Ibogaine Therapy for Drug Addiction

We are studying the long-term effects of ibogaine treatment on patients presently undergoing therapy at independent ibogaine treatment centers in Mexico and New Zealand.

MAPS-sponsored researchers are collecting observational data for the first prospective ibogaine outcome studies in order to contribute to the growing scientific literature about ibogaine as a treatment for drug addiction.

Ibogaine is a psychoactive alkaloid naturally occurring in the West African shrub iboga. While ibogaine is a mild stimulant in small doses, in larger doses it induces a profound psychedelic state. Historically, it has been used in healing ceremonies and initiations by members of the Bwiti religion in various parts of West Africa. People with problem substance use have found that larger doses of ibogaine can significantly reduce withdrawal from opiates and temporarily eliminate substance-related cravings.

See below for a complete timeline of MAPS' ibogaine therapy research.

Ibogaine
image: Christopher Hansen

Although first-hand accounts indicate that ibogaine is unlikely to be popular as a recreational drug, ibogaine remains classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States (it is also scheduled in Belgium and Switzerland). Yet despite its classification as a drug with a “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use,” people who struggle with substance abuse continue to seek out international clinics or underground providers to receive ibogaine treatment.

By some estimates, ibogaine use has a mortality rate of about 1 in 300. Deaths from ibogaine have been attributed to bradycardia (slowing of the heart), lethal combinations with other substances, liver problems, and other conditions. Anyone interested in using ibogaine to treat substance abuse should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of treatment, and should ensure that medical assistance is available during the session.

For more information about the risks and benefits of ibogaine treatment, see ibogaine.co.uk.

For the latest psychedelic research news, see MAPS in the Media.