Friday, February 5, 2010
With the new web site 80% complete: some tweaking required; I wanted to post a notice that the IACT blog will be moving to the actual web site: www.iboga.co.za
Hope to see you there. Also if there are any iboga related questions this will be the place.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Pre Treatment Application
I am seeking detoxification of alcohol and the cocktail of drugs that happen to be around me when I am intoxicated. Alcohol is the catalyst for all of the foul play that takes place in the story of my life. I wouldn’t say that I am an alcoholic but once I start, it is difficult to stop. You could call me a binge drinker, I guess. I feel that the constant preoccupation with alcohol is stopping me from doing the things that I truly need to be doing. I feel like I have bigger fish to fry and I want to grow myself better.
My Ibogaine Experience
I took the 17 mg/kg of Ibogaine HCL in a series of 4 doses, half an hour apart. By the third dose, I felt as if I was getting high from ecstasy. My speech was slower and my voice went up an octave. I was also super light on my wobbly feet. By the fourth dose, I was trailing off with my conversations and was confused with what I was talking about as I began to speak. At this point, the nurse advised me to go to my room and lie down. As I lay in the bed, my hearing became magnified. When I touched anything, tin-like sounds echoed. The sounds were reminiscent of racquetballs in a racquetball court. I could also hear my pulse pounding through my head and body. It was like musical beats rummaging around the room. The sound of the fridge’s motor was bassy and provided an interesting eerie backdrop to the pulsating beats in my head. I looked up toward the ceiling and a light stared down into my eyes. Suddenly golden snowflakes started falling down on me. I felt them cool on cheeks. This was pretty cool but strange. I looked around the room to align myself with reality and was confirmed with my whereabouts. And then the spirits started to show up. A wolf dog approached me. The detail was amazing. I could see right into his eyes and his breathing was as if he was alive and well out of breath. To the right of him was a small square tunnel opening which led to open space. Like NASA space. The lights were green instead of white. I went into the tunnel and started moving very fast through the tunnel. It was almost as if I was in a space ship. I started going faster and faster and it got to a point where I couldn’t handle it anymore and then suddenly I landed in a very trippy but detailed scene. I was with my girlfriend and we were so happy and laughing and having a gay old time until my point of view stretched out a bit. Suddenly, we transformed into femo (brightly coloured clay) and began mimicking our real life actions. We were exact replicas of ourselves. The objects in our lives were all replicas made of super detailed femo. As I drew further back, I noticed that we were in a smaller part of a larger picture that was in a larger village of a bigger picture. The details were so cool. I then opened a door in one of the rooms and ended up with my eyes open and staring at the wall in my room. There was a shadow that resembled a film strip and pictures started moving down the wall like a film strip on a reel. There were so many pictures of faces and scenes. I watched them roll down the wall until I realized that I could stop on any of the pictures and either pull them out toward me or I could transfer myself into that particular picture. It was pretty weird. I saw a few scary faces with mean eyes along with smoke and fire around them. I also saw some non detailed rape scenes. I simply blinked them away and they would disappear. They almost seemed like they were the stereotypical fears that you would think of when you thought of fear. It was scary faces with fire and horrible things happening to innocent people.
When I had my eyes open, I looked to my right and I saw my girlfriend’s face. It was as if she was sleeping right next to me. I was so happy to see her as a spirit. She smiled and asked me if I was okay and that she was going to be there the entire time. So anytime throughout my experience I could look to my right on a specific angle, and Amy would be there. My mom was also just a little behind her to watch over me as well. A few times my dad began presenting himself as a spirit but I did not want to see or deal with him. My dad and I are such opposites and we often butt heads. I don’t really like him very much. I blinked him away every chance I got. Toward the end of the treatment, I let him remain as a spirit and he appeared right in front of my face. I barked at him and then he skittishly retreated to a set of steps behind him. He held his baby finger and began whining and weeping like a little child. It was weird. I had always known him to be childish and immature but I actually saw him fully grown but as a child. I felt kind of sorry for him and thought of him as kind of sad and pathetic. And then he was gone and never returned.
The weirdest part was opening and closing my eyes. When my eyes were open, I could see spirits of faces in and out of my life. When I would shut my eyes, they would open again but my eyes were still shut. It was when my eyes were shut; I went to different imaginary worlds. At one point I was in an old rickety boat with a Philipino man and he was telling me stories without speaking to me. He was teaching me about things that I am unsure of. I was getting so much out of our journey at the time but now looking back I have no idea what it was all about. It was like spiritual lessons that can’t be explained or quantified or even made sense of. At one point, he opened up his picnic basket and I went into the basket and transformed into a whole new different world. It was so neat. At one point I was in what seemed like old
My favourite part was when I saw myself in terms of what I could be. I have always been pretty hard on myself. I have been pretty deprecating when I look at myself in the mirror. I used to get irritated with all of my random thoughts as well. Anyhow, at one point I was looking at the wall and noticed a heater by the bed and a guy walked in wearing soccer cleats, shin pads and shorts with no top on. He had a nice athletic body and was wearing a t shirt on his head because he had just been playing soccer in sun. I looked at him and smiled and he smiled back. I remember thinking to myself about how he was such a nice looking fellow and overall cute guy. And that is when I realized that he was me. He was me if I was healthy and happy and being completely me. It was so neat. He smiled and pointed at me and then left. I got tears in my eyes at that point. Later on in the treatment, a spirit of myself came toward my face and it was not a normal mirror reflection of myself, it was me staring at me. I put my hand near my spirit face and smiled and it smiled back at me. It was quite a nice moment.
