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Psychedelic Medicine

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Treatment of opioid use disorder with ibogaine: detoxification and drug use outcomes

Methods: In this observational study, 30 subjects with DSM-IV Opioid Dependence (25 males, 5 females) received a mean total dose of 1,540 ± 920 mg ibogaine HCl. Subjects used oxycodone (n = 21; 70%) and/or heroin (n = 18; 60%) in respective amounts of 250 ± 180 mg/day and 1.3 ± 0.94 g/day, and averaged 3.1 ± 2.6 previous episodes of treatment for opioid dependence. Detoxification and follow-up outcomes at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were evaluated utilizing the Subjective Opioid Withdrawal Scale (SOWS) and Addiction Severity Index Composite (ASIC) scores, respectively.

Results: SOWS scores decreased from 31.0 ± 11.6 pretreatment to 14.0 ± 9.8 at 76.5 ± 30 hours posttreatment (t = 7.07, df = 26, p < 0.001). At 1-month posttreatment follow-up, 15 subjects (50%) reported no opioid use during the previous 30 days. ASIC Drug Use and Legal and Family/Social Status scores were improved relative to pretreatment baseline at all posttreatment time points (p < .001). Improvement in Drug Use scores was maximal at 1 month, and subsequently sustained from 3 to 12 months at levels that did not reach equivalence to the effect at 1 month. Conclusion: Ibogaine was associated with substantive effects on opioid withdrawal symptoms and drug use in subjects for whom other treatments had been unsuccessful, and may provide a useful prototype for discovery and development of innovative pharmacotherapy of addiction.

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