galleryEscaping Heroin: An 18-Year-Old's Ibogaine Ceremony (PHOTOS)05.04.14galleryEscaping Heroin: An 18-Year-Old's Ibogaine Ceremony (PHOTOS)05.04.14 10:45 AM ETJeffrey Arguedas and Gabriela TÃÂ©llezGrace Bergere bathes near the fire in Costa Rica before taking a flood dose of ibogaine. Filled with ancestral flowers and prayer leaves, the ritual bath uses the "generosity of the forest" to protect the Bwiti initiate, referred to as the Banzi (in this case, Grace). Jeffrey Arguedas & Gabriela TÃÂ©llezChristine Fitzsimmons, the medical director at IbogaLife, coats her face in ceremonial paint. Red (for blood) representing women, and white (for semen) representing men. Jeffrey Arguedas & Gabriela TÃÂ©llezCommon throughout West Africa, ritual baths follow the snake bite concept—if you inoculate yourself with the leaves of the forest, it can't hurt you. Jeffrey Arguedas & Gabriela TÃÂ©llezAn altar of feathers, candles, and African rattles serves as a centerpiece. The rattles, called tsokais, are an integral part of the ibogaine ceremony, allegedly helpful in stabilizing the heartbeat of the Banzi. Jeffrey Arguedas & Gabriela TÃÂ©llezMichael McKenna, a facilitator at IbogaLife, places a red parrot feather on Grace. In Bwiti, it is believed that this feather helps ward off negative spirits. Jeffrey Arguedas and Gabriela TÃÂÃÂ©llezDimitri Mugianis (leader of the ceremony) prepares his thoughts before. A Bwiti initiate and healer, he trained in Gabon, Africa, where original Bwiti ceremonies are still performed. Jeffrey Arguedas & Gabriela TÃÂ©llezMugianis offers prayers to the elders before the ceremony begins. Once Grace takes the final dose of ibogaine, she will be hallucinating for close to 36 hours. Jeffrey Arguedas & Gabriela TÃÂÃÂ©llezBefore the ceremony, the Banzi is just entering heroin withdrawal. Roughly 30 minutes after ingesting ibogaine, her symptoms have disappeared. Jeffrey Arguedas and Gabriela TÃ©llezBobby Payne, the director of IbogaLife plays the jaw-harp mougongo. Usually played by males, it is an improvisational instrument often used in Bwiti ceremonies. Jeffrey Arguedas & Gabriela TÃÂ©llezAs the the drug begins to set in, Grace sees images of herself below the earth, coming up through the dirt, and becoming a seed. Jeffrey Arguedas & Gabriela TÃÂ©llezIn the second phase of visions, she's likely to see images from her childhood—and hopefully, underlying reasons for her addiction. Jeffrey Arguedas & Gabriela TÃÂ©llezLuceano Colonna, a former addict who is currently the director of Harm Reduction Project, observes Grace's ceremony. Colonna has taken ibogaine multiple times.