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Psilocybin and Long-Term Results in Quitting Smoking

Smoking is a Big Problem

Long-Term Success in Quitting Smoking

Did you know that every year, smoking is responsible for nearly 6 million deaths worldwide? That’s like the entire population of a big city! This is a big problem because it means many people are getting sick and even dying because of smoking. Sadly, things might get even worse in the future if we don’t do something about it.

Right now, people who want to quit smoking often have a tough time. The treatments, like medicines and programs, we have to help them stop smoking don’t always work for most people over a long time. One of those treatments is called “nicotine replacement therapy.” They give people these nicotine patches that are taped to the skin. But they found out people still went back to smoking! It’s like trying to kick a bad habit that’s extremely difficult.

But guess what? Scientists and experts are not giving up! They’re like detectives, trying to find new and better ways to help people quit smoking. They want to make it easier for smokers to stop, so they can live healthier and longer lives.

They’re doing lots of research and experiments to find out what works best. Some scientists are looking into special medicines and other cool ideas to make quitting easier. And it’s not just about helping people quit but also preventing young folks from ever starting in the first place.

A New Idea - Using Psilocybin

What is Psilocybin?

One idea they had was to use a substance called psilocybin along with therapy. Psilocybin comes from mushrooms and affects certain receptors in the brain. They call these mushrooms “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms.” In a small study, they gave psilocybin to a group of people who wanted to quit smoking. After six months, 80% of them were still not smoking! That’s a really good result.

The Psilocybin Study

In the pilot study, held at Johns Hopkins University, a group of researchers decided to try something new to help people quit smoking. They used magic mushrooms in a pill form in a closely monitored setting.

Good News from the Study

The study found that using psilocybin along with therapy helped a lot of people quit smoking. After six months, 80% of the people in the study were still not smoking. Even former longtime smokers! That’s a really good result, and it means this method might be a great way to help people quit smoking.
Mind Mend Mushroom's Approach to Smoking

Safety and Side Effects

Is It Safe?

The researchers who did the study wanted to make sure that the new treatment using psilocybin was safe for the people taking part in it. They carefully watched over the participants to see if there were any problems. And you know what? They found out that, for the most part, the treatment didn’t cause big issues. 

Some of the folks who tried this new method did have a few little problems, but they weren’t too serious. A few people said they had headaches. It’s not a good feeling, but it’s not usually dangerous. Some people also had their blood pressure go up a little bit. Blood pressure is how strong your blood pushes against the walls of your veins, and when it goes up a bit, it’s like your heart is working a little harder. But it was only a tiny increase, nothing too worrisome. 

The researchers also kept an eye on the heart rate of the participants. Your heart rate is like how fast your heart beats. Some of the people in the study had a slightly faster heart rate while they were getting the treatment. It’s a bit like when your heart races when you’re excited or doing exercise. But just like the blood pressure, it was a small increase, and it wasn’t a big problem. 

Now, here’s an important part to know: some people felt scared or anxious during the treatment. Feeling scared or anxious is like when you’re worried or nervous about something. You might have felt this way before, like before a big test or when you’re trying something new. But the good news is that the people who were running the study, the scientists and helpers, were there to give support. They helped the people feel better and more relaxed, like having a friend when you’re facing something tricky. 

The best part is that those scared or anxious feelings didn’t stick around. It’s kind of like when you’re scared of a dark room, but then you turn on the light, and you realize there’s nothing to be afraid of. The support from the people running the study helped the participants feel more comfortable, and those worries went away. 

So, in simple words, the study showed that this new treatment was safe for most people. Sure, a few of them had minor issues like headaches, a bit higher blood pressure, or a slightly faster heart rate. And yes, some people felt a bit scared or anxious during the treatment. But the good news is that all of these concerns were small, and they went away with the help and support of the scientists and the people taking care of the participants. 

This is important because it tells us that this new way of quitting smoking is not only effective but also safe for people who want to stop smoking and lead healthier lives. It’s like making sure that a new ride at an amusement park is fun and safe, and this new way of quitting smoking seems to be just that – fun (well, not exactly fun, but you get the idea) and safe!

Long-Term Effects

What Happens Later?

Now the researchers are following up with the participants to see how they’re doing after 12 months and even up to 30 months after the treatment. They want to see if the effects last and if there are any lasting psychological effects.

The Follow-Up

Checking In After 12 Months

All 15 people who took part in the study were checked up on after 12 months. Out of those 15, 12 (which is 80% of them) came back for a follow-up checkup that happened on average 30 months later (but some were checked sooner or later). They were asked about whether they were still smoking and how they felt about the treatment they received.

Long-Term Success

Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy for Smokers

Positive News in the Long Term

After 12 months, 10 of the participants (which is about 67% of them) were proven to have stopped smoking. Out of those 10, 8 said they hadn’t smoked at all since they started the treatment. When they checked again during the long-term follow-up, 9 out of the 15 people (which is about 60% of them) were still not smoking. And out of those 9, 7 said they hadn’t smoked since they started the treatment.


In simple terms, scientists came up with a smart idea to help people quit smoking. They used a very special substance called psilocybin from magic mushrooms. This substance does something interesting to the brain, and it can make it easier for people to stop smoking. 

When they tried this new method in a study, it worked really, really well. Most of the people in the study actually quit smoking. This is referred to as the “abstinence rate.” That’s like a big victory in the battle against smoking! But what’s even cooler is that even after a long time, many of these folks didn’t go back to smoking. It’s like they broke free from the smoking habit and stayed free. 

And here’s the best part – this new way of using psilocybin to quit smoking seems to be safe. Most people didn’t have any big problems or side effects. Sure, a few of them had things like headaches or a bit of a faster heart rate, but it wasn’t anything too scary. Some people felt a little scared or anxious during the treatment, but they had support, and those feelings went away. 

Now, scientists aren’t stopping here. They’re like detectives who keep investigating to learn more. They’re going to keep checking on the people who tried this method to see if the good effects last and if there are other good things happening because of this treatment. It’s been reported that some people have more meaningful experiences. It’s like making sure that the good results stick around for a long time. 

So, here’s the exciting part: there’s hope for the future! With this new method, more and more people might be able to quit smoking and live healthier lives. It’s like a bright light at the end of a tunnel, and scientists are working hard to make that light shine even brighter. Quitting smoking is tough, but discoveries like this give us hope that more people can break free from it and enjoy healthier, smoke-free lives.


[1] Long-term follow-up of psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation:

Johnson MW, Garcia-Romeu A, Griffiths RR. Long-term follow-up of psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2017 Jan;43(1):55-60. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2016.1170135. Epub 2016 Jul 21. Erratum in: Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2017 Jan;43(1):127. PMID: 27441452; PMCID: PMC5641975.

[2] How Shrooms Help with Freedom From Addiction:

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