While not many effective treatments for substance addiction exist, approximately 22 million people in America are on their way to recovery. Unfortunately, recovered addicts constantly stare the risk of relapse in the face, and a number of medications to curb withdrawal symptoms and cravings are being considered. Ibogaine, a psychedelic substance found in the iboga plant, has grown in popularity due to its ability to help combat addiction.
Ibogaine has its roots in West Africa, where it is harvested from a shrub called Tabernanthe iboga. The indigenous people have used it in small doses for millennia to combat thirst, hunger and fatigue. Bigger doses were administered during religious ceremonies or initiation rituals.
How did this ancient psychedelic cross from a recreational substance to one that could treat addiction? In 1962, Howard Lotsof accidentally discovered that taking ibogaine helped rid him of his cravings for heroin; it also combated the withdrawal symptoms he had been struggling with.
When other recovered addicts shared an ibogaine experience similar to his, Lotsof created an advocacy group whose objective was to conduct research on ibogaine and its ability to treat addiction. This group was called Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance.
According to preliminary research using animal and human models, ibogaine seems to work by interacting with a variety of neurotransmitters linked to the regulation of sleep, heart rate, mood, muscle function, appetite, concentration and breathing. The psychedelic appears to modulate the physical and mental symptoms of substance addiction, thereby restoring the addict’s brain to the state it was before addiction set in.
An observational study done in 2017 found that all 14 stidu participants displayed major reductions in the symptoms of opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms after receiving a single dose of ibogaine. It should be noted that ibogaine and other psychedelic substances are currently prohibited by the federal government. Due to desperation, many people are turning to the black market or going abroad to take part in ceremonies during which ibogaine is administered.
This unregulated use of ibogaine carries several risks since the compound has been known to trigger heart complications, including cardiotoxicity and arrhythmias, which can be fatal. People with preexisting cardiac problems are particularly prone to these effects of ibogaine.
Those risks notwithstanding, plenty of research is being conducted to document how this compound can be used to treat addiction. The hope patients have is that an approved treatment will be developed so that those who need it can access it in a clinical setting.
A lot of research into different psychedelics compounds is ongoing, and companies such as Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) hope to be among those first to the finish line with novel mental health disorder remedies from this new class of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/TRYPF
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