We’ve already seen the potential of psychedelics to help people with alcohol addiction; and next to alcohol, tobacco is the one of the most addictive and harmful drugs in the UK. Recent evidence suggests that psilocybin, a naturally occurring hallucinogen found in some species of mushrooms, could be used to help treat smoking addiction – and it could even be an improvement on current treatments.
In 2014, a group in Baltimore began a pilot study using psilocybin-assisted therapy to help people quit smoking, funded in part by the pioneering Beckley Foundation. They recruited 15 smokers, who on average had been smoking for thirty years and attempted to quit several times. The smokers went on a 15-week course of psychotherapy, during which they were given three doses of psilocybin. Six months after the study, 80% of the participants were abstinent from smoking – as indicated by physiological tests and questionnaires.