Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Ibogaine Therapy For Drug Addiction

What Does The Research Say

Psychedelic Salvation: Could Ibogaine be the cure for drug addiction?

In a long-term study in Mexico, investigators researched substance abuse changes in 30 people seeking ibogaine-based addiction treatment for opiate substance abuse. The researchers measured frequency and dosage of opiate use at the beginning of treatment and at monthly follow-ups for 12 months. They also conducted a survey that asked basic questions on topics such as:

  • medical status
  • one third of the participants relapsed within the first month
  • 60 percent relapsed within the first two months
  • 80 percent relapsed within the first six months
  • 20 percent made it more than six months without any aftercare
  • four out of the 30 participants did not relapse for more than a year following a single treatment

Researchers determined that ibogaine is not a cure for addiction. Instead, it merely interrupts addition. It is important to note the sample size was only 30 people and therefore may not apply to a greater population. A 2014 study in Brazil found ibogaine treatment to be effective in treating addiction when used alongside psychotherapy. The study was also small, with only 75 participants.

In a review of clinical trials and studies, researchers noted that, while studies have supported the claims that ibogaine can help treat addiction, there needs to be more and better controlled studies to determine the safety and efficacy of this treatment.

Not many long-term studies have been conducted on ibogaine and further research is needed for definitive proof on how it helps or hurts the body.

Americas Opioid Epidemic And The Search For A Solution

The supporting digital CBT therapy will be an additional branch of the trial which aims to help address the opioid epidemic and standardise supportive care in America.

Rao said: Standardising support is one of the challenges in the US today. There is such different levels of therapy and resources depending on where you live if you live in a big city there are quite a lot of resources, but if you are out in a small town in rural America, the level of resources is likely considerably less. We want to standardise that to some degree across the US, ensuring that everybody has at least a basic level of support.

Ibogaine could be a part of the solution, but when all is said and done, no drug is going to work for everybody. However, hopefully, a substantial amount of people will get a benefit from ibogaine. The need is even more pressing in light of the COVID-19 crisis, which appears to be exacerbating the opioid crisis in the US.

Us Government Will Test Ibogaine Derivative As An Addiction Treatment

The No-Trip Treatment: Ibogaine, derived from Africa’s Iboga tree, is known for its hallucinogenic powers and potential to treat addictions to drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

AFP via Getty Images

In a country where 100,000 people die from drug overdoses each yearthe majority of deaths caused by illicitly made fentanylAmericans need more ways to treat addiction.

Massachusetts-based Delix Therapeutics, a startup trying to turn non-psychedelic analogs of powerful hallucinogens into medicines to treat psychiatric and neurological conditions, will be working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse to test its patented version of ibogaine as a potential treatment for a range of substance-use disorders.

The therapeutic potential for ibogaine is huge, says David Olson, the co-founder of Delix. There are some indications that a single dose can keep people with opioid use disorder drug-free for months.

Ibogaine is a powerful psychedelic substance. Derived from the iboga shrub native to West Africa, it has a history as a spiritual sacrament in the Bwiti religion in the country of Gabon. But it has also been foundanecdotally and through a slate of studiesto help people get off heroin and other opioids. Ibogaine is not the ideal addiction-treatment drug it can cause cardiac arrhythmia and its intense psychedelic experience is not for everyone.

Courtesy of David Olson

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How Does Ibogaine Affect The Brain

One of the reasons Ibogaine is so effective at helping addicts overcome addictionin many ibogaine treatment centers is the way it affects dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. When dependent on drugs or alcohol, these feel good centers in the brain can become severely altered and create an extreme imbalance in the mind and ones emotional state. Ibogaine, however, has an unprecedented positive effect on these neurotransmitters and can truly help addicts regain the balance theyve lost due to addiction.

Studies conducted with Ibogaine have shown that Ibogaine increases the amount of serotonin the brain discharges, and also obstructs the brain from reabsorbing any excess serotonin that is being produced. This process is responsible for the increased feelings of well-being, without the need for drugs or alcohol. Ibogaine used in treatment centers, therefore, offers a way to feel good again without depending on any substance to do so.

The use of ibogaine in treatment centers is also thought to be responsible for repairing dopamine receptors while normalizing levels in the brain as well. While it doesnt increase the amount of dopamine thats naturally released, it does inhibit just how fast dopamine is expelled from receptors in the brain. What this means is that with Ibogaine, dopamine receptors fire with more frequency. By so doing, this decreases the need for drugs to offer the increased feelings of a happy state that dopamine produces.

How Effective Is Ibogaine For Addiction Treatment

How Ibogaine Therapy Helps To Cure Your Drug Addiction?

Its hard to evaluate ibogaines efficacy partly because its illegal in many countries.

