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Background and aims

Very few studies have reported the effectiveness of ibogaine as a treatment for chronic opioid use. Therefore, this study evaluated the acute subjective effects of ibogaine, outcomes on problematic opioid consumption, and the long-term associations with psychological functioning.

Methods

Using online data collection, 88 patients who received ibogaine treatment in Mexico between 2012 and 2015 completed our survey.

Results

Most participants (72%) had used opioids for at least 4 years and 69% reported daily use. Most (80%) indicated that ibogaine eliminated or drastically reduced withdrawal symptoms. Fifty percent reported that ibogaine reduced opioid craving, some (25%) reporting a reduction in craving lasting at least 3 months. Thirty percent of participants reported never using opioids again following ibogaine treatment. And over one half (54%) of these abstainers had been abstinent for at least 1 year, with 31% abstinent for at least 2 years. At the time of survey, 41% of all participants reported sustained abstinence (>6 months). Although 70% of the total sample reported a relapse following treatment, 48% reported decreased use from pretreatment levels and an additional 11% eventually achieved abstinence. Treatment responders had the lowest rates of depressive and anxious symptoms, the highest levels of subjective well-being and rated their ibogaine treatment as more spiritually meaningful compared with treatment non-responders.

Conclusion

The results suggest that ibogaine is associated with reductions in opioid use, including complete abstinence, and has long-term positive psychological outcomes. Future research should investigate the efficacy of ibogaine treatment using rigorous longitudinal and controlled designs.

Open access
Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Authors: Nathan D. Sepeda, John M. Clifton, Laura Y. Doyle, Rafael Lancelotta, Roland R. Griffiths and Alan K. Davis

Background and aims

5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a potent, short-acting psychedelic that produces strong hallucinogenic effects. The association between the context (i.e., set and setting) of 5-MeO-DMT use and the acute and enduring effects of the substance is unknown. Therefore, this study examined these associations using secondary data from two cross-sectional survey studies.

Methods

The acute and enduring effects of inhaled synthetic 5-MeO-DMT were compared between individuals who used 5-MeO-DMT in a non-structured context (NSC; n = 216, female = 10%, M age = 35.5, SD = 11.8) and those who used in a structured context (SC; n = 362, female = 45%, M age = 47.7, SD = 13.3). Questionnaires were administered online and responses were anonymized for privacy purposes. Respondents were asked to retrospectively rate their first experience with synthesized 5-MeO-DMT on measures of mystical experience, challenging experience, and enduring effects.

Results

Both groups endorsed high ratings on the Mystical Experience Questionnaire; however, mean scores were significantly higher in the SC group compared to the NSC group. Similarly, the proportion of respondents who had a complete mystical experience was significantly larger in the SC group (83%) compared to the NSC group (54%). Ratings of enduring effects (i.e., meaningfulness, spirituality, and well-being) were also significantly higher, and the intensity of challenging experiences was significantly lower, in the SC group compared to the NSC group.

Conclusions

5-MeO-DMT appears to occasion mystical-type experiences with enduring positive effects, which are more intense when 5-MeO-DMT is administered in a safe and supportive context. Future prospective experimental studies should examine the effects of 5-MeO-DMT and its interactive relationship with supportive contextual factors.

Open access