Despite efforts to treat drug addiction, the health, social and economic costs associated with substance abuse and dependence remain intolerable high. One treatment strategy is to use pharmacological methods, such as aversion therapy, replacement therapy, vaccines and anti-craving medication, to combat addiction. Unfortunately, there are numerous problems with these therapies and many treatment programs remain unsuccessful. Therefore, there remains great interest in finding a pharmacological agent that could prove beneficial as a therapeutic intervention for addiction. Thus, this paper presents a discussion of the anti-addiction medication ibogaine. The review begins with an overview of the history of ibogaine, including research on its potential mechanisms of action. Studies investigating ibogaine’s ability to reduce the rewarding properties of a variety of addictive drugs are also evaluated. The presented findings provide preliminary evidence for ibogaine’s ability to interrupt the physiological and psychological aspects of addiction, and it’s effectiveness in treating drug abuse and withdrawal is considered.
Methodology for the literature search: The methods used to search for the information contained within this review included three database search engines: Dalhousie University libraries, McGill University libraries and PubMed. Keywords and phrases searched for were “ibogaine”, “ibogaine and addiction”, “iboagine and withdrawal”, and “iboagine pharmacology”. The search was conducted between January, 2013 and October, 2013. Articles selected for discussion in this review included those involving animal or human studies, experimental designs, and an ibogaine intervention. Results were not taken into consideration for inclusion as the examination of commonalities and contradictions between articles will be discussed.
Keywords: Addiction, Ibogaine, Pharmacology, Withdrawal