My observations
 on Ibogaine

                       by Brian Mariano
A booklet that I printed with the wish to share with you my personal experience as a lay treatment provider and my personal understanding of the “ibogaine phenomena”.
   The alkaloids Volume 95
   Edited by Kenneth R. Alper
   and Stanley D. Glick
   Academic press © 2001


Click here to download the booklet

by Howard S. Lotsof

When Brian Mariano asked me to write the foreword to his ibogaine booklet I did not look forward to the task. During the past fourteen months I have hardly been involved in ibogaine research and development as I am recovering from leukemia. But, as I read his text I realized again how important a discovery ibogaine is to the treatment of chemical dependence. Brian's
insights and those of his patients that are included in this review of ibogaine present a significant understanding of ibogaine's value and its ability to interrupt active drug addiction syndromes.

Possibly, the most troubling aspect of treating substance-related disorders is the stigma attached to this patient population by governments and society that isolates problem drug users and inevitably fosters the fear they have of seeking treatment. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have recently begun to address this problem in the United States. In order to overcome this stigma and the
associated prejudice shown towards drug users a century of miseducation will have to be overcome. No other medical condition has been so consistently portrayed with such wrath against the patient, not cancer, not even AIDS. I fear that society's view of drug addiction is more harmful than addiction itself.

Concurrent to the formal development of ibogaine, addict-self help groups organized to provide treatment and research of drug addiction with ibogaine. These groups by attrition of their leaders either by death or simply moving out of the addict environment left a void in the ability of addicts to obtain ibogaine therapy. Slowly new supply lines for ibogaine and the interest of
small clinics and operations run by individuals for the general good or profit have replaced the original self-help groups and NDA International, the US corporation as the principal sources of ibogaine and ibogaine therapy. This however, does not allow the large scale availability of ibogaine that would be required by all those in need of this effective medication. Until that time, the well being of many chemical dependent individuals remains in the hands of Brian Mariano and others like him who place the welfare of other people above their own. It should be remembered that ibogaine is an experimental medication and patients should be advised of both the risks and benefits of the treatment.


Ibogaine is an alkaloid found in the rootbark of the shrub Tabernanthe Iboga, which grows in the West Central African rain forest. The rootbark and a simple extract have been used by local people for centuries for ritual purposes, and in smaller doses as a stimulant. An extract was sold in France as a medicine from 1939-1970, under the commercial name Lambarene, prescribed as a neuromuscular stimulant and indicated also for fatigue, depression, and
recovery from infectious diseases.
In the 1960's, Howard Lotsof provided doses of ibogaine to twenty persons, seven of whom were dependent on heroin. None of the heroin dependent persons treated experienced opiate withdrawal and five of the seven remained heroin free for up to six months from a single dose. Lotsof went on to obtain five patents for the use of ibogaine in the treatment of heroin, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine and polydrug dependence. See the end of this brochure for more of the recent history of ibogaine.
Ibogaine eliminates withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of administration (dose 15-20 mg/kg of ibogaine hydrochloride). This usually occurs within the first 3 hours, sometimes in the middle of the treatment, sometimes just at the end (around 24 hours). These are my observations from treating 20 addicts with ibogaine.

Within the first few days there may come some sudden waves of cravings or residual withdrawal symptoms. Some cases have been reported to me where such waves may occur even five or seven days after the first treatment. This was the root of several relapsing cases. These waves, as I call them, disappear as suddenly as they appear. They may be psychosomatic. Just a little bit of patience is needed. This is unfortunately something that many addicts lack, obviously. Actually, several addicts returned to drugs within few days, even without having experienced withdrawal signs. Ibogaine did its work 100%, but the change was too sudden for them. Thus, ibogaine effects must be viewed in two parts: 1) the elimination of objective opiate withdrawal signs and 2) the elimination of craving to continue drug use. A single dose of ibogaine is significantly effective in moderating opiate withdrawal but only partally effective in eliminating long term drug craving that usually leads to relaps. The elimination of drug craving may be as short as days or last for months. Multiple treatments may be required over time.

