Alkaloids are a major group of natural products derived from a wide variety of organisms and are widely used as medicinal and biological agents. This series is world-renowned as the leading compilation of current reviews of this vast field. Volume 56 presents the Proceedings from the First International Conference on Ibogaines, held in November of 1999 at New York University's School of Medicine. In essence, it presents significant new data on neurobiological, clinical, sociocultural, and policy aspects of ibogaine. Ibogaine is a natural product derived from the bark of the root of the African shrub Tabernathe iboga. It has a history of use as a medicinal and ceremonial agent in West Central Africa, and has been alleged to be effective as a treatment for substance dependence. The study of Ibogaine may shed light on the neurobiology of addiction and lead to the development of new medication for the treatment of addiction. Currently, there is lack of formal approval for the use of ibogaine, and the demand of the addicts themselves has led to a distinctive unofficial network which has provided ibogaine treatment in non-medical settings. If critical safety concerns can be adequately addressed, ibogaine may provide an inexpensive and practical treatment approach, well adapted to environments where resources are severely limited and there is pressing need for clinical services for heroin addicts, such as Eastern Europe.