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A Mixed-Method Analysis of Persisting Effects Associated with Positive Outcomes Following Ibogaine Detoxification

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We examined persisting effects, self-perceived challenges, and potential benefits associated with positive outcomes following ibogaine detoxification using data collected as part of a larger online retrospective study of 73 patients who received treatment for chronic opioid use in Mexico between 2012 and 2015. A mixed-methods design was used comparing treatment responders versus non-responders, as well as content coding of themes from open-ended questions. Most participants reported positive persisting effects of ibogaine detoxification (e.g., enhanced personal sense of gratitude and authenticity, and meaning and appreciation for life). Compared to non-responders, treatment responders endorsed greater persisting changes in their ability to tolerate difficult/painful feelings, capacity for coping with stress, and reduced unhealthy anger. Treatment responders reported greater change in subjective levels of inner peace, joy, feelings of love/openheartedness, and experiences of sacredness in life. Qualitative analyses revealed that treatment responders reported a heightened sense of spiritual awareness and greater connection to their intra-/interpersonal relationships after ibogaine detoxification. Notable challenges of ibogaine detoxification included psychological and health-related difficulties during treatment and challenges with post-treatment integration. Findings highlight the persisting effects associated with positive response to ibogaine detoxification and possible post-treatment needs (i.e., more integration/aftercare resources). Future research using rigorous experimental designs is needed.

Davis, A. K., Renn, E., Windham-Herman, A. M., Polanco, M., & Barsuglia, J. P. (2018). A mixed-method analysis of persisting effects associated with positive outcomes following ibogaine detoxification. Journal of psychoactive drugs50(4), 287-297., 10.1080/02791072.2018.1487607.
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