Psychedelic May Help with Smoking Cessation, Says Study

Six-month abstinence rates were higher with psilocybin than with other meds or CBT alone
Six-month abstinence rates were higher with psilocybin than with other meds or CBT alone

According to a study in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, psilocybin showed promise in promoting long-term smoking abstinence in the context of a structured treatment program. 

An open-label pilot study (n=15) demonstrated that 2–3 moderate to high doses of psilocybin, a serotonin 2A receptor agonist, in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for smoking cessation led to substantially higher 6-month abstinence rates vs. those usually seen with other medications or CBT alone. Researchers set out to assess the long-term effects of this psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation program at ≥12 months after psilocybin administration. 

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All study participants completed a 12-month follow-up, and 80% returned for a long-term (≥16 months) follow-up; mean interval was 30 months between the first psilocybin session (target-quit date) and long-term follow-up.

At the 12-month follow-up, 10 participants were confirmed as smoking abstinent, and 9 were confirmed as smoking abstinent at long-term follow-up. Also at the 12-month follow-up, 13 participants rated their psilocybin experience among the five most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives. 

Results from the long-term follow-up study support high success rates when utilizing classic psychedelics in the treatment of addiction. More research investigating psilocybin-facilitated treatment of substance disorders is needed, the authors added. 

For more information visit tandfonline.com.

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