Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in a number of plants, principally in a member of the Apocynaceae family known as iboga (Tabernanthe iboga). Iboga -containing preparations are used in medicinal and ritual purposes within African spiritual traditions of the Bwiti, who claim to have learned it from the Pygmy. In recent times, it has been identified as having anti-addictive properties. Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid that is obtained either by extraction from the iboga plant or by semi-synthesis from the precursor compound voacangine, another plant alkaloid. A full organic synthesis of ibogaine has been achieved but is too expensive and challenging to produce any commercially significant yield. In the early 1960s, anecdotal reports appeared concerning ibogaine's effects. Since that time, it has been the subject of investigation into its abilities to interrupt addictions to methadone, heroin, alcohol, and cocaine. It is thought that ibogaine may have potential to facilitate introspection, helping to elucidate the psychological issues and behavior patterns that drive addictions or other problems. However, ibogaine therapy for drug addiction is the subject of some controversy. Due to safety concerns, it has been placed in the strictest drug prohibition schedules in the United States and a handful of other countries. Canada and Mexico both allow ibogaine therapy facilities to operate and openly contribute to further understanding of the detoxification and therapeutic process that ibogaine has the potential to facilitate. While iboga prohibition in the has slowed scientific research into its anti-addictive properties, the use of ibogaine…
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