clear is that a certain subset of the population has a specific genetic predisposition for becoming drug-dependent; in this case I'm talking about opiates in particular, although alcoholism, and probably all "addictions," have a similar basis.

Essentially; positing that you have this genetic predisposition to begin with. Then you experiment with opiates/opioids and discover they do something SIMPLY WONDERFUL for you. Which is usually followed by a period of nurturing your newfound "solution," into a full-fledged problem, which appears to be pseudoirreversible.

EXCEPT . . .

That isn't exactly true (covered a little further down, when I reply to ibogaine).

I absolutely believe that everyone has the basic human right to select their own state of consciousness. A government that believes it should imprison me -- for my own good -- because I have made the choice to alter my state of mind; amounts to fascism.

Even further, aside from concept of drug-dependence itself, there are a variety of other factors involved, such as; MANY people who are strung out, are self-medicating a variety of underlying disorders. And, God bless, because opiates/opioids are a damn good answer, which WORKS; as opposed to garbage like neuroleptics.

- - - - - - - - -

This is a long way of saying: I absolutely believe that each individual has the right to select what works best for THEM. People should have the right to MAKE CHOICES; not be treated as children, residents of a prison, or cattle.

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But all this can get fairly boring and I'm sure you have your own strong ideas on the matter. All I ask is that you keep an open mind. I will do the same - to the best of my ability. It is my hope we can thereby establish a rapproachment. I am at your service...

I have no clue what you're talking about, skipping this...

Regarding ibogaine, and mj maintenance (which, I must confess, I have not heard mentioned before now) I would like to clarify my position. It is the same I gave to Howard Lotsof who contacted me following the last time I responded in this fashion to a similar post of yours. My view is that the options available to opioid addicts must be expanded. I feel this very strongly because 30 years of addiction have shown me that individual idiosyncrasy figures heavily . Some people do not respond well at all to methadone (I count myself among that number). Stories of ibogaine's effects

Okay, I agree with all of this -- except I have no clue what "mj maintenance" is exactly...? Methadone maintenance never did a thing for me, except drive my habit into the stratosphere. Roughly 2 years of MMTP, gave me perhaps 3 days "clean." Off heroin anyway. Woo hoo!

Of course, much of that is due to who I am and my own response to being "treated" with methadone. I have many friends who thrive on MMTP, and prolly an equal number who used it for a while, then continued to use it in smaller doses and eventually stepped off.

I think MMTP, buprenorphine, and heroin maintenance, should all be available as options.

If there is an argument here, I do not understand it.

on some people but not others squares well with this concept. Accordingly, I believe an addict, probably along with their physician, should have easy access to (have CSA and regulatory barriers to - removed) whatever, within reason, they feel may be most likely to help them. It is crucial to understand that the consensus in our community is that there is currently no "cure" for opioid addiction and the simple withdrawal from opioid drugs - no matter how painless it may be made to be - simply leaves the chronic condition behind - and now untreated. We can get through a jones - most of us have done it many times. Note how we see opioid use as simple medicating, self or otherwise, of a painful condition that is only dimly understood at this time and that condition remains after withdrawal is over. That is why the pharmacoepia should be open.

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-=/[The IBOGAINE Part -- If you skim the rest, READ THIS]/=-

This is the part where some of the statements you are making are not correct. In particular as they apply to ibogaine.

After many years of heavy opiate addiction, I had tried pretty much every available detox on the planet, ranging from UROD (Ultra Rapid Opiate Detox), Dr. Richard Resnick's "black box" (electronic acupuncture), methadone, buprinex, tapering down to clonidine and valium, the home version of UROD (naltrexone with a handful of Xanax and clonidine), and of course the various unplanned detox's in hotel rooms with Bacardi 151 and whatever I could get my hands on at the time.

Any or all of these methods "work." In the final analysis all you really need in order to get off of opiates is an empty room and some time. In the end you wind up feeling the same anyway. Which is to say, physically unwell - to put it mildly. Personally, this is also right around the time I always remember that heroin addiction isn't really my problem, it's my solution.

Ibogaine is NOT a "cure" for drug addiction, although it very well may be the greatest solution for drug-dependence. It will NOT magically rewrite everything inside your head, it will not hand you a brand new life, and it will never make all your memories of how great heroin is; go away.

HOWEVER: It *DOES* bring you back to the point where you are making CHOICES and NOT following compulsions.

Yeah, I'm way-fucked, I light up half the DSM, I'm manic-depressive as hell, dysfunctional, and I LOVE heroin... However, after a lifetime of using the shit... I have 3 years completely clear off ALL opiates/opioids. If I ever make the CHOICE to use heroin again, it will be just that; a CHOICE that I make.

Heroin rocks. I will always know that, I have learned it, I cannot unlearn it. But it is no longer this force beyond my control which is compelling me to keep chasing the shit, no matter what the consequences happen to be (and with our wonderful "War on Drugs," they can be pretty fucking insane).

