Quitting Smoking with Psilocybin and Spiritual Support

No money compensation provided.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is seeking smokers who want to quit smoking to participate in a scientific research study of spiritual/mystical experience brought about by psilocybin, a psychoactive entheogen (roughly meaning God-evoking substance) found in mushrooms used as a sacrament in some cultures, given in a comfortable, supportive setting. Some research studies have suggested that entheogens, when administered under interpersonally supportive and well-prepared conditions, are effective in helping people overcome addictions. Cognitive behavior therapy and ongoing interpersonal support will be integrated with psilocybin sessions in order to help participants quit smoking. Questionnaires, interviews, and biological measures of smoking will be used to assess the treatment’s effects on consciousness, mood, and smoking. Volunteers enrolled in the research study will receive careful preparation and 3 sessions in which they will receive psilocybin. Structured guidance will be provided during the sessions and afterwards to facilitate integration of the experiences.

Volunteers must be between the ages of 21 and 65, have no personal history of severe psychiatric illness, or recent history of alcoholism or drug dependence other than cigarettes, have someone willing to pick them up and drive them home at the end of the 3 psilocybin sessions (around 5:00 PM), and must live within travel distance of the Hopkins Bayview campus in Baltimore.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of volunteering, please call 410–550–5990 and ask for Mary, the study's research coordinator. Confidentiality will be maintained for all applicants and participants.

Principal Investigator: Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D., Protocol: NA_00016166