What Is Ibogaine Treatment For Addiction?

Of the many experimental and unconventional addiction treatments studied, ibogaine, a potent hallucinogenic drug, has shown some promising results. It greatly reduces cravings for substances such as nicotine, methamphetamine, cocaine, and alcohol, and reduces the severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Derived from certain species of trees and shrubs indigenous to African rainforests, it has been used for medicinal and ritual ceremonies by certain African tribes for generations. While scientific research into ibogaine’s anti–addictive properties has been slow due to prohibition in several countries, its use for drug treatment continues to grow in the form of a large global subculture. It is also used for spiritual exploration and psychological introspection.

Despite its addiction treatment properties, ibogaine remains a schedule 1 controlled substance in the United States; however, it is illegal in many countries. Clinical trials conducted in the 1960s led to the discovery of its treatment properties. For various reasons, including illegality in many countries, there is very little clinical research on its effectiveness. However, a growing body of evidence on its treatment properties counters the dearth of research data. In fact, there are many ibogaine clinics in Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and across Europe.

Proponents of the ibogaine treatment describe it as a reset switch for life. Following treatment, many people emerge with a better insight into why they needed to take alcohol or drugs in the first place. They describe a long lasting, intense, and a slightly unpleasant experience, which means that there is little realistic danger that one would want to use it on a recreational basis.

People using ibogaine to treat their addiction usually take a single dose of the substance, which results in a 3–stage hallucinogenic journey that may span a period of days. In fact, a single experience is enough to induce lasting abstinence in some people. Others, however, need to repeat the treatment two or three times. The three treatment stages are:
• The acute dreamlike stage
• The evaluative stage
• The stimulation phase that lasts for one to three days

The last stage is the most unpleasant stage since sleep is difficult or impossible and the body is quite fatigued.

Thought studies show that ibogaine can be effective in treating different types of addiction, it is a psychedelic with dissociative properties. In addition, people who use it may experience a number of negative side effects, including a loss of gross and fine motor coordination, dry mouth, vomiting, and nausea.