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Opiate Detox Guidelines

Awakening in the Dream has provided opioid detoxification for 17 years. Opioid dependence was what led me to ibogaine in 2003.

Today, illicit or street opioids are predominantly (non-pharmaceutical) fentanyl-based pressed pills, designed to look like less potent prescription opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, which many contain innumerable fentanyl analogues and unknown research chemicals including benzodiazepine analogues as well as potent sedatives such as xylazine, known commonly as "tranq". These pseudo-pharmaceuticals lead to severe, nearly incredible levels of opioid tolerance, and while Ibogaine is not an effective treatment for these contaminants, it remains an effective treatment for opioid dependency - albeit with unique new risks and considerations that could lead to an unstable administration of Ibogaine.

 

The first concern is transitioning individuals to a stable, pharmaceutical opioid such as methadone or morphine, at an equivalent dosage, in order to reach a level of homeostasis and relative normalcy in the body, as well as removing as many impurities as possible prior to ibogaine administration. As each person metabolizes the stabilization drug, the information provided by the onset and degree of withdrawal symptoms the body presents assists in the safe discovery of their equivalent opioid tolerance. There is a level of discomfort to this transition, yet it is fundamentally necessary for a safe detoxification from illicit street opioids. This can be done independently, prior to treatment, if you have access to a prescription and your physician is informed regarding the potential risks of sudden abstinence or potential rapid benzodiazepine withdrawal, which can be fatal itself. If this process is to be done in Mexico, it will extend the treatment time as you are stabilized to regain a healthy foundation for safe ibogaine administration. If there are impurities or additional drugs in the illicit, fentanyl-based compound, it is recommended to be able to address any side effects of the absence of these impurities.

The Dream House has an MD on staff who provides continuos monitoring during treatment and is present during the entire detoxification process. This is common support when working with this level of opioid dependance and is firmly required for all legitimate clinics following the established clinical safety guidelines for ibogaine, which can be found here: Ibogaine Clinical Guidelines. In many cases, the detox process is divided into sessions of Ibogaine administration's, followed by periods of recovery and adjustment to the transition by way of sleeping, hydration, supplementation and eating to fortify the system. This alternating dosing schedule remains consistent until the final session, where sleeplessness is a common complaint, primarily because after 2-3 days the use of benzodiazepines to induce sleep ceases to work. For this reason, we request that people plan to come for at least 2 weeks in order to carry out a safe and effective treatment and reduce any stressors to the body that may lead to a point of health concern.

In no way is ibogaine an easy detox. It’s compressing what would be functionally impossible to do on your own; shortening the experience of detox from weeks or months into days or weeks - a process from which the body still must recover. There are often none of the commonly known withdrawal symptoms, like sweating or vomiting. One may vomit from the ibogaine itself, but it is a different kind of purge. Cramping or the endless restlessness associated with opioid detox are reduced considerably and often non-existent, however it is a completely exhausting experience, akin to a marathon, and requires a great deal of understanding and awareness of what this human being is going through. We have treated many hundreds of people with methadone, buprenorphine, and practically every other kind of opioid dependency over the last 20 years.

The main benefit is a significant reduction to no withdrawal symptoms during the initial process and ideally, the outcome. The body breaks ibogaine down to its metabolite noribogaine. This stays in the system for 6-8 weeks and can have an afterglow effect and state of wellbeing difficult to describe. There are necessary stages of preparation and stabilization on a clean opioid, as we do not want people feeling stressed or fearful about their well being. This depletes energy and is the very thing we do not want to happen. People need to know that they will not be sick in the way of conventional withdrawals, but that the transition does have its challenging moments and the client is only ever approximately a half an hour away from feeling better, as their tolerance is first met and then lowered safely. The current street opioids are very serious drugs that are a near death sentence and lead people to ride that very fine line. 

Another concern is overdose prior to coming, for example, how many times has someone overdosed and when was the last time? Each time someone overdoses the body releases enzymes into the blood stream informing itself that you are dying, and this requires some recovery time before you administer Ibogaine. All this information needs to be taken into consideration to prepare you to do Ibogaine safely. The body is incredible in its ability to recover, but it has limitations that need to be respected. Ibogaine treatment is known for confronting people with their own limits, so it is wisest to remove as many potential obstacles as possible.

We are in no way in a hurry to go into opiate detox. The concept is to be as clear and prepared and stable as possible before beginning to go through the process. This is why we have never had a fatality, and there is no reason for anyone to get hurt from taking ibogaine, as long as a few simple rules and guidelines are followed. Ibogaine is not harmful. It’s what people have been through and addicted to that creates the risk factors. Also. a compromised life style, such as being unable to take good basic care of oneself - these factors are naturally discard in a lot of cases due to the nature of supporting a habit, which ultimately takes a toll.

Our job is to prepare you, treat your body's physical dependence and help put you back together both physically and psychologically, often called integration. In all other treatments using ibogaine this has a natural rhythm to it - the integration, emotional support and process to regaining a healthy lifestyle. Opiate detox has many variables for each individual and each must be carefully considered as a unique case. There is no cookie cutter approach to this, unfortunately, as certain centers promise, as each person's treatment must be adjusted to their needs, limitations and health profile.

