OPEN Foundation

Day: 29 August 2017

A phenomenological analysis of the subjective experience elicited by ibogaine in the context of a drug dependence treatment

Abstract

Objective

This report documents the phenomenology of the subjective experiences of 22 patients with substance-related disorders who were involved in a treatment combining cognitive–behavioral therapy and hospital sessions with ibogaine in Brazil.

Methods

Participants underwent a one-to-one semi-structured interview exploring the subjective effects of ibogaine. We employed interpretative phenomenological analysis to identify relevant phenomenological categories, including physical sensations, perceptual (visual, auditory, and olfactory), emotional, cognitive, and spiritual. Participants also compared ibogaine with other drugs used in life, including psychedelics like ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, and lysergic acid diethylamide.

Results

The findings reveal that the subjective experience with ibogaine has similarities with other psychedelic substances, but also important differences. These include very strong and unpleasant physical effects as well as, at least in this patient population, a very difficult and challenging experience.

Conclusions

Overall, the descriptions involve heightened memory retrieval, specially related to drug abuse and the perception of one’s own future with or without drug use. Strong perceptual phenomena, especially dreamlike visions, were commonly reported. Based on Revonsuo’s evolutionary hypothesis for the function of dreams and of previous suggestions that ibogaine has oneiric properties, we suggest the subjective experience of drug-dependent patients elicited by ibogaine may be framed as simulations of threat and danger.

Schenberg, E. E., de Castro Comis, M. A., Alexandre, J. F. M., Tófoli, L. F., Chaves, B. D. R., & da Silveira, D. X. (2017). A phenomenological analysis of the subjective experience elicited by ibogaine in the context of a drug dependence treatment. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, (0), 1-10. 10.1556/2054.01.2017.007
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MDA, MDMA and other mescaline-like substances in the US military's search for a truth drug (1940s to 1960s)

Abstract

This article describes the broader context in which 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and other mescaline-like compounds were explored as hallucinogens for military and intelligence purposes during the 1940s to the 1960s. Germans first tested mescaline as a “truth drug” in a military context. Since the 1940s, the United States military tested hallucinogenic drugs as “truth drugs” for the purpose of interrogation and behavior manipulation. After tests carried out using mescaline and other drugs in 1950, some derivatives of mescaline were synthesized by the Army for the exploration of possible „speech-inducing“ effects. After insufficient animal testing, the substances were given to patients at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDE), a compound almost identical to MDMA, was among the mescaline derivatives delivered for testing at the NYSPI. During tests with other derivatives (3,4-dimethoxyphenethylamine (DMA), 3,4-methylenedioxyphenethylamine (MDPEA), MDA) in 1952-53, an unwitting patient died in these tests, which was kept secret from the public. Research was interrupted and toxicological animal testing procedures were initiated. The secret animal studies run in 1953/54 revealed that some of the “mescaline derivatives” tested (e.g. MDA, MDE, DMA, 3,4,5-trimethoxyamphetamine (TMA), MDMA) were considered for further testing in humans. Since 1955, the military changed focus to LSD, but some interest in mescaline-like compounds remained for their ability to change mood and habit without interefing with cognition and sensory perception. Based on the known documents, it remains unclear (but probable) wether any of the mescaline derivatives tested were being used operationally.
Passie, T., & Benzenhöfer, U. (2017). MDA, MDMA and other mescaline‐like substances in the US military’s search for a truth drug (1940s to 1960s). Drug testing and analysis. 10.1002/dta.2292
Link to full text

MDA, MDMA and other mescaline-like substances in the US military’s search for a truth drug (1940s to 1960s)

Abstract

This article describes the broader context in which 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and other mescaline-like compounds were explored as hallucinogens for military and intelligence purposes during the 1940s to the 1960s. Germans first tested mescaline as a “truth drug” in a military context. Since the 1940s, the United States military tested hallucinogenic drugs as “truth drugs” for the purpose of interrogation and behavior manipulation. After tests carried out using mescaline and other drugs in 1950, some derivatives of mescaline were synthesized by the Army for the exploration of possible „speech-inducing“ effects. After insufficient animal testing, the substances were given to patients at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDE), a compound almost identical to MDMA, was among the mescaline derivatives delivered for testing at the NYSPI. During tests with other derivatives (3,4-dimethoxyphenethylamine (DMA), 3,4-methylenedioxyphenethylamine (MDPEA), MDA) in 1952-53, an unwitting patient died in these tests, which was kept secret from the public. Research was interrupted and toxicological animal testing procedures were initiated. The secret animal studies run in 1953/54 revealed that some of the “mescaline derivatives” tested (e.g. MDA, MDE, DMA, 3,4,5-trimethoxyamphetamine (TMA), MDMA) were considered for further testing in humans. Since 1955, the military changed focus to LSD, but some interest in mescaline-like compounds remained for their ability to change mood and habit without interefing with cognition and sensory perception. Based on the known documents, it remains unclear (but probable) wether any of the mescaline derivatives tested were being used operationally.
Passie, T., & Benzenhöfer, U. (2017). MDA, MDMA and other mescaline‐like substances in the US military’s search for a truth drug (1940s to 1960s). Drug testing and analysis. 10.1002/dta.2292
Link to full text