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Psychedelic Drugs: Psilocybin Could Be Effective for Smoking Cessation

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Who would have thought psychedelic drugs could hold promise for being the latest innovative solution to stop smoking cigarettes?  Although prohibited, illegal drugs have been found potentially effective for providing relief for a variety of conditions; psychedelic drugs like psilocybin weren’t viewed as a smoking cessation treatment option until a recent trial proved the drug might have played an important role in preventing cravings and ceasing the habit.

Trial with Psychedelic Drugs for Smoking Cessation

One of culture’s popular psychedelic drugs psilocybin was found to have an effect on cigarette smokers by ending the habit for a majority of participants in a trial.  In Baltimore, Maryland at John Hopkins University, the trial was held over the course of 15 weeks in which cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, was additionally provided to supplement the dispensing of the psilocybin.  There were two scheduled dosages for the treatment of the psychedelic drugs during weeks 5 and 7, as well as it being the patient’s choice whether they wanted to receive an additional administration on week 13 or not.  At the beginning of the treatments, the participants were informed of how the sensation to smoke cigarettes would dissipate.  After the doses were given to the patients, they would stay at the facility for the day, hear music, and interact with one another during their “introspective experience.”  It was found that after half a year had passed since the treatment, 80% of the participants in the trial were still successfully not smoking cigarettes.  “I think psilocybin gave me the impetus to stay abstinent [from smoking cigarettes],” spoke Gordon McGlothlin, a patient from the study.  “It opens up a whole new dimension to your personality. It is almost as though quitting smoking is peripheral during the experience.”

Logistics Behind Study of Psychedelic Drugs

Matthew Johnson, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at John Hopkins, hoped to see how useful psilocybin could really be when it came to aiding quitting smoking cigarettes.  “Smoking seemed to be a good place to start,” he explained.  People may say we are using a sledgehammer for smoking but it is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide and 70% of smokers in the US want to quit.”  Johnson remains hopeful that this study could prove that specific psychedelic drugs like psilocybin can be used as an effective treatment.  Though the study isn’t completely conclusive, another trial will be held and has commenced as of October 2014 to further back up or refute these findings.  Another professional, Robert West, who works in the addiction field related to tobacco and health chimed in about the results from the research, “While probably only a minority of smokers would be interested in using a psychedelic drug to stop smoking, these early results are worth pursuing with a comparative trial.”  It was also suggested by West that if the sensation to smoke cigarettes can be decreased, then other addictive behaviors can perhaps additionally be lessened as well, which could prove beneficial in society, especially when compared to other drugs used as treatments that have side effects.  Ibogaine, for example, has shown great results for treating addiction, but is known for causing heart complications that may pose imminent danger on to patient’s health, which make it uncertain if the treatment is worth the risk.

What does this mean for addicts?

Psychedelic drugs like psilocybin may help smokers quit their cigarette habit, but there are other smoking cessation options available to break or tame the compulsion to smoke.  If a person is an addict and they turn to this treatment, who knows the risk they take or what beast of addiction they may awaken during the course of this treatment?  Even if it is only for the duration of a minimum of a two doses, an addict can still re-awaken the obsession to use substances and re-establish the cycle of active addiction all over again by tempting and teasing themselves with that euphoria.  This is why addicts are told to abstain from all mind-altering substances because ultimately a drug is a drug!

Are you in recovery and looking for a way to quit smoking other using psychedelic drugs? Click here: Quit Smoking In Recovery

Are you struggling because you are active in an addiction and can’t seem to stop?  Seek help by calling The Watershed at 1-800-861-1768 today because life can exist free from obsession.  Addiction is a disease that affects the mind and body, but recovery is possible, including for you.

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