When my eyes were closed I had almost a dashboard viewing station of my brain. I had a few tunnel openings that led to different parts and aspects of images and scenes. I also had a gauge that showed new formulas on a conveyor belt going into my brain and old formulas coming out.
I could also create objects in my head. They would appear in full weight accompanied with their overall tangible properties. At one point I was holding a pink vase and I was unsure how it got in my hand. I thought that the nurse put it in there. I was looking somewhere else and when I went to look back at it, the vase had disappeared. After that I thought of an orchid and suddenly an orchid appeared to the top right of me. I picked it up and swayed it back in forth in my hand. I could even bend the stem. It was fucked. I then chucked it to the corner and it floated away.
By the end of my journey I was super tired and asked the nurse to give me some Gravols to allow me to go to sleep. Oh and in the middle of the treatment, I puked twice. It wasn’t so bad at all.
When I woke up the next day and after a bunch of thought, I realized a few things that had occurred the night before. For starters, my brain was pretty sore. It felt like it had been heavily worked out. I could feel it throbbing but in a good healthy way. For my entire trip, it was as if there was some presence that was supporting me throughout. I was always in complete and utter control but there was a sense of presence that guided me through my head. I felt really thankful and excited after. I felt like Iboga was trying to show me that if I was my true genuine self, the opportunities of the world would be completely endless. As long as I can be myself and not numb my thoughts and ideas with drugs and alcohol and anything else that takes me out of my present moment, I will be happy. I can live a life so full of imagination and trippy alternate universes and anything else my mind will allow. The Iboga taught me the things that I desired to learn via the most interesting medium possible. The neatest part of the experience is the fact that all of the imagery and beautiful settings and everlasting emotion were all concocted in my head.
Since the treatment, I have not had a desire to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. Usually if someone is drinking or smoking around me, I will want to indulge but as of yet, I have not a drop of desire. I don’t want to make a sweeping statement and swear off drugs and alcohol because I would hate to set myself up for failure. I just feel like I deserve to give myself a chance. And I feel happy.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
By Carolina Sanchez /
PRAGUE DAILY MONITOR / PRAGUE WANDERER /
17 March 2009
This story is part of an occasional series of articles from the Prague Wanderer, a webzine created by New York University students in Prague. Learn more about the Prague Wanderer here.
At 7 am on 7 November 2005, in the bathroom of a Swedish Airport, Michael Korn took his last hit of heroin.
Twenty-four hours later he was in a rented house 15 minutes outside of Prague, in sheer agony from withdrawal. That afternoon, Korn got into bed, closed his eyes, and embarked on a frightening journey that saved his life.
After five years of trying to get rid of his 25-year-old addiction, Korn, now 49, had discovered the "miracle". It's known to some as the drug that cures all drug addictions: Ibogaine.
Korn had tried it all: Narcotics Anonymous, therapy, substitutions, and even went to an energy touch healer, all to no avail. But the healer told him about an Ibogaine treatment provider in Prague—Patrick Venulejo.
Venulejo, who has been working with Ibogaine since the start of the millennium, is "just praying for the day" he can move Ibogaine into clinical trials so it can become a government-licensed medicine, which can be provided by any physician. However, because of the serious psychedelic effects, Ibogaine is not a prescription anywhere in the world, and has been outlawed in several countries including the United States, France, Switzerland, and Belgium.
"It was so scary!" Korn said about the visualizations he saw after he closed his eyes. "They are very strange and not like anything else you’ve ever done. They come and go so super fast it’s like a movie on high-speed; you can’t tell the difference between ten seconds and ten years."
According to Venulejo, "you still know who you are, where you are, why you’re there, and perhaps how much you paid for it," during the hallucinations.
In 1967, the drug was banned from prescription because of the upswing in hallucinogenic drug use, along with LSD and ecstasy.
But later in the early nineties, the US National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA)—impressed by research from case reports and animal studies—began examining the safety of Ibogaine and the potential of creating treatment procedures for it.
