12 Jun Could ibogaine offer a revolutionary long-term solution to addiction?
Derived from the iboga plant, ibogaine is a psychoactive compound that could have huge potential as a long-term solution to addiction. ATAI Life Sciences and DemeRx are soon initiating clinical trials to test its efficacy.
According to the World Health Organization around 3.3 million people die every year from alcohol addiction and around 31 million have substance use disorders, but there are currently no long-term solutions for treating addiction. ATAI Life Sciences hopes that the clinical trials can demonstrate that ibogaine could be a contender for helping people kick their addictive habits for good.
The bushy iboga plant, or Tabernanthe iboga, produces slender orange fruits and grows in parts of Africa such as Gabon and Cameroon, however, it is difficult to cultivate outside of the country. Its extract – ibogaine – is an entheogen used in religious Bwiti ceremonies of the Punu and Mitsogo peoples as an initiation rite and to help with psychological conditions.
Chief Scientific Officer at ATAI Life Sciences, Srini Rao, spoke to Health Europa editor Stephanie Price about the upcoming clinical trials which will be investigating whether ibogaine, in conjunction with digital support tools providing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), could offer a long-term solution for those battling with opioid addiction.