Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance that has been demonstrated to interrupt substance use disorders,1 as well as possess other neurological and psychological benefits. It is found naturally in a number of plant sources, principally in a member of the Apocalypse family known as iboga (usually Tabernanthe iboga), which has been used for centuries by traditional communities in West Africa for ritual and healing purposes.
In lower doses, ibogaine acts as a stimulant, increasing energy and decreasing fatigue in a way that is distinct from other central nervous system stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine. In larger doses, ibogaine produces oneirogenic effects, meaning that it stimulates a dream-like state while awake, as well as closed eye imagery and the retrieval of repressed memories.
Its physical effects can include ataxia, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, tremors, and cardiac effects. In the early 1960’s, the Chilean psychologist Claudio Naranjo conducted 40 ibogaine sessions with his clients and was the first to scientifically describe the experience. He reported that ibogaine helped people to view difficult experiences in an objective way, and that it helped to facilitate closure of unresolved emotional conflicts.
Ibogaine-assisted detox efficacy has been explored in two recent studies being conducted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), attempt to track the long-term efficacy of ibogaine-assisted detox therapy. The studies, in Mexico and New Zealand, have reported preliminary results of between 20% and 50% rate of clients remaining free from their primary substance of abuse for at least 12 months. Factors influencing this range were suggested to be the ease of follow-up in the New Zealand study become of closer proximity, as well as other factors such as plans for continuing care