n the United States, over 2 million Americans suffered from opioid addiction in 2018. With relapse rates of traditional rehabilitative models averaging at about 50%, companies have positioned themselves within the psychedelic drug sector to bring a different therapeutic approach.
Companies such as ATAI Sciences and DemeRx are investigating ibogaine, a natural extract found in western Central Africa that has proven effective in reducing opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Researchers also found that the same substance lessens depression that accompanies addiction. Despite the positive effects, ibogaine continues to be classified as a Schedule 1 drug not allowed for medical use in the United States. Regardless of the status, researchers continue to study precisely how ibogaine affects the brain and delivers relief to those suffering from addiction. It is believed that ibogaine affects neurotransmitter systems, including serotonin, NMDA, and opioid receptors.