Nicotine has a similar effect on the brain’s reward system when compared to opiates. Studies have shown that there is a remarkable overlap between nicotine and opiates on dopamine signaling. It also demonstrates the seriousness of tobacco addiction, equating its grip on the individual to that of heroin. This is one of the reasons that Iboga is so successful with helping patients to quit smoking. Iboga resets the dopamine pathways in the brain. No other substance has demonstrated this ability with such accuracy. Studies have also shown that the iboga alkaloid congeners block nicotinic receptor sites and have shown to reduce nicotine self administration in animal studies.
That is the physiological aspect to the nicotine detox program, but there is also a mental and spiritual aspect that iboga helps you work on. Once the body is cleansed of toxins with the initial iboga detox, a few days later Moughenda will administer the iboga again and you will have a guided psycho-spiritual journey. This is where you will get to root problems. You may identify the start of negative thought and behavioral patterns and correct them. We have had many people come to the Iboga House to quit smoking. In fact, many people came for other reasons and decided to quit smoking because they no longer craved the nicotine. It is a choice. If a patient wants to quit smoking 100%.
It should also be noted that tobacco is part of the Bwiti ceremony and Moughenda or the Providers may use tobacco during the ceremony. The Bwiti tradition has similar beliefs to Native American culture about tobacco.