THE ANTI-ADDICTIVE AND PHYSIOLOGICAL ABSTINENCE BLOCKING EFFECTS OF IBOGAINE ON HEROINE ADDICTION: VIA NMDA RECEPTORS?
Umit SAYIN, M.D., Ph.D., Institute of Forensic Sciences, İstanbul University, Aksaray-İstanbul, DETAM-İstanbul Medical School and ASEHERT
Levent KARTAL, ASEHERT
İpek Zeynep YILMAZ, ASEHERT
Hikmet KOYUNCUOGLU (in memoriam), M.D., Dept. of Pharmacology, İstanbul University, İstanbul Medical School, Çapa-İstanbul.
Background and Introduction: NMDA-Antagonists (Dextromethorphan, MK-801, CGP-39551 and others) have been used successfully to treat morphine physical dependence and abstinence syndrome in rats (Koyuncuoglu & Sayin, 1992, 1994) and abstinence syndrome of opiate addiction in human beings by dextromethorphan (Koyuncuoglu, 1991; Sayin, 1993-1994, Unpublished data). Using some entheogens and dextromethorphan, Sayin et al., was able to treat heroine abstinence syndrome and physical/psychological dependence in some cases of opiate addiction (N=6). It had been proposed that, NMDA-receptor antagonism was responsible of the treatment of abstinence syndrome in opiate physical dependence (Glick, 1998).
Mechanisms: NMDA receptor antagonists appear to inhibit the neural plasticity underlying some forms of opiate tolerance, sensitization and physical dependence, suggesting that NMDA receptors are involved in the development of these drug-induced changes in behavior, which also involves short term memory, LTP, long term memory, emotional states and (Trujillo, 2000).
Conclusion: Some entheogens may be used in the treatment of opiate withdrawal and in the treatment of opiate physical dependence in future. Such entheogens could include, LSD, ibogaine, psilocybin etc. Mainly these controlled drugs seem to have two major components during such treatments: 1) Acute individual electrophysiological and neuropharmacological effects, as seen in the case of NMDA receptor antagonists 2) Acute effects which can induce a form of self-psychoanalysis, as seen in the cases of ibogaine and LSD.
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