All this led me to the conclusion, that if the goal is to achieve long-term results, it's not possible to leave the addicts to their fate right after the treatment. It would be a waste of ibogaine, time, effort, parent's money and hope. It would be a real pity after ibogaine had done 80% of the necessary work to not deliver the remaining 20% that may be decisive in determining whether the addict will resume drug use or not. This is an especially crucial point
with the hardest subjects to work with - usually teenagers and people with double diagnosis (addiction plus concomitant psychiatric disorder).
Teenagers tend to explore their limits and feel like masters of the universe. They're most tempted, once ibogaine eliminates their addiction as such, to try to take just the 'best part' from the drugs without getting addicted again. Of course, they keep on failing. The combination of drug abuse and immaturity is really difficult. Besides, many of them don't cooperate - you represent the authority against which they fight, and being undisciplined seems like strength
to them. Parents, who are generally the ones who contact me, want to believe that the only thing that is needed is to eliminate addiction itself and their child will be finally out of this mess. This is not true, unfortunately. It's always hard to look into their eyes that say, please, you're our only chance! If only I could have a complementary substance to ibogaine, that would induce a feeling of repulsion toward drugs or the idea of taking them!

Ibogaine is only about freedom, freedom of choice to stay clean (without having to struggle daily against cravings or withdrawal) - or to get addicted again if you want to. The goal of ibotherapy then is to give a fair chance of staying addiction-free. Not to be misunderstood, I have to point out that this fair chance is not truly given after one treatment. For the majority of the addicts, even those who are motivated, the change is simply too sudden. Actually, the challenge is to change completely one's own life. Believe it or not, it's not an easy thing to do. I must admit that my first cases perhaps spoiled me a bit at the beginning, being tremendously successful, making me expect that ibogaine would resolve all problematic factors connected with drug abusing behavior. The classic example was the following one.

The addict was a male, age 34, history of substance abuse of 15 years, concurrently addicted to opiates and methamphetamines. He went through different detox and rehab programs and a methadone program without success. After such a history he seemed to be a lost case. He and his mother didn't expect great things from ibogaine, something they never heard of. After two treatments he quit drugs completely and as of this writing he has been leading a normal life for 15 months, having gone back to the kind of person he was before he started taking drugs. He never had any kind of aftercare.
I thought, if he managed to do so well, all the other apparently milder cases should manage too. Soon I realized I was wrong. Several addicts relapsed after ibogaine treatment, apparently without reason (reason=craving). In cases experiencing waves of cravings, it was obvious that they would relapse. More than 50% of my clients did quit drugs completely. It's only my guess (based on my experience), but I expect that only 15-20% of addicts after solely 2
ibogaine treatments without aftercare would quit drugs. With aftercare lasting one month, right to the second treatment, I see chances rising up to 80-90% and perhaps more. The prime purpose of the aftercare is isolation from the contaminated environment. Secondly to provide a sense of human support, which addicts often desperately need and is especially valuable after ibogaine because of its ability to "open up" a person.

I'll explain in more detail what the two treatments in my first case accomplished. During the first treatment this addict slept a lot. He didn't have any kind of psychedelic or dreamlike state. The next day when he woke up, he was just surprised that he was feeling relatively OK, without even a shadow of withdrawal symptoms or wish to take drugs. Every day then, until the tenth day, he kept wondering when the craving would finally come. After two days he
realized that he had forgotten he was a smoker and alcohol appeared to be tasteless. After ten days he took some opiates. He didn't actually need to, it was just too unusual to be such a long time without it. Today it wouldn't surprise me at all, but then it did, and I quickly decided to give him another treatment. So, two weeks after the first treatment he received the second, and the day after he knew he was not an addict anymore. He had insights into the deepest roots of his problems, possible solutions, the action of drugs on his personality - it all considerably affected the addictive part of his personality.

