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  • Kamilah Stevens

Drug Rehab Clinic Owner Talks About Successfully Treating Addictions with Ibogaine, "God's Plant"


Volume 82 recently interviewed Jesse Herrera Jr., co-owner of the Ibogaine Riviera Maya Clinic in Cancun, Mexico. Jesse shared his journey about helping others heal others from drug addictions and various other ailments using ibogaine, a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in plants that he calls “God's plant.” Jesse thanks God for providing him with such a wonderful remedy to help heal others, and he was ecstatic to share his story with us. Check out the interview below:

Volume 82: How many clients do you average per week?

Jesse: We take in 4 to 8 people every month, and I only treat four at the same time. Customers stay at the clinic between eight and 22 days, depending on their issue.

Volume 82: And, what conditions do you treat?

Jesse: We treat addictions of any type, even gambling and pornography. We treat people who suffer from PTSD, anxiety, depression, mental disorders, and brain disorders, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. We also help people with weight loss and food addictions. We’ve also treated people who own big corporations and have executive burnout.

Volume 82: Interesting. That’s a wide range of issues.

Jesse: This is God's medicine. It triggers your whole body to fix itself mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Volume 82: Ok. How does the body fix itself? Do you only use ibogaine for treatment?

Jesse: It's our main ingredient, but we also use other plants and psychedelics. For example, psilocybin (from mushrooms) is another natural product we use, but our main remedy is ibogaine.

Volume 82: Ok. How long have you been a healer and how did you get into this line of work?

Jesse: I've been doing these treatments for six years now. I was an addict myself and, by the grace of God, I was introduced to ibogaine in 2014, and it changed my life for good.

A recent photo of Jesse

Volume 82: Really?

Jesse: I did crack for over 20 years, and was often taken in by Christian men's homes back in the U.S.

Volume 82: That's amazing! I see why you call it God's medicine.

Jesse: Yes!

Jesse: Ibogaine comes from the Iboga plant and the Ayahuasca plant.

Volume 82: Ok. Interesting. Are you from the United States?

Jesse: No, I was born in Acapulco, Mexico. I grew up in San Diego and Seattle, Washington.

Volume 82: How did you end up in men's homes? What brought you back to Mexico?

Jesse: My addiction to crack cocaine. I was homeless in the United States. I had no family around. I had lost everything, and then I decided to give my life to Jesus. In 2010, I got baptized, and I was deported from the USA in 2011.

Volume 82: Your family stayed in Mexico, but you grew up in the U.S.?

Jesse: My whole family lives here in Cancun, Mexico. My mom brought me to the states when I was 10. I went to school there. I graduated from high school in 1999. My mother left me in the U.S. with a few uncles.

Volume 82: I bet you felt it was a blessing to learn about this plant. Who introduced you to ibogaine?

Jesse: My ex-lady, who is my business partner, introduced me to it. She's been a healer for more than 11 years, working with this amazing plant. She is a certified nurse here in Mexico. We work together. I did my first ibogaine treatment in the summer of 2014.

Volume 82: Awesome! What certifications do you need to treat people?

Jesse: No specific ones. We have an ibogaine conference every year. There is a big community, and I have to take seminars.

Volume 82: Do you need a license or certification to operate a clinic that provides treatments?

Jesse: Ibogaine is not regulated here in Mexico. It's not legal, but you can work with it. I have a life coach certificate.

Volume 82: Since your partner is a nurse, does that give you clearance? She's a board-certified nurse.

Jesse: Yes, she is a trauma-intense therapy nurse. We also have doctors on staff.

Volume 82: Ok. Is ibogaine a natural psychedelic?

Jesse: Yes, but I don't call it psychedelic. It makes your subconscious mind tell you why you do what you do. But yes, it is an alkaloid extract from the Iboga plant in Gabon, Africa. It is a psychedelic with dissociative properties. Research supports that it helps counter drug addiction. It helps us to understand what's happening in our lives and what's best for us. It's hard to describe its magic. Once it goes through a person’s liver, that's when the healing starts.