Theres also a lack of controlled clinical trials. Most claims about ibogaine treatment outcomes are based on case studies and anecdotal reports.5, 9

The U.S. first discovered ibogaine in 1962 when 19-year-old Howard Lotsof noticed its effect against his opioid addiction.5, 6

Ibogaine became illegal in the U.S. in 1967. But reports about ibogaine helping heroin users sparked the governments interest in the 1990s.5, 10

  • In 1991, the National Institute on Drug Abuse funded animal research in relation to ibogaine. The research showed ibogaine reduced the amount of heroin, morphine, cocaine, and alcohol rodents consumed.
  • In 1993, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a human clinical trial. The trial, however, fell apart in the early stages due to a lack of funding and contractual disputes.
  • NIDA later abandoned activities on ibogaine. They cited the safety of the drug as a significant concern.

Other human studies also show the effectiveness of ibogaine treatment:

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What Are The Possible Benefits Of Ibogaine

Research has shown that Ibogaine has the potential to reduce the craving for a wide range of addictive substances, including opioids and methamphetamine as well as cocaine.

Drug addicts also report that Ibogaine has a marked impact on the severity of their withdrawal systems, frequently resulting in them being less severe and shorter in duration.

For these reasons, some addicts discover that ibogaine can reduce the likelihood of a relapse, as well as make withdrawal a more manageable process, increasing the probability of success.

Take Our Substance Abuse Self

Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.

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Additional Treatment Options For Addiction

If you are seeking help for an addiction, it is best to speak with your doctor before starting any treatment plan, including experimental ones. Most treatments follow this process:

  • Detoxification to rid the body of the drug. This can be done at home with the assistance of a medical professional or at a treatment center. You can find these centers throughout the country and they come fully staffed with compassionate, caring professionals trained in getting someone through the challenging detox transition.
  • Behavioral counseling. Psychologists trained in drug addiction work with individuals and help ease them into their new, drug-free lives. You can feel safe and secure and know that what you say is kept in a confidential environmental. You should look for someone you feel comfortable with.
  • Prescription for medications to help with any detox pain.
  • Evaluation for any mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety that often follow a detox.
  • A schedule for long-term follow-ups. Overcoming addiction is tough, so its important to always seek help and support from medical professionals who can work with you on remaining drug free.

How Does An Ibogaine Treatment Work

Joe Rogan on Ibogaine Therapy for Drug Addiction

An Ibogaine Success Story

The best way to illustrate how our treatment protocol works is through a real-life experience by one of our past patients. Cameron K. travelled to the Bahamas to receive an ibogaine addiction treatment in the hope of ending his 8 year addiction to heroin.

I was a hostage to my addiction. I was living in survival mode and any moment I could have just given up and died. Somehow I survived long enough to make it here and they saved my life. Ibogaine and these people just saved my life. I cant remember ever feeling this good and positive. I am ready to live again!

When he arrived at The Avante Ibogaine Institute, Cameron K. was a 2 gram per day IV heroin addict. He was immediately stabilized for comfort and underwent a comprehensive series of lab tests prior to receiving his HCL flood dose ibogaine treatment.

As soon as I got here I knew that I was in the right place. They immediately stabilized me and I never felt any withdrawal. Literally none. They heal people. They just save people. I only wish I had found this place sooner.

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Ixibogaine And Drug Addiction

Roots of Tabernanthe iboga are prepared as a narcotic of social importance, especially in Gabon and Congo, where it is used as a powerful stimulant and aphrodisiac, as well as employed ritualistically in hallucinogenic doses.60Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid extracted from T. iboga with reputed antiaddictive properties.61 A remarkable aspect of this drug is its apparent ability to eliminate withdrawal symptoms and drug-craving for extended periods of time after a single dosage, as indicated by anecdotal reports and uncontroled clinical data, somewhat supported by animal studies.62 Although the mechanism of action of ibogaine remains to be clarified, it has been shown that ibogaine acts upon various neurotransmitter systems.63

Although all of the various mechanisms of action so far proposed for ibogaine properties deserve further investigation, it is believed that its psychopharmacological profile is likely to be the result of its interactions with various molecular sites.63,64,66,67 Ibogaine has appeared in the drug-addiction therapy scenario as a truly innovative drug, arousing high expectations. Research with ibogaine, its main metabolite and derivatives, is bound to be fruitful, if not by ibogaine development as a drug, for the novelty in research avenues in the therapy of drug addiction.

Asim K. Duttaroy, in, 2021

Applications To Other Addictions And Substance Misuse

Some hallucinogens, for example, ibogaine, have been used as a remedy to control and treat the abstinence syndrome in opiate dependence, as accepted and approved by NIDA thus, some psychoactive plants can be a cure for the human psyche and drug dependence, as it had been many centuries ago.

The research in discovered or undiscovered effects and/or mechanisms of psychoactive plants may reveal many facts in neuroscience and in the area of substance misuse. New medicines and remedies can be discovered and synthesized.

If the hypothesis that an area in the brain , which induces a kind of ASC when the disinhibition on this circuitry is overcome, is true and a reality, then this information may be an important factor in the treatment of drug abuse and dependence, because such a circuitry in the brain, for example, area tempestas, may also be activated without drugs of abuse, for example, by electrical stimulation or by other means, such as meditation and lucid dreaming while some of shamans are said to induce similar consciousness levels by other methods, such as using music, meditation, dancing, and drumming. If the basic mechanisms of the action of some psychoactive drugs are revealed, this information can be used to overcome and treat the abuse of some of the hallucinogens and other drugs of abuse.