Still, if he hadn't been mature enough or ready for this, he wouldn't have managed. He had the strength to keep on working on himself, on the things that were out of reach of the ibogaine, and succeeded. Now, what does it mean to get back to the kind of person he was? It's as if addictive drugs have a personality of their own which covers the original one. It's like being
possessed. It doesn't matter if you were a good guy with a nice scale of values and honest, or a thief and a liar, whatever. You become the drug. The drug lies, steals, is unreliable, has a flat emotional life and only one priority: the drug (at least after long-term abuse).

After the ibogaine eliminates addiction, within few months the drug's pseudo-personality slowly disappears. The formerly reliable, honest person becomes reliable and honest again, the thief and liar continue to be a thief and liar. Still, beyond solving addiction, I think ibogaine makes some changes in very subtle levels of consciousness, and these may need some time to manifest.
Ibogaine seems to be very useful also for healthy people, using it for self-discovery purposes. They get a better understanding of their personality's weak and strong sides. It is as if their behaviour receives an ethical scan. The focus is also on emotional issues. I remember a friend of mine who was passing through a difficult period of her life. Among other things she
was divorcing. During her ibogaine session she apparently passed through a sort of emotional cleansing, according to the symbols in her visions. The weeks after the session she lived in a state of emotional and mental perspective that enabled her to pass through all her problems very smoothly and gently. She thanked me for the big help ibogaine gave her, also for the answers it gave her to the questions she asked.

I tell my clients how ibogaine works in one's consciousness, and how to interact, in order not to be just a passive partner in the process. All psychoactive substances have their own level of dictatorship over one's consciousness (what to perceive, how to feel, etc.). In my opinion, ibogaine's dictatorship is one of the mildest. It's possible to take an active role in its
dreamlike state and partially choose the direction to take, especially during its phase of questions and answers or internal communication, as I call it.
Ibogaine delivers a very interesting psychological aftereffect. For a few weeks after an ibogaine treatment, as specific life situations arise, one realizes that formerly one have thought, said, done, felt in a certain way. In the instant the situation occurs, one realizes there are plenty of possibilities how to react to the concrete situation - what to think, to feel, to say and do.
In other words, the binding programs of our subconscious are simply neutralized (partially). It's not forever of course, just for a few weeks at most. Nevertheless in this period, one can become aware of many things and reprogram one's self. This is especially valuable for addicts, since the cravings are very much connected with the environment of abuse (one's home, city, fellow warriors...).

The addicts I treated often reported to me how for example several days after the treatment they met another addict abusing a drug, and didn't get the usual craving from watching. Others found some drugs or tools for taking them among their belongings, and again no special feelings on seeing it, or psychosomatic reactions. Previously they would have started to breathe faster, sweat, have diarrhea and similar reactions. Nothing like this after the ibogaine. They saw themselves above all this, mostly like observers. Usually simply coming back to
town is sufficient to feel discomfort, because it's unconsciously bound up with drug abuse. I used to do treatments out of town, and on returning to town my addicts were pleased they didn't feel the usual stress. Nevertheless, not even this, accompanied with the loss of cravings, is able to prevent relapses. Addicts need some time to get out of their stereotypes. Some need to reach bottom.

Recently, I was contacted by a mother of an addict. She came with her addicted son to our meeting, as I requested. He was 25 years old and already 10 years on drugs, both opiates and methamphetamines. When I first saw him I thought to myself: Jesus, I'm not going to succeed with this guy in the conditions I'm working right now! I told them that without aftercare all efforts will be useless. He refused categorically to stay in any kind of official residential therapeutic facility. Then, with the help of his family members and a group of my friends we arranged for him a sort of alternative residential program, where he would be kept under supervision out of town through the second treatment. The first treatment did its regular job eliminating withdrawal symptoms and cravings. No perceivable psychological switch occurred, though. Within a few
days, a few sudden waves of craving came and went. Ten days after the treatment, he was determined to get back to town, and it took a big effort to persuade him to stay. As he admitted later, if we had let him go, he would be on drugs again.
The second treatment, one month after the first, achieved the psychological switch we longed for. The insights he gained during the psychoactive phase had a deep impact on him. Relatively rapidly afterwards the drug's pseudo-personality began to flush, and more and more he got closer to the kind of person he used to be before he started taking drugs. Not completely of course, ten years are ten years...

