OPEN Foundation

A. Windham-Herman

Intensity of Mystical Experiences Occasioned by 5-MeO-DMT and Comparison With a Prior Psilocybin Study

Abstract

5-MeO-DMT is a psychoactive substance found in high concentrations in the bufotoxin of the Colorado River Toad (Bufo alvarius). Emerging evidence suggests that vaporized 5-MeO-DMT may occasion mystical experiences of comparable intensity to those occasioned by more widely studied psychedelics such as psilocybin, but no empirical study has tested this hypothesis. Data was obtained from 20 individuals (Mage = 38.9, ± 10.7; male = 55%, Caucasian = 85%) who were administered 5-MeO-DMT as part of a psychospiritual retreat program in Mexico. All participants received 50 mg of inhaled vaporized toad bufotoxin which contains 5-MeO-DMT and completed the Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ30) approximately 4–6 h after their session. Administration of 5-MeO-DMT occasioned strong mystical experiences (MEQ30 Overall Mintensity = 4.17, ± 0.64, range 0–5) and the majority (n = 15, 75%) had “a complete mystical experience” (≥60% on all MEQ30 subscales). Compared to a prior laboratory-based psilocybin study, there were no differences in the intensity of mystical effects between 5-MeO-DMT and a high dose (30 mg/70 kg) of psilocybin, but the intensity of mystical effects was significantly higher in the 5-MeO-DMT sample compared to moderate/high dose (20 mg/70 kg) of psilocybin (MEQ30 Total Score: p = 0.02, d = 0.81). Administration of vaporized 5-MeO-DMT reliably occasioned complete mystical experiences in 75% of individuals and was similar in intensity to high dose psilocybin administered in a laboratory setting. The short duration of action may be advantageous for clinical interventions and for studying mystical-type experiences.
Barsuglia, J. P., Davis, A. K., Palmer, R., Lancelotta, R., Windham-Herman, A. M., Peterson, K., … & Griffiths, R. R. (2018). Intensity of Mystical Experiences Occasioned by 5-MeO-DMT and Comparison With a Prior Psilocybin Study. Frontiers in psychology9, 2459., 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02459
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A Mixed-Method Analysis of Persisting Effects Associated with Positive Outcomes Following Ibogaine Detoxification

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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Subjective effectiveness of ibogaine treatment for problematic opioid consumption: Short- and long-term outcomes and current psychological functioning

Abstract

Background and aims

Very few studies have reported the effectiveness of ibogaine as a treatment for chronic opioid use. Therefore, this study evaluated the acute subjective effects of ibogaine, outcomes on problematic opioid consumption, and the long-term associations with psychological functioning.

Methods

Using online data collection, 88 patients who received ibogaine treatment in Mexico between 2012 and 2015 completed our survey.

Results

Most participants (72%) had used opioids for at least 4 years and 69% reported daily use. Most (80%) indicated that ibogaine eliminated or drastically reduced withdrawal symptoms. Fifty percent reported that ibogaine reduced opioid craving, some (25%) reporting a reduction in craving lasting at least 3 months. Thirty percent of participants reported never using opioids again following ibogaine treatment. And over one half (54%) of these abstainers had been abstinent for at least 1 year, with 31% abstinent for at least 2 years. At the time of survey, 41% of all participants reported sustained abstinence (>6 months). Although 70% of the total sample reported a relapse following treatment, 48% reported decreased use from pretreatment levels and an additional 11% eventually achieved abstinence. Treatment responders had the lowest rates of depressive and anxious symptoms, the highest levels of subjective well-being and rated their ibogaine treatment as more spiritually meaningful compared with treatment non-responders.

Conclusion

The results suggest that ibogaine is associated with reductions in opioid use, including complete abstinence, and has long-term positive psychological outcomes. Future research should investigate the efficacy of ibogaine treatment using rigorous longitudinal and controlled designs.

Davis, A. K., Barsuglia, J. P., Windham-Herman, A. M., Lynch, M., & Polanco, M. (2017). Subjective effectiveness of ibogaine treatment for problematic opioid consumption: Short-and long-term outcomes and current psychological functioning. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, (0), 1-9. 10.1556/2054.01.2017.009
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