Exploration of the phenomenology of the Ibogaine experience: Preliminary findings

Steve Katsikas & Annamarie Heink

In countries worldwide, a significant number of individuals seek out treatment in facilities that advertise the use of Ibogaine for various ailments. Ibogaine, a naturally occurring indole alkaloid, is a psychoactive substance commonly extracted for use from the Iboga plant. This hallucinogen has both psychedelic and dissociative properties as well as possible anti-addictive qualities. Ibogaine, traditionally utilized for ritualistic purposes and spiritual enlightenment, has become more recently sought after as a treatment for substance abuse. This international study gathered data via an online questionnaire. It focuses on the exploration of phenomenology of the retrospective accounts of individuals’ experiences with Ibogaine (N=26). Dimensions of the experience with Ibogaine were assessed using the 5d-ASC, a standardized measure of psychedelic experiences, as well a number of other survey questions. Results of this study are pending. Researchers plan to compare participants’ scores to normative data for other psychoactive substances and correlate aspects of the experience with reported outcomes.


Annamarie Heink is a graduate student working to obtain her doctorate in psychology from the School of Professional Psychology at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana, USA) and will receive her Master’s degree from Spalding University in summer 2014. Annamarie aspires to work with the geriatric population in addition to continuing her research on psychedelics.

Steve Katsikas, Ph.D is a professor of psychology and department chair at Spalding University. He is a licensed psychologist and has published in the area of juvenile delinquency, effects of stimulant medication on children, and the economics of pediatric consult-liaison services. His interest in exploring the potential benefits of Ibogaine treatment are a new research interest for him.

Other members of the research team include Tiffany Lange, M.A., Alexandria Pruitt M.A., and Billy O. Barclay, M.D.

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