According to Dr. Frank Vocci, Director of the Division of Treatment Research & Development at NIDA, in 1995 during a review committee meeting on Ibogaine, four committee members voted for continuing human testing and nine voted against. Those against the drug cited the few known human deaths following use of the drug, brain lesions found in rats, and the poisonous effect that developed in monkeys, which occurred during treatments.
But Venulejo says the decision to ban the drug was unjustified.
"This way, indirectly, they've killed a lot of people," Venulejo said in response to NIDA’s withdrawal from further testing. His point is that addicts are dying of overdoses that Venulejo believes Ibogaine could prevent. "Do people have any idea how many people die in hospitals?" he asked, referring to drug addicts who take a lethal dose.
There have been 12 recorded deaths linked to Ibogaine, which may have been caused by underground clinics that did not file reports when treatments began going wrong. The fatality factors range from pre-existing heart conditions, using opiates while on Ibogaine or soon after, and taking Ibogaine outside of a clinical facility where one can be acutely monitored.
Unfortunately, Venulejo does not work in a clinical facility, where costs are much higher (USD 5,000-USD 15,000), but rather from hotel rooms and homes where he charges less than USD 3,000, "enough to cover the cost and have some peanuts on top".
Discovering the possible cure for all addiction
Venulejo, son of an Italian father and Czech mother, was long interested in the evolution of consciousness.
This led to his research on Shamanic rituals, which involve communication with the spiritual world. Shamanic tribes use Ibogaine in initiations and to get in touch with spirits. "It combines, elegantly, the transpersonal and therapeutic journey," Venulejo said.
Ibogaine, extracted from the roots of a Central West African shrub, Tabernanthe iboga, is administered in oral capsules. The normal dosage is around 1.2 grams, which doesn’t always cause the visualizations.
In November 1999, Venulejo went to the first conference on Ibogaine at New York University held by Kenneth Alper, a neurologist who is pro-Ibogaine. He returned to Prague and began treating addicts.
"My first intention was to treat people, show [Ibogaine’s] potential and have people acknowledge it," Venulejo said.
In the Czech Republic, Venulejo appeared on two television news programs, TV Nova's "Áčko" in 2000, and “Na Vlastni Oci” in 2001, promoting Ibogaine with the hopes of attracting physicians’ attention. But he only got responses from people who wanted treatment, not physicians.
"It drives me mad when something works and it’s not used," Venulejo said. "They're professionals and should always be looking for the best solution."
Venulejo also approached the Czech Health Ministry to try to get Ibogaine approved as a prescription medication. But according to him, the ministry claimed to be cutting down the funds of their existing projects by 10%, and then by 30% on his second visit- therefore they couldn't investigate Ibogaine.
Now Korn and Venulejo are trying to register a foundation in Sweden that will promote independent medicines such as Ibogaine. The goal is to create funds through the foundation and loosen Ibogaine's prohibition.
Venulejo is now traveling around Europe, "focusing on spreading the word" and training more physicians to become Ibogaine treatment providers. "I’m waiting for when I get enough funds to get it into clinical trials," Venulejo said. "Ibogaine can really change people." He’s treated about 200 different people.
But acquiring funds for the drug's government evaluation is a problem private clinics are facing around the world, including Canada, Mexico, Panama, and the West Indies, because of the lack of knowledge of the controversial substance.
"Ibogaine wasn’t on the agenda until now," said Viktor Mravcik, director of the government-run Drug Monitoring Centre. "And we don’t have enough information about it."
"I would like to know more [about Ibogaine]," said Ivan Douda, co-founder of the Czech Republic’s Drop In foundation, which provides help to drug addicts. "Our position is not on the level to deal with experiments, that’s up to official institutions."
Substitution treatment, the exchange of illegal drug use for legal drug use, is becoming the "standard treatment in the Czech Republic for hard drug users," according to Mravcik.
Subutex, Suboxon, and Methadone, all legal drugs, are being prescribed to drug addicts to combat use of methamphetamines, cocaine, and opiates.
Currently an estimated 3,000-4,000 people are receiving Subutex to substitute illegal drugs in the Czech Republic said Mravcik. "Substitution is perfectly fine in a treatment scene," Venulejo said. "It helps take away the drug lifestyle. It keeps people addicted but gives them a normal life."
But addiction to Methadone, which Korn referred to as a "legal heroin", is potentially a bad thing. Clare Wilkins, director of the Ibogaine Association and owner of Ibogaine Treatment House in Tijuana, was addicted to alcohol and Methadone for 15 years. She tried several ways to quit, but like Korn, she failed.
Then her sister introduced her to the "blessing" of Ibogaine. "The change [after her Ibogaine treatment] was dramatic," Wilkins, 38, said. "I became a whole being that was connected to everything around me, rather than a broken being."
"Methadone has its own cons instead of pros," Wilkins said. "It's a harm reduction tool, you cannot deny it. But it’s a long-lasting substance."