Anyway, after this second treatment he really started enjoying life, laughter and communication. He told us how flat life is with drugs, how long he didn't laugh or feel human closeness. It has already been several months, and he's clean, craving-free, and is doing pretty well.

I had really only one case in which ibogaine didn't seem to be effective enough in eliminating withdrawal symptoms and cravings in a heroin addict. It's hard to say if there was a hidden cause. Anyway, cases in which ibogaine doesn't work with heroin are rare. Mostly it has been the addict who wasn't really willing to quit drugs consciously.


The key words for ibogaine are insight and space for change. The experience is very variable and individual, but its framework usually contains a deep analysis of one's own personality, both weak and strong sides, usually done from a kind of super-ethical point of view, plus emotion processing and internal communication. Emotional processing with ibogaine works approximately this way: one sees images of the emotionally intense events of one's own life,
one after another, like a rapid slide show. Everything goes very quickly under ibogaine. The mind works like a Pentium processor and thoughts are like multidimensional understandings, each reached in a split second. This emotional processing is more cognitive compared to the emotional cleansing of regression therapy. In a regression, one re-lives the past events and emotions, and by bringing them from the subconscious to normal awareness they're
released. Ibogaine is more about being aware of them and understanding them. Nevertheless the final result is apparently very similar. (I'm just trying to point out the differences, not saying this or that is better.)

Some say that ibogaine is more like a regression therapy that goes in two stages - mental re-living followed by emotional re-living as one digests the experience. As I said, the experience is very individual and it's hard to find the precise limits. The most interesting part is the internal communication. Usually there's a phase of questions and answers. One gets
instantaneous answers to the questions one puts. Mostly the answers come in a visual way. Often the questions come spontaneously, often some prepared questions are treated as irrelevant and more relevant ones are offered. My personal understanding of this phenomenon is that during the peak the human level of one's consciousness gets connected with the higher levels of one's Self, and this allows this internal communication, the speed and complexity of
insights, and their ethical charge.
Again, I'm not saying that this is a legitimate way of Self-discovery. I'm just trying to describe as accurately as I can how ibogaine works. A major interest is what influence this experience has on an individual in his or her normal life. Mental capabilities are untouched. Whoever was smart keeps on being smart, and whoever wasn't smart likewise is no smarter. The difference is in inner freedom. Especially in specific situations one suddenly realizes that usually one would have thought, felt, said or done a concrete thing, but that now one has got different possibilities how to feel and react. Simply the dictatorship of one's own personality is diminished, for a period. During this time one often realizes many things one was blind to, and now can see them clearly and how do other things differently. These are very subtle changes that go on after an ibogaine experience, and often one is not even aware of them if enough attention is not paid. When the ego is excessively strong, then of course not big differences are notable.
I didn't have big results with severe chronic depression. My colleagues reported good results in trauma release. Personally I oriented my work toward addiction treatment, so I cannot tell much about that. Ibogaine is not psychoactive for everybody. Actually it's very choosy. It chooses who shall be allowed to enter its territory and to who not. Fortunately this doesn't affect the effectiveness in eliminating addiction to drugs. Some clients reported to me that they came to a sort of gate and some voices behind were discussing whether to let that guy enter or not (in the kingdom of knowledge). It looks like they were not admitted.
I traveled several times to South America for Ayahuasca rituals, read reports of different experiences of enlarged states of mind with different shamanic substances, and never found anything similar to what ibogaine does. Something that would be so oriented toward what is really important for the concrete individual and to the integration of the experience in one's own life.
Even if ibogaine didn't work with consciousness, I would keep on working with it because of its tremendous effectiveness in addiction treatment. The subject of mind-altering drugs is a very taboo subject and I'm aware of the reasons. I have seen what addictive hard drugs can make of a person, and even non-addictive psychoactive substances don't tolerate mistakes. Still, it's too simplistic to mix everything together and consider unusual states of mind as basically harmful. Ibogaine is one of the arguments.


