Ibogaine therapy for drug addiction: is it safe?

What is Ibogaine

What is Ibogaine?

Ibogaine is a plant-based compound that has a long history of being used by indigenous African people to induce trance states during religious ceremonies.

It is also enjoying a degree of popularity as a useful drug in treating addiction. Because its use is still relatively uncommon in the UK, many people aren’t aware of its potential benefits, risks and side effects.

Here we take a look at what advantages Ibogaine therapy may bring, as well as the potential side effects which the drug may cause. If you’re considering Ibogaine to treat addiction, take a look at why, usually, there’s little to fear.

What are the Possible Benefits of Ibogaine?

Research has shown that Ibogaine has the potential to reduce the craving for a wide range of addictive substances, including opioids and methamphetamine as well as cocaine.

Drug addicts also report that Ibogaine has a marked impact on the severity of their withdrawal systems, frequently resulting in them being less severe and shorter in duration.

For these reasons, some addicts discover that ibogaine can reduce the likelihood of a relapse, as well as make withdrawal a more manageable process, increasing the probability of success.

What are the Side Effects of Ibogaine?

Ibogaine side effects vary depending on the individual. 

Not all patients will experience all these symptoms. Should they occur, in the majority of cases the side effects are quite mild. A severe side effect or adverse reaction may require hospital treatment.

Is Ibogaine Addiction Possible?

What research shows is that Ibogaine isn’t an addictive drug, particularly when compared to drugs such as meth, heroin or cocaine.

This means they can safely be taken for some months after withdrawal has taken place with minimal risk of addiction.

Generally, practitioners control the amount of Ibogaine which is prescribed quite closely, minimising the probability of an unhealthy tolerance developing.

Unlike some other countries, Ibogaine isn’t readily available in the UK, which means it’s unlikely to become a drug of choice for addicts. Generally, addiction to Ibogaine is uncommon.

Ibogaine and Safety

Taken correctly, Ibogaine is a relatively safe drug which can significantly increase the probability of successfully withdrawing from a range of highly addictive drugs.

That said, like most other medicines, there are a number of groups for whom it won’t be suitable. Ibogaine is contra-indicated for:

  • pregnant women
  • people who suffer (or who have suffered) from heart problems
  • people suffering from a range of psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, epilepsy and bipolar disorder
  • people who are withdrawing from benzodiazepines and alcohol
  • anyone who has impaired liver and/or kidney function

Ibogaine Treatment in the UK

Before any form of detox or therapy for drug addiction is commenced, a suitable healthcare professional will complete a full assessment of the patient.

This will include a medical history, enabling practitioners to quickly identify people for whom Ibogaine may not be the most appropriate choice.

When Ibogaine is administered, it is almost invariably first taken in a clinical setting, under professional supervision.

This enables a person’s reaction to the drug to be closely monitored. If any problems develop, a clinic normally has the resources to provide suitable treatment. This is why, when taken under clinical supervision, Ibogaine can be a useful drug as part of a detox or drug addiction therapy.

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