Ibogaine Therapy: 3 Pros and 3 Cons
In a world gripped by psychedelic exploration, today we focus specifically on Ibogane therapy’s pros and cons. If you’re considering Ibogaine therapy as a way to treat issues such as addiction, read on.
A Brief History of Ibogane Therapy
Used traditionally by the Bwiti tribe in West Central Africa, Ibogaine is a psychedelic found in the iboga tree. Ibogaine was first discovered by Western culture in the early 1900s by French explorers and became used in Europe as a stimulant.
Ibogaine’s power of detoxifying patients off of heroin was first discovered by Howard Lotsof. A heroin addict himself, Howard realized that ibogaine did not cause withdrawal symptoms. Based on these findings, he founded the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance, which is still alive and thriving.
Challenges Faced by Ibogane Researchers
The use of ibogaine for personal and scientific purposes was banned in 1967. Classified as a Schedule Class I substance, Ibogane research all but dried up. Still, the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance’s initial results caused many interested parties to keep on exploring. Ibogaine therapy centres for treating addiction, for example, still exist.
The next step in Ibogaine research didn’t emerge until the early 1990s. The US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) began the development of Ibogaine through fully funded, pre-clinical animal trials.
This led to FDA-approved Phase 1 Ibogaine safety trials on humans, performed at the University of Miami. The trial results confirmed that ibogaine decreases the self-administration of stimulants, opiates and alcohol. It also causes a significant reduction in withdrawal symptoms.
Ibogaine therapy has the potential to signal some great news for those addicted to opioids. However, due to the scarcity of performed studies and valuable large-scale results, downsides remain unknown. Here are 3 pros and cons of ibogaine therapy:
The Pros of Ibogaine Therapy
- Treats Addiction – Ibogaine interrupts addiction in a way that resets neurons. This reprograms us to pre-addicted states. Ibogaine acts as a reset button that eases relapsing.
- Reduces Withdrawal Symptoms – Ibogaine can significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms and decrease relapses. Opioid withdrawal symptoms are painful and extremely difficult. Even if short lived, Ibogaine therapy can prove incredibly helpful in this respect.
- Improves Mental States of Withdrawal – Ibogaine therapy has a profound effect on those battling with opioid withdrawal. Depression and anxiety, for example, aren’t rare consequences of this battle. Existing Ibogaine therapy studies have shown an overall healthier outlook overall. It also develops a stronger willpower to push through treatment.
The Cons of Ibogaine Therapy
- Number of Studies – Ibogaine is classified as a Schedule Class I substance. As such, serious approvals, reasoning, and funding are necessary for research to even take place. As long as this number stays low, attempts to make it a widespread addiction treatment will be difficult.
- Number of Participants in Ibogaine Studies – In Ibogaine studies, the number of tested subjects is very low. First, those wanting to be a part of the study need to volunteer. Second, ibogaine’s classification has left many questioning how a hallucinogenic drug could help treat addiction.
- Consequences of Microdosing – Ibogaine therapy is still in its infancy. Microdosing should take place under direct supervision of a trained medical professional. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Serious Ibogaine side effects like seizures, heart complications, ataxia, and even death may occur.
Ibogane Therapy: The Bottom Line
Ibogaine has a mortality rate of 1 in every 300 patients, The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) estimates. And since ibogaine therapy isn’t regulated, it’s hard to know how well staff has been trained and what their credentials are.
Ibogaine treatment won’t be the next best way to tackle opioid addiction. While promising, potential negative consequences deter medical professionals from pursuing it. As all other psychedelic research gains traction, there’s only a matter of time before ibogaine will follow. As soon as more regulation and safety measures can be put in place, so will the trust in the treatment itself.