A psychoactive substance is not necessarily a hallucinogen or means to get high in general. Ibogaine is basically a psychoactive substance - not always and not for everybody, but definitely not for getting high or low. Its mechanism of action is much different from those widely known psychedelics. From the point of view of an external observer the person going through ibogaine's psychoactive phase would appear simply as somebody asleep. This person in reality would be in a very conscious and intense dream-like state with usually very relevant contents for the respective person. Moreover, by opening their eyes, or being distracted by some noise, the person could completely interrupt the flow of the experience.

In any case, the ibogaine experience is usually regarded as "hard work."
Obviously these nuances are a bit subtle for governmental structures to understand, and as a result this most promising antiaddictive medicine paradoxically ended up on the list of illegal substances in the U.S., alongside heroin, methamphetamines and LSD.


My name is Martin R., I'm 26 years old and the last two years I've been trying to get rid of my heroin addiction.
After ibogaine intake, Saturday at 11.30 am, I laid down in bed, covered my eyes, calmed down and waited. About ten minutes afterwards the bed started to rotate with me very pleasantly for about a minute and then came a deafening roar and I flopped down with the bed in the middle of nowhere, through which I fly and fly, till I stopped, I don't know where, perhaps in my consciousness, soul or something like that.

I was there for a while without something specific going on, then something told me : "Hey, look" and the film started. It wasn't a continuous film, but many and many different pictures, which I continuously understood as an integral story. At first possible versions of my life showed in the future, still taking drugs and always ended very soon with my tragic death. It was always a horrible look at my dead body, the picture of it would remain for a long time. I was then forced to watch my dead body placed on the roof of a devastated building. This building was on a small planet spinning in black emptiness. This picture alternated whit a rotating exclamation point which kept changing into a small dot and disappearing with a weird clink. These two pictures alternated very regularly, perhaps whole hour.
The last story was a nice, long and contented life without drugs, a real joy in comparison with the previous ones. Throughout this sequence I heard subconsciously something in the sense, that if I keep taking heroin I'll end very badly, which I actually just saw several times. Simply it showed me how (too) far I've gone, that I've fallen deeply and very crudely (it's really indescribable). I realized a lot of things and the awareness that I'll never be taking heroin again started to strengthen.
Then I started to come to my senses and soon the withdrawal, the worst I've ever had. It lasted for about three hours and for all this time there was an idea in my head, that nearby my bed a dose of heroin prepared just to be taken and finish the anguish, but for all that time I heard the same whispering that if I do it everything is lost. So I was forced, being in withdrawal, to fight
with the urge of taking the heroin, which was (imaginary) at reach. It was tormenting, but suddenly it ended and there were no traces from withdrawal. Even though on Sunday I was still very weak and different pictures were still running in my head, in spite of that I felt very well, clean and most important - didn't have the least thoughts of heroin. I got back into a normal state after about three days.

Still no desire for drugs, even a week afterwards when I met a girl I know who started to smoke heroin in front of me. The only feeling I had from it was that I felt really sorry for her and wanted to help her in some way.
Report written three weeks after the ibogaine treatment.


