Monday, January 6, 2014

My Interview With The World’s Youngest Ibogaine Provider


At 27, Shea Prueger is the world’s youngest ibogaine provider, and since the May 2013 opening of her clinic in Koh Samui, Thailand, the former model has received countless death threats, her house has been broken into, and she was attacked in an alley. Encountering this kind of behavior is expected when working with anything deemed a Schedule 1 Narcotic (illegal) in America, especially one that has a reputation of getting junkies clean.

Shea, who first heard of ibogaine when battling her own opiate addiction, is in the process of opening a new center in Thailand. I managed to track down the American expat via email, in the treehouse she’s currently living in, to chat about how ibogaine works, why she’s being threatened, and what to expect from her new center.


Kristy Ann Muniz: What is ibogaine?

Shea Prueger: Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive alkaloid derived from the west equatorial African shrub, tabernanthe iboga. In large doses, it produces a dream-like, hallucinatory, rapid eye movement state. The entire experience can last anywhere from 18-48 hours. Everyone experiences something different. However, many people report seeing early childhood memories, insight related to the reason they seeked out treatment, ancestral-related visions, traumatic life events, psychological introspection, and scenes related to identifications of the self our ego relies on.

In western Africa, the Bwiti belief system uses the iboga root bark as a sacred sacrament. Participants take it in a large dose as an initiation into their tribe, a spiritual quest, a sort of “coming-of-age” ritual. The Bwiti have been using iboga for hundreds of years; their knowledge of iboga is said to have come from the Pygmies.

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