Volume 82: I see. I assume everyone's experience with treatment may be different, but can you explain what a treatment session normally looks like?

Jesse: It depends on the guest's situation. Fentanyl addicts usually stay for 21 days. Substances like methadone are usually treated between 14 and 21 days. Sometimes we can treat non-drug-related issues in just 3 days. Everyone is different.

Volume 82: That makes sense.

Jesse: Ibogaine also has anti-aging and anti-viral properties.

Volume 82: What falls under anti-aging and anti-viral?

Jesse: People sometimes look younger after a treatment. People who take the treatment for anti-aging tend to look younger, more fresh, and alive afterwards.

Volume 82: So it can be used simply for an anti-aging/revitalization process? You don't necessarily have to be sick to receive an ibogaine treatment?

Jesse: Exactly. I microdose my mother! It's an overall good product for wellness. It helps with flexibility, energy, and motivation. An example of microdosing is taking 150 milligrams of ibogaine daily on an empty stomach for seven days, then waiting three days and taking it for another five days. You feel like a million bucks, and it's not addictive!

Volume 82: I see! How much are microdoses?

Jesse: $3,500

Volume 82: USD?

Jesse: Yes

Volume 82: Damn, that is expensive.

Jesse: Full treatments are usually $8,500-$12,000. Would you like to try a microdose?

Volume 82: Probably! Lol.

Jesse: You would love it. I highly recommend it!

Volume 82: Ok, Jesse!

Jesse: The oldest patient we've treated was 83.

Volume 82: Ok. How did the treatment help her?

Jesse: The patient had Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It helped her to have a more comfortable life near the end. Her hands stopped shaking. She started eating and talking more.

Volume 82: Did it help her mind? Did she mentally recover from Alzheimer's?

Jesse: We noticed a big change in her memory. She talked better, more clearly, and louder. She started to remember a lot of things about her life. She could pronounce her children's names and ages and remember where they lived.

Volume 82: Wow! What has treatment looked like for a client who really struggled with drug addiction?

Jesse: For example, on day 1, doctors will do a check-up and go over their medical history, we do an EKG to check the heart, and we get blood work or a liver panel, and we give a booster to test how the guest will react to the substance. We provide them with something to help them sleep the first night. Then we administer a full dose (a flood dose) on the second day. On day three, the patient has been without drugs for 36 hours and received uninterrupted treatment, so we call that the gray day. The resting continues, then on day 8, we do a second flood dose, and the patient usually feels much better. During this process, people often lose 10-16 pounds. By day 10, patients feel great and believe the addiction is gone. They normally think it's too good to be true.

Volume 82: Awesome! Have any patients told you they've relapsed?

Jesse: Yes. Sometimes we have people come back after a year. I would say the treatment is 85 percent effective without relapse. Aftercare is critical.

Volume 82: Any idea what causes the relapse in some people?

Jesse: Usually, their emotions and returning to the same environment they used drugs in causes a relapse.

Volume 82: Sure. You're doing a wonderful thing. But it seems the pricing would lock low-income people out of receiving treatment. Is that true?

Jesse: Yes, but people find a way to get the money together. Sometimes they sell their stuff to come here. It's truly worth it. It's priceless. Compared to other clinics, we have affordable prices. Other clinics easily charge between $12,000-18,000 for only 7 to 10 days of treatment

Volume 82: Is it a one-time upfront payment? No monthly payments like plastic surgery clinics or anything?

Jesse: No. It's a one-time payment. We are looking to add financial aid soon.

Volume 82: Financial aid? Like payment plans?

Jesse: Yes. We're working on it.

Volume 82: How long has your clinic been open?

Jesse: Going on three years now. We get patients from all over. I’ve had people come from Finland and Saudi Arabia. I would like to write a documentary about this place one day.

Volume 82: That would be awesome. You're doing God's work. Tell us about your first Ibogaine treatment.

Jesse: It was the summer of 2014. It blew my mind. I felt so great, and I was able to stop smoking crack.

Volume 82: Ok. What drug addiction do you treat the most?