I have done EVERY opiate detox that exists, tried all the available treatment modalities. None of them worked. Okay, sure, MOST of them "work," inasmuch as when I finish them, I'm "clean." BIG FUCKING DEAL, I'm also -- usually -- sick as fuck, and if not, I am STILL overwhelmed with the need to use heroin. Big wow. Why even bother putting myself through this crap, how much do I hate myself?

What ibogaine appears to do is hits a <RESET> on your brain. Saying that "addiction" (by which I mean drug-dependence. I am talking about the changes that take place on a neurological basis, in response to chronic, long-term self-administration of dope) is reversible, isn't exactly correct either.

What it appears to do is reset your brain to a point BEFORE you ever became drug-dependent in the first place. Addiction, what addiction?

Your drug-dependence is non-existed.

It is far beyond a detoxification. And far less than a complete rewrite of your psychology. Although you DO enter a headspace wherein you may experience waking visions, in an oneiric state, replete with hypnagogic imagery, which is TOTALLY UNLIKE Tripping the Fuck Out.

That part can be a tremendous boost with regards to that whole reintergation scenario. It CAN make lasting and profound psychological changes take place as well... But that part is... Well, it's all over the map, and depends a lot upon the individual. And nope, it sure doesn't work for everyone.

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Being drug-dependent is a CHOICE. Drug dependence is NOT an irreversible, chronic, progressive disease (you're thinking of the 12-steps, which ARE a pseudoirreversible, chronic, progressive mindcult that convinces you of this).

Drug-dependence may well be the BEST possible answer, to a variety of questions and/or problems.

But it is NOT a life sentence. It all amounts to being a series of choices.

And each individual who is in the position of being strung out, should at the very least have the OPTION of making those choices.

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As an example, I abhor the idea of UROD - the "Ultrafast Detox", but I think

UROD blows dead goats dude. Done it twice, same results both times. Lot of dollars for a lot of pain, followed by a lot more dollars to bang up enough heroin to overload the receptor blockade of those annoying naltrexone implants designed to "help me." Which was another annoying detour of having to cut that shit out of myself. What fun.

it should be available - same with Naltrex and the like. Blowfish toxin? Go for it. And, of course, ibogaine. Have you seen the Chinese work done on Etorphine (yes, that's right, the most powerful of the Bentley Compounds and the most powerful narcotic on Earth)? *No* withdrawal symptoms! Methocloccinamox, NMDA antagonists, proglumide, and on and on. Most important, and for disparate reasons, is that heroin maintenance, and other adjuvant opioid therapies like Palfium, should be available with, or without, cocurrent methadone. The Swiss and Dutch studies speak for themselves.


One of my biggest concerns is that of all those stupid kids out there: heroin maintenance would get them "in" from the cold. It would also strike a real blow to the black market filth.

Fuck yeah mahn. Agreed 100%

So that's my position vis a` vis ibogaine and where I think it should fit in our community's spectrum. If marijuana maintenance is what I think it is, I would have no objection whatever to it, naturally. But that wasn't the crux of my post, of course. I wrote out in response to what I saw as a patronizing tone in your writing concerning opioid addicts in general. If you've known one addict - or fifty - you don't know them all. More importantly, consider that there are almost two hundred thousand methadone maintained people in the US and most have put heroin and painkiller use behind them to try to take their rightful place in society - not an easy task. Many of us are growing old and have a lifetime of achievement we can point to and I'm sure you know there are professors, lawyers, engineers, etc. on methadone continuing exemplary careers.

Yeah, that's great. How does this conflict with anything...?

We are a developing community - developing thanks mainly to the Internet. We are indistinguishable from others unless you know we're on methadone. We're proud we've been able to come back from active addiction. We are "coming out of the closet". We are beginning to speak up. Imagine how we feel when we are talked down to or lumped into a stereotype. It is so much worse when it comes from an activist of your credentials.

I know who you are and admire your career. I'm sure we agree on most other issues. What you say has impact.

< -- No idea what you're talking/arguing(?) about here. Skipping -->

Perhaps you might even consider whether the plight of American addicts - what I consider the last great civil rights battle to be fought - might not be an excellent subject for your skills. Talk about fighting for the oppressed!

Yup. Those who make the choice to use drugs, or are drug-dependent, are effectively the last tribe of niggers on the planet. An entire strata of society it is alright to hate, disrespect, imprison, and strip of their rights. All because I am guilty of the "crime" of choosing my state of mind.

Bummer mahn.

I understand the cannabis cognoscenti does not want to be herded onto the same cattle cars as the addicts. Marijuana shouldn't be treated the same as heroin. That is ridiculous. But I think the public knows that already.

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On [Thu, Jul 18, 2002 at 10:52:53PM -0400], [Richard Lake] wrote:

I was a little bothered by some of the other drugs being tested. It is one thing for a person to seek treatment using some drug with a full understanding.

But I worry that some of these drugs could be used against the will of folks in forced treatment, both here in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world where the rights of folks are not respected.


Yeah, no kidding... Drugabusesciences and their spin control in particular... Are, uhm, somewhat disturbing with their vision of a drug-free utopia just over yonder horizon...

"And next, by 2007 we will have inoculations that prevent orgasm!"

Woo Hoo


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