Take “Magic Mushrooms,” Quit Smoking

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Photo by Erik Fenderson, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Erik Fenderson, via Wikimedia Commons

Only a few medical/research facilities in the country have the official clearance to do research on psilocybin, a.k.a. magic mushrooms, a Schedule I drug. Johns Hopkins is one of those authorized to do those experiments, and some of its findings have been amazing–mushrooms have been shown to ease cancer patients’ anxiety about death and help people access profound spiritual experiences. And now new research out of Hopkins indicates that a dose of psilocybin can help longtime smokers finally give up the nicotine habit once and for all.

Study participants were longtime smokers who had tried (and failed) to quit numerous times in the past. They were given a carefully monitored dose of psilocybin, while also undergoing a cognitive behavior modification program. Six months after their doctor-approved trip, 80 percent of them were still not smoking. That’s a much, much higher success rate than with other smoking cessation programs; even varenicline, the top smoking cessation drug, has only a 35 percent success rate after 6 months. Nicotine replacement and behavioral therapies usually have a success rate of less than 30 percent.

According to the Hopkins Hub, the findings “suggest psilocybin may help break the addictive pattern of thoughts and behaviors that have become ingrained after years of smoking. The benefits also seem to last after the drug has worn off.” Smokers take note: Here’s Johns Hopkins’ official good-trip playlist. Do with it what you will.



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