We’ve come a long way from doctors endorsing cigarettes and authority figures saying that nicotine is perfectly safe, but even in this day and age when we know that tobacco is the single leading cause of preventable death,[1. CDC Tobacco Fact Sheet: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/] millions of people still smoke and many of them are struggling to quit. Finding ways to help people who are physically and psychologically addicted to smoking is hugely important for public health, and recent scientific trials are showing that the brightest ray of hope for tobacco addicts lies in an unlikely source- hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Trials using psilocybin mushrooms have helped long-term smokers understand the roots of their addiction, tracing inside themselves not just the physical craving, but a deeper knowledge of the mental symptoms that lead to their behavior. Addictions can come in many forms and for many reasons, and can be incredibly destructive. The implications of psilocybin mushrooms on addiction research could help us break through one of society’s most damaging problems.