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Wednesday, 11 March 2009Mat Southwell is a member of the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), an advocacy network funded by IHRA and others. Mat is participating this week in the High Level Segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as a civil society/drug user representative on the UK delegation. Below is the text of a statement he gave yesterday during one of the thematic roundtable sessions.
'Many new and emerging challenges face the international community with regards to the world drug problem, and old challenges remain as vexing as ever, we believe that many of these will be addressed in other round tables that will take place in the course of this High Level Meeting.
From the UK’s perspective one of the clearest imperatives that face us in the area of drug policy is the need to honour our commitments to the Millenium Development Goals in preventing the spread of HIV, and to ensuring universal access to treatment, care and support by 2010.
In the 1980s a number of cities in the developed world countries realized that they had HIV rates approaching or exceeding 50% among injecting drug users. The threat to cities like Edinburgh, Dublin, Milan, and New York led to a fundamental re-think of traditional drug practice approaches. Scientific evidence shows that the introduction of needle exchange, opioid substitution therapy, and outreach services was key to curtailing these public health crises before they became national catastrophes.
Two decades later a new generation of countries and cities are facing HIV rates at or above 50% of injecting drug users. The HIV epidemic is now being driven in some countries by injecting drug user but the consequences will reach far beyond my community. While you may not care about the lives of my community, our deaths also leave our children without parents and our parents without their children. Even if this doesn’t move you, many developing world countries are storing up a public health time bomb that will wipe out swathes of their productive work forces while simultaneously placing a huge burden on fragile healthcare systems.
However, this year’s declaration is so driven by dogma that it will not even acknowledge the life saving impact of harm reduction interventions.
I would like to thank the UK government for inviting the International Network of People who Use drugs (INPUD) to join its delegation. In many countries around the world, we are recognized as partners in the dialogue around the implementation and review of drug policy and practices. However, the UN’s drug control program remains at odds with almost every other division of the UN in its engagement with civil society.
Drug use and drug policy touches the lives of many but the coordination of drug policy remains exclusive to Member States only and as such UNODC has failed to utilize the common participative systems that are deployed as safeguards within other UN processes. UNODC has lost the opportunity during the UNGASS review process to learn from people who use drugs and thereby our expertise and insights are not integrated.
Nonetheless we stand ready to engage with this process and take part and support member states in their search for effective drug policies
Public health and criminal justice approaches are not easy bed fellows. However, within the current system it is still possible to find an effective balance between the need to protect society from crime and the need to protect individual and public health. Many drug user groups are involved in practical partnership with law enforcement agencies including training for police officers, the management of anti-social behavior in local communities and policy discussions. However, when police forces and criminal justice systems follow the most extreme versions of drug policy, drug users are excluded as partners, services are made less accessible, and risk behavior increases.
The United Nations should be the guardian of human rights and all divisions of the United Nations should adhere to the inalienable rights set out United Nations Charter on Human Rights. This declaration is a beacon of hope to oppressed and marginalised peoples around the world. However, within the UN, concern is mounting about the human rights abuses against people who use drugs conducted and justified under in name of Drug Control. My community is routinely denied the human rights that this organisation was founded to defend. It is indefensible that a division of the UN does not pay sufficient attention to addressing policies that may cause breaches of human rights against people who produce, sell and buy illicit drugs. We, the International Network of People who Use Drugs, offer our hand in friendship and invite you to begin negotiations to bring to an end this failed war on drugs.'
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
We are part of the solution, not part of the problem!
And we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in other countries who often suffer great abuses of their human rights. We demand that our governments take action in our countries, but also at the international level, so that drug use is treated as a health issue first and foremost, and we are involved in decisions that affect our lives.
Please click here to down load the PDF version : http://www.soros.org/initiatives/health/focus/ihrd/articles_publications/publications/nothingaboutus_20080603/Int%20Nothing%20About%20Us%20%28May%202008%29.pdf
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Harm Reduction Psychotherapy and Training Associates (HRPTA) is an organization offering counseling and psychotherapy to people with drug and alcohol
Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (HRP)
sees substance use problems as related
to personal meaning, social forces and
biology in a way that is unique for
each person. HRP seeks to create a
safe, collaborative context in which the
specific nature of the substance use
problem and the relationship between
substance use and others aspects of the
person are clarified. Both problematic
substance use and problems in these
other areas are addressed with goals
and strategies individually tailored to
Why Harm Reduction?
Research in the substance use field has
found that it is easier for some people to
begin counseling when specific goals
are not required to enter treatment.
Harm Reduction has evolved as an
innovative approach to helping people
with substance use problems without
requiring specific goals as a condition
for beginning treatment. HR aims to
support users in reducing the harm
associated with substance use without
requiring abstinence as a goal.
Abstinence is one possible outcome,
among others. At HRPTA we try to
match the full spectrum of goals and
strategies for change to the needs of