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  • Dr. Martin Polanco

Ibogaine treatment for alcohol and nicotine addiction


Ibogaine is a psychoactive indole alkaloid derived from the Tabernanthe iboga plant that grows in West Africa and its been used for centuries traditionally by the indigenous communities of that area. Ibogaine is used therapeutically for the detoxification to drugs like heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, methadone and alcohol.


Both scientific studies and anecdotal reports suggest that a single administration of ibogaine has the ability to remove the symptoms of drug-withdrawal and to reduce the drug-craving for a period of time after administration. It has also been used for treating tobacco dependence and in the psychotherapy field for treating depression, anxiety and PTSD.


During an addiction treatment ibogaine is easily administered in a capsule and has no addictive effects itself. When used in a fully clinical setting with proper medical screening and therapeutic support ibogaine is safe to use. Some individuals stop using drugs and alcohol permanently after a single ibogaine addiction treatment, while others need an aftercare rehabilitation program post-treatment.


The effectiveness of ibogaine for addiction treatment is based on how it works in multiple receptor sites of the brain, having effects both physiologically and psychologically. Ibogaine resets the neurotransmitter receptors to a novice state and has demonstrated neuroprotective effects on dopamine receptors, dopamine is the ‘feel good’ chemical.


Scientific studies have shown that ibogaine increases levels of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a protein that promotes the growth of new neurons in the brain, providing neuroplasticity and facilitating for new habits to be developed. GDNF is found in reward regions of the brain linked to addiction.


Research shows that roughly 50% of all deaths in the United States can be attributed to alcohol or tobacco use. The 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed more than 86% of U.S. adults age 18 and older have consumed alcohol at some point in their lifetime, and 70% have consumed an alcoholic beverage in the past year. Additionally, the survey indicated 15.1 million adults age 18 and older were dealing with alcohol use disorder.


Alcohol addiction is a serious disease that affects the lives and well being of those who abuse the substance, including harming their relationships to family and friends.

Ibogaine treatment for alcohol abuse is effective in combating alcoholism as it addresses not only the physical addiction but also the psychological aspects of it. Ibogaine helps to stop the craving and withdrawal symptoms while also having a therapeutic effect on the psychological factors underlying alcoholism.


Results from studies in lab tests show that alcohol-addicted mice drank less alcohol after being injected with ibogaine. Ibogaine also helped the mice to stay off alcohol after the administration of the injection. The ibogaine injections helped the mice resist the temptation to start drinking again after being deprived of alcohol for two weeks.


Nicotine, not usually thought of as a drug, is a highly addictive substance that occurs naturally in tobacco. When smoking tobacco, nicotine travels to the brain quickly and produces a temporary blissful feeling of relaxation. Nicotine also raises your heart rate and elevates your mood, all this happens within seconds of inhaling, right after finishing a cigarette the withdrawal symptoms start and the craving for another cigarette.


More recently ibogaine has been used to treat nicotine addiction, being extremely effective in eradicating nicotine dependence and resetting tolerance. Ibogaine interrupts the physical need to use alcohol and nicotine offering a chance to stop an unhealthy habit. The reset works well in highly motivated individuals who are committed to never smoking again and with a recovery plan in place.


There are various clinics and treatment centers in Mexico and other parts of the world that are providing ibogaine detox for substance abuse. Dr. Martin Polanco has extensive experience in the use of ibogaine for drug addiction, alcoholism and PTSD, he founded an ibogaine clinic in Mexico and has successfully treated hundreds of individuals. Polanco and his team are experts in providing addiction treatments for substance abuse including alcohol and nicotine detox. Dr. Martin Polanco’s vision is to provide a comprehensive and holistic care for addiction including looking at the whole person and the underlying issues of why they are addicted.

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