Ibogaine is a dissociative psychedelic found in Iboga, a Western African shrub. This psychedelic has oneiric properties and anti-addictive mechanisms. It also can generate therapeutic psychological insights, suggesting a promise in the treatment of alcohol-related disorders.
The substance was historically used to perform initiation rituals and healing ceremonies in the Bwiti religion in West Africa.
Today, there are claims that Ibogaine can treat opiate addiction. It is yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any addiction disorder.
At this point, it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the US, meaning it is a substance with a high abuse potential. Yet, some experts claim that Ibogaine could be an excellent alternative treatment.
This article unpacks everything you need to know about Ibogaine.
Ibogaine acts as a mild stimulant when given in small doses. A large dose can be dangerous because it can put a person into a severe psychedelic state. Some experts have found that significant doses of Ibogaine can reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms and aid with substance-related cravings.
Clear Sky Recovery was the first group of researchers to be granted FDA approval for ibogaine clinical testing on drug-dependent people within the US. ClearSky ibogaine treatment methods provide a safe, pain-free, fast detox from various addictive substances. These substances include OxyContin & Oxycodone, heroin, buprenorphine, methadone, Adderall, methamphetamine, and alcohol.
The treatment protocols are designed to meet the needs of individual patients and their unique situations. A patient’s withdrawal symptoms will dissipate within 30-45 minutes of ingesting ibogaine HCl. The rest happens almost immediately, before the onset of any visionary experience. You won’t go through withdrawal while “tripping.”’
You will enter the oneirophrenic phase, where you may have dream-like visions. These visions could be dreams, scenes, actual memories, or abstract and disjointed fragments devoid of relation to the patient’s life. People may also experience feelings and memory recall associated with childhood. The experience will vary largely from one person to the other.
After the visionary stage, you go through the processing stage. This phase is synonymous with a high degree of mental activity and material evaluation that was unearthed during the previous stage. Post-treatment will involve individual therapy, nutraceuticals, an ibogaine booster, group excursions, a second ibogaine booster, massage, yoga, and aftercare planning.
What Does Research Say?
Researchers worldwide continue to look at Ibogaine’s potential uses. The main area of interest is its effectiveness in treating addiction and neuropsychiatric conditions.
Numerous studies have investigated Ibogaine’s properties, uses, and effectiveness. Brazil, New Zealand, and South Africa classify Ibogaine as a pharmaceutical substance licensed medical professionals can use.
Research suggests Ibogaine alters addiction-related or promoting pathways between nerve cells in the brain. It may also affect signaling in the brain regions that play a role in the behavioral effects of addictive drugs. The substance may also activate the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor. Serotonin is a hormone in the brain that enhances mood, well-being, and happiness.
A 2014 study conducted in Brazil found the use of Ibogaine alongside psychotherapy effective in treating addiction. The study involved 75 participants who used cocaine, cannabis, alcohol or crack. Participants who received one treatment of Ibogaine abstained for a median of 5.5 months, while those who received multiple treatments abstained for 8.4 months.
The MAPS has also helped fund two observational studies in 2017 that supported Ibogaine use in addiction treatment. The first study was conducted in Mexico, and the use of Ibogaine improved opioid withdrawal symptoms and reduced subsequent drug use in individuals who had tried ineffective treatment methods.
The other study was conducted in New Zealand. It concluded that a single Ibogaine treatment reduced opioid withdrawal symptoms in people dependent on opioids for over 12 months. It also assisted people in stopping taking opioids or maintaining reduced use. Some researchers are trying to modify Ibogaine and other psychedelic compounds to make them safer by reducing their ability to cause hallucinations.
There has been a review of clinical studies and trials of Ibogaine used in addiction treatment. In the review, researchers noted that there need to be more and better-controlled studies to determine the efficacy and safety of the treatment. There aren’t many long-term studies conducted on Ibogaine. Further research is required to prove how it assists the body and its potential effects.
The DEA classifies Ibogaine as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. The compound can be toxic and potentially cause paralysis, death from heart and respiratory failure, and paralysis. MAPS estimates 30 people have died from ingesting Ibogaine in peer-reviewed scientific works. The association claims the researchers could have avoided the deaths by taking appropriate preventive measures.
Ibogaine shows a lot of promise in addiction treatment despite the DEA classification. The reason behind the classification is that there isn’t enough large-scale clinical research to support the safety or effectiveness of Ibogaine as a treatment.
Researchers continue to study its therapeutic effects, and more evidence is coming. It is important to note that you should never attempt to buy Ibogaine or use it without the guidance and supervision of a licensed professional. You will be risking your life, and such use is illegal.