The agency of ibogaine: emic understandings of a grassroots psychiatry in Mexico

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dc.contributor Galbraith, Marysia H.
dc.contributor Pritzker, Sonya E.
dc.contributor Witte, Tricia H.
dc.contributor.advisor Lynn, Christopher D. Patterson, Dillon Robert 2020-09-30T17:23:46Z 2020-09-30T17:23:46Z 2020
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0003566
dc.identifier.other Patterson_alatus_0004M_14127
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract As opiate addiction rates rise, many individuals find conventional biomedical and 12-step-based treatment programs insufficient in their attempts to overcome addiction. In response to this unmet need, a grassroots community has developed a novel approach to treatment based on a unique cultural model of addiction. Operating with the belief that conventional treatment models are intentionally designed to not to work, this community aims for the mitigation of problematic drug use, rather than complete sobriety. Its mode of treatment is a psychedelic-like plant alkaloid, ibogaine. Perhaps in part due to the recent scientific attention classic psychedelics have received and in part due to the rise of opiate addiction rates, ibogaine therapy has become the subject of an increasing body of scientific literature. But, small clinics around the world have practiced ibogaine therapy for opiate addiction consistently since the mid 20th century. This paper: (1) contextualizes the scientific work that has been done in these clinics by providing an ethnographic account of the ibogaine therapy community and its understanding of addiction, (2) situates ibogaine therapy within the larger scope of psychedelic-assisted treatments for addiction, and (3) explores the emic understanding of how ibogaine therapy works. Drawing on Eduardo Kohn’s framework for an “anthropology beyond the human” and theoretical concepts from cognitive anthropology, I put forth the argument that ibogaine therapy is grassroots psychiatry, centered on the healing power of ibogaine, which is itself a social agent capable of healing through conversational interaction with patients.
dc.format.extent 69 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Cultural anthropology
dc.title The agency of ibogaine: emic understandings of a grassroots psychiatry in Mexico
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. Department of Anthropology Anthropology The University of Alabama master's M.A.

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