What is Ibogaine?
Ibogaine use in the UK is relatively rare. The drug and plant is used by shaman in the African Buiti religion as a sacrament (to bring on a trance-like state). It is currently being tested for its use in treating opiate and stimulant dependency.
The drug is both hallucinogenic, a stimulant and a depressant. It causes visual hallucinations in high doses as well as a feeling of lightness, dryness of the mouth, sweating, dilation of the eye’s pupils, increased pulse rate and fine tremors. The peak effect is reached at about 2 hours after swallowing the drug.
Users describe a deep dreamy trance-like state that reportedly lives with them for long periods after use. Some users report a loss of desire for drugs like heroin and cocaine in this period. It was this effect that led to tests on its use as a ‘chemical dependence interrupter’. Research into its effects indicates that the drug can help with withdrawal symptoms, stopping them in some cases, and is in itself relatively non-addictive. Studies have shown the drug can bringing on periods of abstention for up 6 months in a quarter to a half of those given the drug – with repeated doses often extending abstention in roughly half again. Tests on its use in treatment are currently underway in Panama and the Netherlands
The drug is not listed under the Misuse of Drugs Act in the UK and so legal to possess, but not supply. It is a restricted substance in some countries, including the US, Switzerland, Sweden and Belgium.