Jesse: Fentanyl! It's everywhere. They put fentanyl in a lot of other drugs as well. We also see a lot of drugs blazed (sprinkled) with cocaine and meth. The number one thing we treat is opioids.

Jesse: We use Fentanyl strips to detect fentanyl.

Volume 82: Is there anything else significant you want people to know?

Jesse: I'm blessed to be blessed, and I'm a servant of the most high!

Volume: That’s awesome! Yes you are.

We were able to speak to a patient who received an ibogaine treatment. He anonymously talked to us about his experience. See his story below:

Volume 82: What made you seek the ibogaine treatment?

Anonymous: I went to Mexico to put myself in a foreign environment to try to stop using opioids like I did when I went to Saudi Arabia. I shook the opioids when I went to Saudi without any withdrawals. I tried to go cold turkey in Mexico, but it just wasn't working. Then my friend told me his friend had a product called ibogaine from Africa, and that's when I met Jesse. Jesse gave us the rundown of what it was and how it worked. And when you're at your wit's end, you'll try dang near anything.

Volume 82: How long did you stay at the clinic?

Anonymous: I didn't stay at the clinic. Jesse gave my buddy and me the product. We went back to my homeboy's house, and I took the treatment there. The process was six hours (including an hour to prep).

Volume 82: How many days did you receive treatment?

Anonymous: Just that one day.

Volume 82: How long ago was that?

Anonymous: It's been a little over a year since then, about thirteen months.

Volume 82: Have you relapsed? Did the treatment help?

Anonymous: It really helped! You don't go through withdrawals once you're done with treatment. But opioids give you extra energy, so you can run the risk of relapsing. What Jesse recommends is that you do tune-up treatments. Now, you can do the treatment outside the clinic, but I do recommend staying at the clinic. I just didn't have that kind of money to make it happen.

Volume 82: Ok, so you did the microdose?

Anonymous: Yes. It was kind of like your typical capsulated pill, such as taking a vitamin, for example.

Volume 82: How did your opioid addiction make your body feel? How did you feel after your treatment process?

Anonymous: When you're on opioids, you're ready to tackle anything. But when you don't have them, you overwork your body and go into a negative energy, and they constipate you. You have restless legs and a lack of energy. They make you smoke a lot, if you're a smoker. So, the harder the opioid, the worse off you'll be. After I came back from getting the ibogaine treatment, it was like I had a new body. My stomach felt perfect. It was almost like waking up out of a dream. My daughter's mom told me that my skin was clear.

Volume 82: Are you comfortable saying which opioids you used?

Anonymous: Vicodin and Percocet.

Volume 82: How much do you recommend this treatment?

Anonymous: According to the federal government, 19 people have died since the 1950s from receiving the ibogaine treatment… You definitely should get a physical before you try it, like a liver panel. I recommend this treatment to the fullest. It can help with depression, PTSD, and more. After my treatment, I went to a food festival, and the sun was shining, and I said, "I am happy." I never knew what happiness felt like until then, and I meant it!

Volume 82: So it sounds like it provides mental clarity as well?

Anonymous: It does because it's a psychedelic. Some call it brain surgery without getting cut with a knife. It takes you to some pretty dark places. But these are necessary dark places that make you face your old self. It sends you into an introspective place to make you see how you could have handled the things you did that made you feel embarrassed and ashamed.

Volume 82: So psychologically, it also forces you to go back and deal with past traumas and pain?

Anonymous: Yes. It definitely forces you to reconcile with past traumas.

Volume 82: What was an example of something this treatment had your mind analyze that was dark for you?

Anonymous: When I took the ibogaine, I laid in a dark room with a blindfold on while some Caribbean acid rock music played. Then all of a sudden, film strips of my life started to play right in front of my face, like a rainbow from left to right. It showed me images of when I was in my angriest state of mind. The consistency of my trauma was anger, and it always caused situations for me to have to redirect my life, for example, getting kicked out of school or my mom's home, getting kicked out of the military, causing trouble, or messing up relationships. It made me face those things.