Suddenly a big noise. I began to rotate clockwise. Rotation got faster. A feeling that my teeth are coming out of my head and I started to hear completely everything. I also get the feeling that my head is enormous. At once I started to feel my body in positions other than where I knew it to be. Then came a really big, long lifting that lifted me up at extreme speed for perhaps 10 minutes. Thousands of pictures started to come at extreme speeds, in varying
shapes and sizes. (SUPER).
Then, in a split second I saw my entire life, from my childhood until the present moment This part of the experience was not enjoyable, it was too strange. I had the feeling that everything was useless. Then the speed of pictures slowed down. I was in a kind of space where when I concentrated on a certain detail I moved closer to that detail. I moved within this space until
the moment I said to myself, "Where do I go now?"
I began to pose questions and I seemed to know the answers before I managed to finish the questions. I asked about any kind of possible and impossible nonsenses. Then I asked, "Who am I?" I saw my physical body and told to myself, "It's not me! I don't look this way!" I asked "What am I?" and saw a big free-floating sphere full of light, which contained within it incredible worlds and flows of lights and energies. Suddenly I was able to perceive a thousand things at once, thousands of timelines without the least effort. It seemed to be to me like a quite normal state of being, I lived a number of lives simultaneously. I realized that there's nothing I couldn't ask, because my SELF knew EVERYTHING, my SELF was EVERYTHING. It was the best
experience I have ever had - a feeling of unbelievable calm, peace and joy. At once I realized how terribly ridiculous everything is - I saw myself how I live, how I'm ridiculous, how my life was comic, all questions absurd. I just began to laugh, laugh and laugh...

Suddenly I got the feeling that not everything was in order with the things I was seeing and began to search for the reason. I saw a small comic figure, all in black and as it saw me began to run away. I hunted it for a while before I managed to catch it and throw it on the ground, which took away a piece of its black colour. So I started to take away the rest of the black colour and at once I saw that it was me - it was my ego with all its imperfections. I saw on
myself all the aspect's of my ego, including those I didn't like at all. So I began to clean them from my ego (and bet he tried to defend itself!). I released him only when he looked completely different. The ego shook like a wet dog and quickly ran away.


At the beginning I start to feel like something very huge is gradually coming closer and I have no idea what. It's like the quiet before the storm. I feel my sensitivity to sounds and light rapidly growing. Contemporarily the body becomes less sensible and movements heavy (except breathing). As time goes on, the body is getting rigid and even small movements are unpleasant, so I don't try to move any further and concentrate on breathing. My heart starts to beat more, and slowly the roar in my head gets stronger. Colored lights and forms start to rotate in a sort of spiral. The roar and the rotation get more and more intensive until lots of very small screens appear in the middle of a dark blue circle. I just felt somehow, that the information and actions going on on the screens deeply concerned myself.

The speed of the information flow slowed down, together with the number of screens, and I was able already to follow the single actions. The complete mental connection to the single events of my life was quite astonishing for me for its speed and especially for its general multidimensionality. I was aware, that everything is coming from "somewhere else" and that "IT" is, in comparison to us, extremely fast, smart, clean and that all the information given to us are at his lowest level, but still at the highest level, last possible level, we could still realize and understand. Every time I perceived not only the whole event in all its basic and important points, but also at the level of feelings I was able to feel quite perfectly how the other person
felt the same thing. I can say it was terrible... so much negativity my actions, words, approaches, even never expressed thoughts accomplished in my life.

