Richie Ogulnick – Ibogaine Uses and Addiction-Interruption Therapy

February 19, 2019
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In this episode Joe interviews, Richie Ogulnick, a long time Ibogaine provider and enthusiast. During the show they discuss Ibogaine and Addiction-Interruption Therapy.

3 Key Points:

  1. Ibogaine is a compound found in the Tabernanthe Iboga plant that has been used to treat opioid and other addictions.
  2. Ibogaine has shown to have the power to reset the biochemistry of a person to a non-addictive state, and reduce/eliminate the agonizing symptoms of withdrawal, allowing a person to heal from an addiction.
  3. The combination of Ibogaine, relocation and integration therapy is the best scenario for healing someone and preventing them from relapse.

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Show Notes

About Richie

  • In 1989 he was Introduced to Ibogaine while visiting family and friends in New York
  • Its an alkaloid extracted from a West African shrub
  • He was ready to fall in love with doing something with purpose
  • He came across an article about a corporation called NDA created by Howard Lotsof
    • When Howard (a heroine addict) was 19 years old, a chemist gave him a dose of Ibogaine
    • A few days later, he realized he “wasn’t afraid” and then he realized he wasn’t having opioid withdrawals
  • In “Needle Park”, a park in New York, heroin addicts come there for free needles
    • Richie’s dream was to dose all the addicts with Ibogaine, and that only a quarter of them would show up to Needle Park because they were not addicted anymore
  • He brought 13 grams of Ibogaine back from Africa with him
  • He received a chapter from a book (Healing Journey) called Ibogaine: Fantasy and Reality by Claudio Naranjo
  • People were coming from all over the world to receive Ibogaine treatments
  • It was 15 years where he conducted over 750 psycho-spiritual and addiction-interception sessions underground
  • Upon training people, those people would then go and open their own treatment centers in Mexico, abroad, etc.

What is Iboga

  • Tabernanthe Iboga is the plant
  • Ibogaine Hydrochloride is the best product to use to interrupt addiction and symptoms of withdrawal from an addiction
  • Ibogaine is safe as long as someone has had an EKG that has been looked at very closely for any red flags
  • Other than cardiac risk and previous suicidality, schizophrenia, psychotic breaks there aren’t many more threats to being treated with Ibogaine

The Miracle Compound

  • “There is a miracle compound in ibogaine. There is nothing I have come across on the planet that can reset the biochemistry to a pre-addictive state, that can bring a person to make a choice without the agony of the symptoms of withdrawal.” – Richie
  • There is a 36 hour window where a person has a life review, what brought them to the addictive process in the first place, the person’s willingness and maturity
    • It creates a symbiotic relationship for a person to explore themselves with insight
  • Relapse is possible if they don’t work on the reason they became addicted in the first place
  • It’s the witness component that Ibogaine delivers that helps people process through their addiction
  • Ibogaine as a molecule has a really pharmacologically complex, alien like structure


  • Justin Hoffman, a DJ in Las Vegas runs Holistic House, a facility where people get to relax and get out of their previous context for a week or two after treatment
  • If a family wanted to help out their family member who is addicted to heroine, Richie says that he asks the family about relocation because it’s a big part of reducing relapse
  • He also says that finding a proper therapist to help afterward is huge too
  • The combination of Ibogaine, relocation and integration therapy is the best scenario for healing someone and preventing them from relapse

Big Pharma’s Impact

  • Joe says how he got a message from Dana Biel, talking about how the harm reduction movement has been manipulated by the ‘Big Pharma’ industry, especially suboxone
    • Richie says that drugs like suboxone are prescribed to be used everyday for the rest of someone’s life, and Ibogaine is a “one-time-only” style drug that doesn’t require alot of money to heal people
    • Ibogaine is not profitable so its not attractive to Big Pharma
    • “Ibogaine will never hit the streets like LSD did. It’s not a recreational experience, it’s a long, daunting 3 stage process.” – Richie

Use Cases

  • He knows of a story where these two ladies took Ibogaine daily for their Parkinson’s, and as soon as they stopped taking Ibogaine, they got their symptoms back
  • He knows of another lady who had been walking with a cane and upon taking Ibogaine she was walking a mile around her neighborhood without her cane

Final Thoughts

  • Joe asks if Richie thinks we are over harvesting Iboga
    • There is the Wakanga tree that contains a small amount of Ibogaine, so he thinks we are okay
  • Ibogaine is an important subject because a lot of people are dying from opiates
  • Ibogaine is available in Portugal but it hasn’t had much activity
  • It can be used for therapeutic use as well as addiction-interruption



Richie Ogulnick is a long time Ibogaine provider and enthusiast Over the course of fifteen and a half years, he conducted about 750 sessions, including addiction-interruption treatments. He spent the next several years referring close to 1,000 more people to other ibogaine providers. During that time, he also trained doctors and ex-addicts who opened ibogaine centers throughout the world. Richie feels a pull to focus again on the more therapeutic and psycho-spiritual treatments where he is able to offer his expertise in ibogaine treatment along with his knowledge of reintegration with individuals who are looking to deepen and enrich their life experience.