Thierry Sévenet, Jacques Pusset, in, 1996

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Does Ibogaine Treat Addiction

While most researchers do not believe ibogaine alone can stop addiction, some have stated that it could help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and prove effective if used alongside traditional treatments like therapy, group counseling, and support networks. In a study by the American Journal of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, researchers evaluated the relapse rate of opioid addicts after the use of ibogaine. The study tracked the participants for up to 12 months, after which the researchers concluded that the treatment reduced withdrawal symptoms and participants saw a reduced dependency on opioids. Other studies have also shown high success rates.

However, ibogaine is not a miracle cure and comes with its own risks. Improper dosage and abuse can lead to seizures, heart complications, and death. Providers of ibogaine treatment should offer thorough medical reviews and testing before accepting a patient, and patients should be wary of any treatment that has not been thoroughly studied and regulated.

How To Know You Need To Go A Treatment Center

Overcome Your Drug Addiction With Ibogaine Therapy

At what point does someone needs to attend a treatment center and seek therapy? There are a few causes associated with the need for therapy and the main focus is on addictions like cocaine, alcohol, and other addictions that may require someone to visit a treatment center. Timing is a major factor when it comes to getting help for your addiction.

Treatment centers for therapy are very helpful for lots of reasons and shouldnt be avoided or put in as the last resort. If you want to solve a problem whatsoever, timing is very important. When you delay visiting a treatment center for your substance abuse disorder, you might be prolonging your chances of getting help. Therapy is an investment that pays off over time, therapy is for people who truly want to change, improve and grow.

Now assuming youre wondering how to know if you need to visit a treatment center for therapy, here are some reasons or points to consider:

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Ibogaine Detoxification Transitions Opioid And Cocaine Abusers Between Dependence And Abstinence: Clinical Observations And Treatment Outcomes

  • 1Department of Neurology, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, United States
  • 2Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, United States
  • 3Department of Anthropology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, United States
  • 4General Medical Practice, Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis

First Ever Clinical Trial With Ibogaine For Opioid Dependency

Its been fifty years since the anti-addictive properties of ibogaine were discovered and finally the dream of those helping people with substance use disorder is coming true clinical research that will set the stage for policy change and legal access.

In 2020, ICEERS started the first ever Phase II clinical trial exploring the potential of ibogaine to treat opioid dependency. Conducted at the Sant Joan de Reus Hospital in Spain, the study is testing a novel ibogaine treatment protocol with ascending low doses of ibogaine to support 20 patients to taper off of methadone.

ICEERS is committed to advancing clinical research that supports the development of evidence-informed policy, while collaborating to enable biocultural conservation efforts led by iboga traditionalists in Central Africa based in solidarity, autonomy, land protection, and benefit-sharing.

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Ibogaine Is Nothing Short Of A Miracle Drug

It has the capacity for a person to overcome opiate addiction almost instantaneously. It stops the craving the drug has on the body. It restores a persons memory back to normal. It helps with depression neurotransmitters. In short, it takes a person back to a pre- addictive state.

This medicine was certainly put on this world by the grace of God to help with the dilemma of opiate addiction. It is also a medicine that works on a very spiritual level as well. Ibogaine helps an individual get in touch with their souls.

Many times during addiction people get out of touch with who they are at the core. Ibogaine offers an out-of-body experience. It essentially takes the person, somewhat into the spirit realm. Once in this realm, the individual can seek out many ways for them to help themselves.

They can take their conscience to the past and deal with any demons they may have been facing. It can take the individual into the present and reveal to him how their life is actually going for them. It can take their conscience into the future. It can show them the dark path and it can show them the light path. Most important of all it shows the person the truth.

Dying To Get Clean: Is Ibogaine The Answer To Heroin Addiction


Ibogaine is a drug harvested from the roots of a plant found in Gabon. When all else fails, some heroin addicts have used it to conquer their cravings. But is it effective and are the serious risks it carries worth it?

At the age of 12, Jay was smoking cigarettes and weed by 16, he was snorting coke two years later he was taking heroin and crack but he says by the time he left university he was a functional drug addict, able to get up in the morning, put a suit on, travel from his parents home in north London to his job as a banker in the City.

Then his marriage broke down his health deteriorated he got hooked on the powerful painkiller Tramadol following an unrelated operation on his stomach and when doctors stopped that dose, he replaced it with heroin.

Jay checked into a £10,000-a-week rehab centre in Thailand in 2016 which kept him clean for a while, but then he started using again. A friend had told him about ibogaine, a drug from an obscure African plant that he said would enable him to come off heroin without the lengthy, painful withdrawal and stay off. It would help him understand why he was an addict, his friend insisted, that hed Talk to God.

Ibogaine, Jay believed, was his only hope.

According to the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance, which publishes research and information on ibogaine, this ancestor worship by Gabonese tribes holds that by learning the language of the spirits of things it is possible to communicate with God.

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