We consciously have no desire to treat everyone who comes our way; in fact, we realize that we can only receive about 1 out of 7 people who inquire regarding treatment. This has kept people safe while working within the realm of our specialized experience, that is, why we have had no adverse medical events. Our screening and requirements  are a standard of values and ethics we cannot compromise. We are happy to work with people, we work well with the people who are mutually determined a good fit and will continue to stay within the framework of our experience and expertise so as not to put anyone into a position where their needs are not met.

When considering Ibogaine detox, there are many questions you must ask yourself and the providers you are working with. It is your responsibility to determine where, how, and what kind of structured detox will be undertaken. Is it a rapid 5 day "in and out" but not very fruitful experience? Under what conditions do you want to go through this life-changing process? It must be a personal decision to do this. A prerequisite is that you do thorough research and investigation about ibogaine treatment and with whom you are choosing to work. Everyone wants you to be free from opioids, and this ultimately is a voluntary decision that must be made by you. You are the one going through this. The first suggestion is to take time to prepare and switch to a stable, medical grade opioid. The only strong opioid available in some cases is methadone. It can meet the extremely high tolerances created by fentanyl, carfentanil and their many analogues. This is not a popular choice, of course, but the necessary duration of maintenance with it can be as short as 1 week up to 3 weeks. Even if you stay on it a couple months, this will only benefit your body and ability to prepare you physically and begin psychological therapeutic support. Upon arrival in Mexico you will be transitioned to shorter acting morphine.

Everyone we work with must have a therapist or support system in place to be received into once you leave Mexico, primarily for safety reasons. Because you will no longer have a tolerance and ibogaine potentiates opiates, the use of any kind of opioid can be fatal. According to estimates, half the deaths associated with ibogaine are from rapid return to using shortly after detox. Therefore, it is vital to not use after Ibogaine treatment. The risk factors
are compounded, so having support will be the foundation of your success. There are many new ibogaine integration programs that now exist, and we highly recommend investigating these before even considering where you are going to take ibogaine. It may not be a normal way of doing things, but once you return home it can feel almost natural to go back to what you know, as it is familiar. Addiction interruption is not just a physical experience its a new way of living and thinking. It is so much more practical to take care of these elements before going into treatment rather than afterward, when you find yourself in a tight spot with no perceived exit.

Education of your situation and the ibogaine experience is so important. To know what you're signing up for is a personal responsibility to know what difficulties will be presented and what your response to these will be. We can only help support what you're willing to go through. We cannot make challenges go away; the nature of our support is to keep you as comfortable as possible and help guide you through those difficult spots, but you will still have to go through some discomfort, whether it is physical, emotional, or psychological. This is part of the awakening.

Life has its difficulties and how we handle them can vary, its not always pretty, but from what we have seen, we are all basically good people, who sometimes get very sick. The idea is to keep getting better at this life. My wish is for people who really want to get better to have a safe and experienced group in which to begin life again . The end of dependance is not the end at all, but the beginning of learning how to do this without having to be disassociated. That has to happen every day moving forward. The end of addiction or physical dependance is the beginning of really living, learning to navigate life with the necessary tools.

STANDARD REQUIREMENTS FOR TREATMENT

  • We will need to have you send a urine sample to a laboratory In Michigan to know what is contained in the pressed pills, whether it be fentanyl or any other drugs that you are taking. The urinalysis results will determine the next step.

  • Medical screening: EKG (electrocardiogram) and complete blood panel (CBC) including liver function is necessary prior to coming to Mexico. We need to know before we all invest, energy and funds whether you can receive Ibogaine safely.

  • Application filled out. A comprehensive report will help to determine your profile, other health conditions, lifestyle behavior, and clinical history.

  • Switching to a medical grade opiate: Street fentanyl is very different than pharmaceutical fentanyl; there are cases where the street fentanyl is testing positive up to 3 weeks from last use, which makes no sense pharmacologically. It is often not even fentanyl at all but 4-flourofentanyl along with other contaminants, and these must be out of the system before one takes Ibogaine. The side effects of doing street fentanyl can cause many complications and risks to your health. Methadone is currently the most widely available option.

 

  • Support: It’s a requirement that you have some type of support to return to and to help prepare you. We will not t treat anyone without some kind of post ibogaine support in place. Today there are many options for post ibogaine support from one-on-one therapists familiar with ibogaine personally, to programs online that support Integration, specifically after plant medicine therapy.

  • Investigating and Research. It is your primary responsibility to know as much about this treatment as possible; everyone wants the best financial deal but your safety, appropriate care and life are paramount. Ibogaine is still emerging in its application for detoxification and there are decent places and places that are all about profit. It is your decision under what conditions you want to do this. There is no quick escape from opioid dependence. Taking some time to make rational decisions and gather as much information and educational resources available will be vital to your success.

FOR LABWORK WE RECOMMEND:

Options-Lab-Logo_600x203.png

Options Lab, Inc. is a state-licensed clinical toxicology laboratory and specimen collection clinic providing credible and reliable testing methods, competitively-priced services, and unique testing choices that are unavailable or cost-prohibitive through conventional regional and hospital-based laboratories.

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