Though research on psilocybin as a treatment for addiction is limited, one notable study was carried out in 2014, in which 12 of 15 participants were able to give up smoking after receiving either two or three doses of psilocybin in conjunction with a course of psychotherapy. Follow-up analysis revealed that the occurrence of “mystical experiences” while under the effects of psilocybin was the biggest factor in enabling abstinence from smoking.
In another study, 12 patients with treatment-resistant depression were given two doses of psilocybin, one week apart, in conjunction with psychological support from therapists. A week after treatment, two-thirds of participants were completely free from depression, with 42% remaining so three months later.
Nearly every participant in the study said that psilocybin alleviated their depression by helping them to feel more connected to the world around them and by enhancing their self-acceptance, all of which enabled them to reframe the way they viewed themselves and their lives.
Recovery from addiction requires a similar reframing of personal narratives in order to remove the need to self-medicate. When used correctly, therefore, psilocybin may have huge potential as a facilitator of recovery from addiction.
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