Ibogaine Subculture Contrasted With Other Drug Subcultures

"The clinical focus on the treatment of opioid withdrawal distinguishes the ibogaine subculture from subcultures associated with psychedelic or other illegal drugs. The reason for taking ibogaine was more frequently to alleviate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal than to pursue spiritual or psychological goals. In the US, the expansion of the ibogaine subculture coincides temporally with a substantial increase in the public health impact of opioid use disorders (Compton and Volkow, 2006). The incidence of opioid-related deaths in the US doubled between 1999 and 2004 (Fingerhut, 2007), with methadone and oxycodone accounting for most of this increase. In contrast to trends regarding opioids, there was no increase in use of hallucinogen and MDMA among young adults in the US between 2002 and 2005 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2006), suggesting that the recent expansion of the ibogaine subculture is not an epiphenomenon of popular interest in psychedelic drugs and the availability of psychoactive substances on the Internet (Schifano et al., 2006)."


Alper, Kenneth R.; Lotsof, Howard S.; and Kaplan, Charles D., "The ibogaine medical subculture," Journal of Ethnopharmacology (Cagliari, Italy: International Society for Ethnopharmacology, January 2008), Volume 115, Issue 1, p. 18.