Ibogaine: Can it Cure My Addiction?

Ibogaine: Can it Cure My Addiction?

Table of Contents

What does it take to quit using heroin or other opioids? This is a question that is very much on the minds of millions of Americans.

The scientific community continues to look for the best way to quit using drugs and everyone wants to know what will help curb cravings and decrease withdrawal side effects. Some individuals have looked back far enough to rediscover a drug called ibogaine.

Ibogaine Can it Cure Addiction

Continue reading this article to learn more about ibogaine and whether it can in fact cure your addiction.

Ibogaine Can it Cure Addiction

Origins of Ibogaine Use

Ibogaine has a long history of use, beginning in the country of Gabon, West Central Africa.1,2 It is extracted from the iboga plant, which the Bantu people of Gabon (who follow the Bwiti spiritual tradition) believe to be a sacred medicine containing great healing powers.3

Ibogaine Can it Cure Addiction

This shrub is used as part of the rituals for several types of Bwiti ceremonial events, including rites of passage, healing health problems, and dealing with traumatic events.1,3 For these ceremonies, the root of the iboga plant is crushed into a powder and people consume it for up to 12 hours until the full effects of the plant are achieved.3

Ibogaine Can it Cure Addiction

AAC Logo

Call Our 24/7 Helpline Today to Learn More About Your Treatment Options. Drugabuse.com is a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers (AAC), meaning that our readers are able to access AAC’s 24/7 addiction helpline.
Call 877-783-3097

Ibogaine in the U.S.

Ibogaine has a much more complicated and controversial history in the United States. The United States Patent and Trademark Office previously claimed that ibogaine helped treat opiatecocaine, and poly-drug dependence disorders. In fact, 3 drug patents were filed for using ibogaine from 1985 to 1992.4

However, ibogaine is now illegal and is even classified as a Schedule I drug by the Food and Drug Administration.1 Because of this, the use of ibogaine for medical purposes is also banned in the U.S.

It is interesting that even though ibogaine is illegal in the U.S., there are actually several other countries where ibogaine is legal and used to help people recover from addictions.

How Does Ibogaine Work?

The question that remains in everyone’s mind is whether or not the drug actually works. Numerous studies conducted throughout the world in the 1980s and 1990s showed evidence to support that ibogaine can cure drug and alcohol addiction.1,2,4

So, what did the studies find? First, they found that ibogaine acts on 3 different parts of the brain that are associated with dopamine production and release.

In a study on rats, researchers actually hooked rats to morphine, causing them to become addicted. The rats had a bottle in their cage where they could self-administer morphine, meaning they had the freedom to get a “fix” of the drug whenever they wanted. Then the researchers gave the rats ibogaine and guess what? The rats actually stopped taking morphine.

The researchers noticed a reduction in drug self-administration within 1 hour and a steady decrease that continued for a day up to several weeks in some of the rats used in testing. Keep in mind these studies were done on rats and not humans.

So what can we gather from research on the effects of ibogaine? First, ibogaine works on receptors in the brain to block the reward centers that are believed to be the driving force behind psychological, physiological, and behavioral symptoms of addiction.

What this essentially means is that it helps block cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms [5].

AAC Logo

Don’t Just Dream About A New Life.
Live it.

Call 877-783-3097

Slider Image

Aliso Viejo, CA

Slider Image

Etta, MS

Slider Image

Grand Prairie, TX

Slider Image

Las Vegas, NV

Slider Image

Hollywood, FL

Slider Image

Riverview, FL

Slider Image

Worcester, MA

Slider Image

North Kingstown, RI

Can Ibogaine Help Me?

Unfortunately, there is simply not enough human studies to make a conclusion about ibogaine’s effectiveness in curing addiction. Most research into the effects of the drug stopped in the 1990s.

Without large samples and continued studies with addicted individuals, it is impossible for the research community to draw definite conclusions about ibogaine’s effects. Additionally, ibogaine has been said to have a 61% success rate.7 This means that while it may be more effective than other forms of treatment for substance addictionibogaine will not help everyone.

Yes, some studies have found that ibogaine might effectively treat morphine, cocaineamphetaminealcohol, and nicotine addictions. However, it is important to keep in mind that there is information we still don’t know. Also, don’t forget that it’s still illegal in the U.S.

Side Effects of Ibogaine

After having ibogaine therapy, you might experience visual and auditory hallucinations and a loss of control over bodily movements for approximately 3 to 5 hours. During these hallucination stages you may also re-experience past traumas—a symptom that is actually considered to be an important part of ibogaine use [4].

Testimonials from people include how ibogaine has the ability to help resolve deep underlying issues that may ultimately be driving addiction. You may also experience:4

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Tremors.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Rise in blood pressure.

Before taking ibogaine therapy, you should first have a full medical screening to prevent or reduce the chances of any complications. Some serious heart conditions may occur such as cardiac arrhythmias,8 as well as liver and kidney conditions. These, along with certain mental health conditions might make ibogaine highly risky and a less than ideal therapy for you.5

From 1990 to 2008, there were 19 deaths associated with ibogaine therapy.5 That is roughly one per year. In comparison, Methadone—a common method of treating opioid addiction—accounted for nearly 40% of single-drug opioid pain reliever deaths in 2009 alone. This is twice as much as any other opioid in that same year.6

While ibogaine can be a very rapid and successful form of treatment for some people who are dealing with addiction, you must consider all factors seriously before deciding on ibogaine as a treatment for your substance addiction. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of seeking this form of treatment versus other, more widely accepted and more accessible forms. Having realistic expectations of treatment outcomes is important.

Addiction Treatment Is Closer Than You Think
Browse our nationwide directory of drug rehab centers and get treatment today.

Find a Treatment Center Near Me

Browse rehab centers by state

How to Find Help for Drug or Alcohol Misuse or Addiction

If you or a loved one is battling a substance use problem, help is available and recovery is possible. To learn more about treatment options, please contact a caring admissions navigator with American Addiction Centers (AAC) free at 877-783-3097or get a text

. You can also check your insurance coverage using the form below or contact free drug and alcohol hotline numbers.

Check to see if your insurance is in-network
at one of our rehab facilities.
  • Insurance can be confusing, let us handle it instead.
  • American Addiction Centers has years of experience in the addiction space and is in-network with many big-name insurance providers.
  • Your insurance provider will not be notified or contacted by completing this form.
What to Expect
HIPAA badge
Step 1/4 Check Coverage
* These fields are required
*
Aetna

WXY1030Z0

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Levels of Care

View More

 

 

 

Recommended Substance Misuse Treatment-Related Articles

View More

 

 

 

Sources

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was this page helpful?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat
Hello 👋