How to Tell Your Doctor You’re Using Drugs


The decision to take iboga, a psychedelic that comes from the roots of the African Tabernanthe iboga plant, was not one I took lightly. A friend first recommended it about a year ago as a way to treat my insomnia, cystitis, muscle twitches, heart palpitations, and other symptoms I believe stemmed from chronic Lyme disease. But I knew iboga could cause heart complications in people with certain pre-existing conditions, so I first tried other treatments like hyperbaric oxygen therapy and kambo. When I still didn’t feel well after six months, I found an iboga retreat in Mexico with medical staff present and got an EKG to ensure I wasn’t at risk for iboga-related cardiac issues.

Iboga is believed to interrupt patterns within the nervous system, which is why it is sometimes used to help opioid addicts kick their addictions. While research on this is very much still limited and developing, a 2000 study of five people addicted to opioids and/or cocaine found that two were free from withdrawal symptoms and cravings a week after one dose. Some believe it can facilitate other kinds of physical healing, particularly for neurological conditions.

I went in skeptical, but the iboga lived up to its promises. A week later, I reported to my doctor that I was completely symptom-free. “A psychedelic? Why would

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