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J Psychopharmacol. 2014 Nov;28(11):983-92. doi: 10.1177/0269881114548296. Epub 2014 Sep 11.

Pilot study of the 5-HT2AR agonist psilocybin in the treatment of tobacco addiction.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA mwj@jhu.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Abstract

Despite suggestive early findings on the therapeutic use of hallucinogens in the treatment of substance use disorders, rigorous follow-up has not been conducted. To determine the safety and feasibility of psilocybin as an adjunct to tobacco smoking cessation treatment we conducted an open-label pilot study administering moderate (20 mg/70 kg) and high (30 mg/70 kg) doses of psilocybin within a structured 15-week smoking cessation treatment protocol. Participants were 15 psychiatrically healthy nicotine-dependent smokers (10 males; mean age of 51 years), with a mean of six previous lifetime quit attempts, and smoking a mean of 19 cigarettes per day for a mean of 31 years at intake. Biomarkers assessing smoking status, and self-report measures of smoking behavior demonstrated that 12 of 15 participants (80%) showed seven-day point prevalence abstinence at 6-month follow-up. The observed smoking cessation rate substantially exceeds rates commonly reported for other behavioral and/or pharmacological therapies (typically <35%). Although the open-label design does not allow for definitive conclusions regarding the efficacy of psilocybin, these findings suggest psilocybin may be a potentially efficacious adjunct to current smoking cessation treatment models. The present study illustrates a framework for future research on the efficacy and mechanisms of hallucinogen-facilitated treatment of addiction.

KEYWORDS:

Hallucinogen; addiction; nicotine; psilocybin; psychedelic; smoking cessation; tobacco

PMID:
25213996
PMCID:
PMC4286320
DOI:
10.1177/0269881114548296
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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