Anonymous: During the process, my friend kept coming in the room to check on me, asking if I was OK, and the images of my life were playing at the time but I was embarrassed to say anything. I didn't even want to answer him. This process made me feel crazy and embarrassed; it made me want to bury my head in the sand like an ostrich because my mind showed me past things that embarrassed me. That's the best way I can explain it!

Volume 82: From my understanding, psychedelics can make you hallucinate. Were you hallucinating?

Anonymous: I think hallucination is an easy and dismissive word. So if it's considered a hallucination, it's the best hallucination I've ever had because it showed me reality. Like, if I had seen zombies and aliens, that word could fit. But in this case, that word doesn't fit.

Volume 82: How long did you stay in Cancun after the treatment?

Anonymous: I stayed for two more days. I knew the treatment worked because after the treatment, I had access to opioids. I opened a bottle of opioids, and I had no desire to take them. I smoked cigarettes before taking ibogaine, but I did not like their smell after I was treated, and I haven't smoked a cigarette since that day. The taste, smell, and thought of a cigarette now makes me sick.

Volume 82: Is there anything else that's changed with your health since the treatment?

Anonymous: Yes, I've had high cholesterol since I was 18. I used to take medication for it. As soon as I returned, I set up a physical with my doctor, and my good and bad cholesterol were both down 100 points. Honestly, the treatment was a connection with God that I had never felt in my life.

Volume 82: This treatment should usually be taken under the care of a professional, right?

Anonymous: Definitely. If you can afford the professional ibogaine treatment at the clinic, do that. If you can't, you definitely should be in the care of someone who loves you.

Volume 82: Awesome. Thank you for sharing your story.

Anonymous: You’re welcome.


Lastly, we spoke to Eric Esparza, a life coach, therapist, and certified addiction professional (CAP) about his experience with administering ibogaine to patients. Here’s his testament about the effectiveness of the treatment.

Volume 82: How do you help treat patients?

Eric: So, I primarily do aftercare with ibogaine patients, and a large percent of my services are offered online. I’m actually in drug recovery myself. I've been in recovery for about 16 years now. When I started my recovery journey 16 years ago, it made such a huge impact on my life that I went back to school to become a therapist. In that pursuit, I learned about ibogaine. I was introduced to ibogaine as an alternative treatment for mainly opioid use disorder. We saw some remarkable outcomes for people coming off of all sorts of different kinds of opioids. It just blew my mind. I worked in the substance abuse treatment field for about three years, and then I kind of broke off and got more involved with individuals being treated with ibogaine. Even though it’s probably one of the most amazing substances used for getting people off different types of drugs and alcohol, I saw there was a huge need in particular in this field, especially when it comes to aftercare.

Volume 82: I see. So, you help patients with their on-going care after they’ve been treated?

Eric: Yes. There is a huge need afterward for being given continued support and understanding of how a person gets into addiction to begin with.

Volume 82: Yes. What types of post-treatment processes do you do with your patients?

Eric: We start putting together some of the changes they’ll make prior to them coming back home. So when they leave treatment, they're going into a safety net. That could be them going through a substance treatment program for further care, or living with someone. Once a patient has gone through a treatment, then we talk more about what they are feeling. One of the most important things that you have to understand when it comes to addiction, the drugs or the alcohol are really just a symptom of the real issue. And the real issue is the thoughts and beliefs that people have about themselves. When patients come home, we start to peel back the “onion” to find out what those beliefs are. Each and every one of us has a particular belief about ourselves and you can call it a self-limiting belief. And your reality will always be the same until you can identify what those beliefs are, and then make a true effort to try to change those bad beliefs. When people do “mirror work,” with me, we talk about what they want in their lives. It comes all the way down to where they want to be physically, spiritually, and financially.

Volume 82: This is wonderful.

Eric: A lot of these people need someone to talk to, to kind of help them navigate through certain things in their lives because they've been using drugs and alcohol as their crutch for a very long time.

Volume: If someone would like to reach out to you for services, where should they go?

Eric: Here is my website:

Volume 82: Thank you!

Eric: It was a pleasure speaking with you this afternoon!

Volume 82: Likewise!


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