Smoking or vaping is a vicious addiction that is difficult to break. Research has shown that psilocybin – in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy may help smokers quit. Psilocybin appears to work on psychological mechanisms, stimulating healthier lifestyle choices. Interestingly, the level of significance of the psychedelic experience is related to the degree of success of the therapy.
Smoking: a major global threat to public health
It is one of the most common and vicious addictions in the world: smoking tobacco. From China to Argentina, from South Africa to Iceland, billions of cigarettes are smoked every day. According to the World Health Organization, smoking kills over five million people a year and the annual costs to the global economy is approximately one trillion dollars. Vaping and tobacco addiction are some of the leading causes of preventable premature death, according to the WHO. It’s quite ironic that one of the world’s biggest threats to public health is caused by a legal drug.
Statistics show that many smokers find themselves helpless when they try to break this habit. Like many other addictions, tobacco is addictive both psychologically and physically. Quitting smoking or vaping is not as easy as it seems, people usually try methods like nasal sprays, nicotine patches, e-cigar, and psychological advice. The truth is, only a small percentage of smokers successfully break this habit. All over the world, people are desperately looking for a way to quit smoking.
Psilocybin: a potential ally for quitting smoking
When it comes to new ways to quit smoking, research points to a surprising ally: magic mushrooms. Using cognitive behavior therapy with psilocybin to help quit smoking produced remarkable results. According to Matthew Johnson, psychiatrist, and researchers at John’s Hopkins University in Baltimore, psilocybin treatment for addictions could become available within a decade. Johnson did a little study with 15 long-term smokers, who received 2-3 doses of psilocybin over 13 weeks. Participants were accompanied by two trained guides as they experienced the effects of psilocybin. During their journey, they were encouraged to travel inland, while wearing glasses and listening to music. In addition to the psilocybin sessions, participants completed a 15-week training course in cognitive behavioral therapy. The effects were amazing. 80% of participants succeeded in quitting smoking! They were still “clean” after six months of follow-up. This is overwhelming, compared to other therapy methods that can only boast of a maximum of 17%. Although there are certain limitations to Johnson’s study (mainly its small sample size and lack of a control group), these promising results have certainly caught the attention of the scientific world. Further research into the cessation potential of psilocybin addiction is ongoing.
Psilocybin helps people quit smoking through psychological mechanisms
It appears that the experience of psilocybin helps people break psychological addiction to tobacco. After taking the magic mushrooms with some therapy, people tend to make decisions that are best for their development, rather than for a short-term pleasure that would destroy their future. They also reported an increase in their self-efficacy, in their confidence in their ability to continue to quit. So far, the evidence points to psychological mechanisms in which psilocybin may help quit smoking. However, there is probably also a biological component to the success of this new therapy. “We suspect here that significant and mystical experiences are linked to the degree of success”.
For many people who take magic mushrooms, the experience of psilocybin is very meaningful on a spiritual and personal level. In fact, for many people, this is one of the main reasons to go on a mushroom excursion. The internet is full of travel reports which indicate that mushrooms can induce mystical experiences. See his life from a bird’s eye view, feel in harmony with the universe, gain insight into past actions, experience true forgiveness, feel unconditional love, gain insight into the divine, gain spiritual and philosophical knowledge. These are some of the popularly known effects of the magic mushroom. One can easily look for shrooms online if they are interested in buying.
So it’s no surprise that Johnson’s research subjects also reported some very deep personal experiences. During a one-year follow-up, 13 out of 15 participants ranked their psilocybin sessions in the top five of the most spiritually and personally significant experiences they had in their lifetime. This matches other research done by Johns Hopkins on psilocybin and mystical experiences.
Johnson explains that people who encountered these mystical experience tend to find a purpose in their lives, and immediately lose interest in smoking or vaping. The three people in her study who failed to quit smoking had less meaningful experiences during psilocybin sessions. This is intriguing, as the psilocybin psychedelic experience is associated with the medical nature of the magic mushroom. In pharmaceutical parlance, the psychedelic experience is not a “side effect” of the drug that should be avoided. It is the psychedelic experience that gives people another perspective on their addictive behavior and enables them to make healthier choices.
If you smoke and can’t wait to quit, maybe magic mushrooms could be a solution for you too! Tell us what you think.