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Ibogaine is a powerful hallucinogenic compound found in certain plants, namely iboga and others in the dogbane family. Used for centuries in African spiritual ceremonies, ibogaine came to be known for its addiction-fighting properties in the 1960s.
Although research is scant, there are proponents of ibogaine all over the world who tout its abilities to treat opiate addiction through eliminating withdrawal symptoms. Other studies suggest that ibogaine may also be helpful in treating other addictions, such as alcohol, nicotine, and amphetamines, as well as compulsive behaviors not related to chemical addiction.
According to some individuals who have been successfully treated with ibogaine, hallucinations including reliving past events and visits from religious figures helped them overcome their addiction. This is similar to experiences mentioned by those who were treated with LSD in the past, when such treatment was popular in the 1960s.
Recently, ibogaine has received acclaim for its use in hospice patients. The religious and spiritual visions patients experience seems to help calm them and prepare them for the end.
While much research needs to be done to determine the effectiveness and safety of ibogaine, particularly the long-term effects of the drug, the potential is there for an effective addition to drug treatment programs worldwide.
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