The Health Risks of Ibogaine Treatment and What Every Ibogaine Provider Should Ask You For
There haven’t been many ibogaine-related deaths reported in the last five years, but the ones we do know about all seem to have some elusive factor. The 2014 death of a woman in a Costa Rican ibogaine clinic was actually from a heart attack, but the autopsy report was inconclusive as to whether there was ibogaine in her system when she died. Most reports blame the clinic, which was operating outside of Costa Rica’s regulated licensure program for ibogaine providers. They closed after the woman’s death, suggesting the clinic didn’t properly check the patient’s medical history for pre-existing cardiac conditions.
That same year, an Australian man named Brodie Smith died in his hotel room in Thailand. His girlfriend claimed he died after taking ibogaine and having trouble breathing, but the reports here are also convoluted—some accounts suggest he actually overdosed on methamphetamine (the addiction he was hoping to treat with ibogaine therapy) before ever taking ibogaine or still had methamphetamine in his system at the time of administering ibogaine.
The unknown factors in both cases highlight ibogaine’s biggest weakness—lack of regulation. Ibogaine is still illegal in the United States, so finding treatment generally requires leaving the country. Internationally, ibogaine providers run the gamut from professional clinics to hotel room pop-ups.