Literally it overwhelmed me. Events were coming one after the other, very quickly, but precisely at the speed at which my brain was still able to process them - not a percent faster or slower. Everytime it was the same - a red-violet spiral spun clockwise feeling subjectively the whole event from my point of view. Then, for a fraction of a second it stopped and the same spiral but blue spun the other way and I perceived the pictures, feelings and reactions of the "damaged one" concerning the same event. It all lasted 3-4 seconds. The last parts were very sad, I felt disgusted with myself... how could I be so egotistical, harm others and almost not be aware of it! At the same time I felt quite clearly that it was really so, that it's absolutely TRUE!
Everything was quite unambiguous, it was clear what it's all about with the synchronic feelings, thoughts, full emotional reaction of the other and the realization of where and how I made the mistake. Among the single actions there were also 'offenses', where I only had a bad thought, didn't even come to its fulfillment or expression in the physical reality, nevertheless it provoked
the same terrible feeling of guilt, remorse and awfulness. Intensively I realized, that my opinion about myself was quite distorted, that inside me there's a lot of negativity and a lot of things that I do I wrap in an aura of helping others, but in the truth I do them mainly for myself or
not only for crystal clean motives.
In this state Brian asked me how I was doing (most probably he meant if I felt all right, physically) and I answered TERRIBLE, deeply shaken and disgusted with myself, depressed from the amount of mistakes I've made in my life. When the single stories began to slow down I tried to put my questions (I was instructed before, that I can get instant answers to any question I would ask), but what I felt very intensely was a deep and painful SADNESS, caused by the way I am. "IT" (the higher consciousness?) that displayed the previous events was not at all condemning, just deeply sad. I realized again and again that I have to fight with my imperfections, that now after having gained this knowledge I CANNOT let it go, I would commit mistakes CONSCIOUSLY and everything would be judged more severely. It reminded me of a sort of "Last Judgment".

The sadness slowly disappeared, I calmed down and relaxed. Twelve hours after intake I'm still laying down almost without movements, strengthless. Psychologically I'm getting much better, almost enthusiastic - in relation to my future engagement in my self-improvement.

The discovery that ibogaine could block drug withdrawal is usually credited to Howard S. Lotsof - a New York based former drug user who took ibogaine in 1962. Lotsof, then a heroin user, took ibogaine believing it to be a new recreational drug. But, 30 hours later, he suddenly realized he wasn't experiencing heroin withdrawal and had no desire to get a fix. Subsequent casual experimentation revealed that this effect was replicated for other heroin users. Some 20 years later, Lotsof returned to his discovery and set about trying to bring it to the market. He formed a company, NDA International, obtained patents for the use of ibogaine in the treatment of addiction, under the name Endabuse, and began to carry out treatments to better evaluate the drug's potential.
By this time however, ibogaine had been made a Schedule 1 restricted substance in the USA. Consequently, Lotsof chose to carry out experimental ibogaine treatments in Holland.
In 1991 the US National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), impressed by case reports and animal studies, began studying ibogaine with a view to evaluating its safety and creating treatment protocols.
In 1993 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who oversee the development of new drugs approved clinical trials with ibogaine, to be carried out by Dr. Deborah Mash of the University of Miami School of Medicine, on behalf of Howard Lotsof's corporation, NDA International.
Up to this point, the development of ibogaine had been proceeding smoothly, but suddenly went sour. The death of a young female heroin addict during treatment in Holland brought an abrupt end to the Dutch project. A subsequent inquest did not find the project organisers guilty of negligence, but the lack of scientific knowledge about the effects of ibogaine hindered the establishment of the actual cause of death, though it was believed that she may have
surreptitiously smoked opiates during treatment.
The approved clinical trials commenced, but contractual and funding problems that arose between NDA International and the University of Miami brought them to a close before completion, (note that the drug's safety was not an issue). A lengthy legal battle between the two ensued, and developmental work came to a standstill.

In March 1995, after several years spent progressively becoming more interested in ibogaine, a review committee at NIDA suddenly decided to suspend further activity with the drug, apparently having been influenced by critical opinions from pharmaceutical industry representatives. Officially it was reported that the death in Holland was of concern and that the government agency was disappointed that ibogaine was only shown to keep people off drugs for a period of months, not permanently. Howard Lotsof has subsequently pointed out that the
death, whilst tragic, was likely caused by opiate use, and, with regard to the second point, that any drug that could put, say, cancer or AIDS into complete remission for a period of months would be being developed as a matter of national urgency.

Click here to download the booklet