What Is Ibogaine?

Ibogaine is a West African hallucinogenic drug. This substance is legal for addiction treatment in some countries, and studies of Ibogaine in controlled settings have shown promising results.

Ibogaine is a psychedelic drug that comes from the West African Tabernanthe Iboga plant. Ibogaine can have strong psychoactive effects when taken. In the United States, the use of ibogaine is illegal in any form, due to the drug’s strong side effects and abuse potential.

In countries such as New Zealand and Mexico, ibogaine treatment for substance use disorder is legal. Some studies have suggested that ibogaine can be effective in reducing withdrawal symptoms for substances such as heroin and cocaine.

These studies have emphasized the importance of giving ibogaine to patients in a controlled setting. Because Ibogaine is still illegal in the United States, more research may be needed before ibogaine therapy is nationally used in any form of drug abuse treatment.

Ibogaine For Addiction Treatment

In Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, and some other countries, ibogaine is available as an addiction treatment option. 

People who take ibogaine for drug addiction may experience a trip, a state of altered consciousness caused by psychoactive drugs like LSD or psilocybin. After this trip, some people report reduced drug cravings.

A 2017 observational study included participants who took ibogaine for one year. A follow-up showed reduced symptoms of opioid dependence, opioid withdrawal, and opiate cravings.

Ibogaine is one of many hallucinogenic drugs that is gaining attention as forms of mental health and substance abuse treatment. Early psychedelic studies on ibogaine, LSD, and magic mushrooms in healthcare settings have returned promising results.

History & Effects Of Ibogaine

The history of ibogaine as a drug may date back over 200 years. In 19th-century Gabon, members of the Bwiti religion ate iboga plant shavings for an enhanced religious experience. In the mid-20th century, France produced and sold ibogaine as an antidepressant and stimulant.

Ibogaine may work by increasing various chemicals in the body such as acetylcholine. Studies have shown that ibogaine may also affect dopamine and serotonin receptors in the body, two neurotransmitters that can affect mood, memory, and muscle function.

The main metabolite of ibogaine is noribogaine. Studies show that noribogaine may be the component responsible for reducing opioid addiction and discouraging high-risk drug use.

Side Effects Of Ibogaine

When taking ibogaine for recreational use, you may experience side effects such as low blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, cardiovascular problems, and unpleasant hallucinations. Fatalities have also been linked to high doses of ibogaine.

While ibogaine may still be unapproved for medical use, approved treatment options such as methadone, buprenorphine, and medical detox can help you address an ongoing opioid use disorder. 

For information on our inpatient drug addiction treatment options, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28402682/
  2. Frontiers In Pharmacology https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.00529/full
  3. National Library of Medicine: ClinicalTrials.gov https://classic.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT05029401
  4. Time Magazine https://time.com/5951772/ibogaine-drug-treatment-addiction/

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 14, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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