Changes in Withdrawal and Craving Scores in Participants Undergoing Opioid Detoxification Utilizing Ibogaine

J Psychoactive Drugs. Jul-Aug 2018;50(3):256-265. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2018.1447175. Epub 2018 Apr 2.


Opioid use disorder (OUD) is currently an epidemic in the United States (US) and ibogaine is reported to have the ability to interrupt opioid addiction by simultaneously mitigating withdrawal and craving symptoms. This study examined opioid withdrawal and drug craving scores in 50 participants with OUD undergoing a week-long detoxification treatment protocol with ibogaine. The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) was used for baseline characterization of participants' OUD. Clinical Opioid Withdrawal Scale (COWS), Subjective Opioid Withdrawal Scale (SOWS), and Brief Substance Craving Scale (BSCS) scores were collected at 48 and 24 hours prior to ibogaine administration, as well as 24 and 48 hours after ibogaine administration. At 48 hours following ibogaine administration, withdrawal and craving scores were significantly lowered in comparison to baseline: 78% of patients did not exhibit objective clinical signs of opioid withdrawal, 79% reported minimal cravings for opioids, and 68% reported subjective withdrawal symptoms in the mild range. Ibogaine appears to facilitate opioid detoxification by reducing opioid withdrawal and craving in participants with OUD. These results warrant further research using rigorous controlled trials.

Keywords: Addiction; iboga; ibogaine; opiate; opioid; substance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Craving / drug effects
  • Female
  • Hallucinogens / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Ibogaine / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Hallucinogens
  • Ibogaine