Science To The Rescue

Seriously?

Using psychoactive drugs such as magic mushrooms could help people defeat their addiction to tobacco, scientists have suggested.  This is because the intense psychedelic experiences mean they forget withdrawal symptoms.

“Cigarette smoking is today a huge public health scourge and there are no effective reliable treatments,” said Tehseen Noorani of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Durham University.  “An open-label pilot study had impressive results in the treatment of cigarette smoking addiction with psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, and we wanted to understand better how it worked – commonly referred to as the ‘mechanisms of change’.”

The people in the study reported heightened levels of aesthetic appreciation, openness to experience and engagement in the community.

I’ll bet they did.  Yeah, that’s so much better:  kick the smoking habit by substituting one addiction for another, equally-destructive one.

Fucking hell.  What kind of world are we living in?

15 comments

  1. If memory serves me right, alarmed at the rise of the evil Chinese opium addiction spreading to the West a good century ago, science came up with morphine. Then heroin to address the morphine problem. Then methadone to address the heroin problem….and so it goes…

  2. “kick the smoking habit by substituting one addiction for another, equally-destructive one.”

    According to DEA, there are no reports that psilocybin mushrooms are psychologically or physically addictive, and use does not lead to dependence. Brands, et. al. (1998); DEA, Club Drugs: An Update; Partnership for Awareness, Mushrooms.

    According to the Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances(created by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and now maintained by BIOVIA), it’s incredibly safe, and has a therapeutic index three-and-a-half times greater than aspirin, and thirty times greater than nicotine. http://www.drugfuture.com/toxic/q70-q168.html

    The vast majority of work performed in connection with it for psychotherapeutic use has found one-time use therapeutic use has generated very positive mental health outcomes (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269881114565653), and is very effective for smoking cessation (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/publications/_docs/BRA1701048_JM_Brainwise_Spring%202017-8.pdf).

      1. Physically safe and psychologically/emotionally safe are not the same thing.

        IMO there are *no* psychoactive substances, including alcohol[1] that are safe for “children”. Where you wish to put the line between “child” and “adult” is up to you, but I wouldn’t let a 14 year old drink a glass of whiskey, smoke a joint, drop acid, take mushrooms or listen to Alex Jones. Heck, we turn off Glen Beck when my daughter is in the room. No telling WHAT that crazy will do to her…

        Seriously though, Rule10b5 is responding mostly to your “substituting one addiction for another, equally-destructive one.” I wouldn’t advise taking magic mushrooms, but the evidence is that as long as you’re careful, and don’t have other underlying psychological problems, it’s *safer* that drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication.

        The main difference being that you *can* drink alcohol without getting intoxicated. I wouldn’t eat mushrooms that way.

        [1] As noted, alcohol can be delivered in “sub clinical quantities”. A sip of wine or beer wouldn’t hurt anyone over 10.

  3. My wife was a smoker for most of her life, and a few years ago changed to a vape pen. Her health is much better, and it’s a lot cheaper than cigarettes.

    They’re trying their best to make that illegal, because of … um… We Don’t Know The Health Risks! Yeah, that’s it. We don’t know if it’s dangerous, so you can’t use it as an alternative to something that we know will kill you. Think of the Children!!!

    Maybe she should switch to LSD.

  4. “Cigarette smoking is today a huge public health scourge and there are no effective reliable treatments,”

    This is utter bullshit. I quit a pack-a-day habit 24 years ago with the patch. (For best effect, admittedly, there’s a bit more than just taking the patch itself. A lot of people have common rituals, like “I like holding the cigarette”, and finding a substitute, like holding a pen, can be a huge help.) The patch suppresses the nicotine craving pretty well and the substitutions of the ritual or physical action or whatever you want to call it makes a huge differeence as well.

    Supposedly the newer drugs like Chantix work really well, too, let alone substituting vaping.

      1. Dude, respect, both on quitting, and on your choice of poison.

        I usually smoked Camel Filters. I flirted with unfiltered Camels and Pall Malls from time to time but they were a little more experience than I wanted.

        I found cold turkey brutal, but almost trivial with the patch.

        1. Different people respond to quitting “addiction” in different ways. Some can just drop it, some can never do.

          Be thankful if you’re blessed to be one of the former.

  5. Turns out one of the drivers for smoking tobacco is ADHD. I’m told it helps control the effects. I have a nephew who took up smoking specifically for this. Apparently he had problems with the various drugs that can be prescribed for it, and decided smoking was an easy way to handle it. Other relatives concur that it can help, but they had decided long ago that it wasn’t worth the several costs involved.
    Pisses me off, as I’m allergic to that drug (nicotine), and it makes socializing with him a chore.

  6. Yeah, yeah.
    Wait until everyone who smokes quits tomorrow and the government realizes the massive loss of tax revenue. That was my impetus for giving up my “bad habit”.

  7. But it worked. Nearly all cancer chemotherapy works by poisoning you and the cancer, but it kills the cancer first.

    Another treatment for syphilis was deliberate infection of the subject with malaria. The resulting high fever killed the spirochetes, while the patient usually survived. No fun, but better than dying of syphilitic dementia. The discoverer got the Nobel Prize for it.

    There are very few medical treatments which actually “do no harm” at all. But the harms they do are much less than the harms done by untreated disease or injury. For instance, suturing a wound requires pushing a needle through flesh. But the pinhole wounds of the needle may be trivial compared to the gaping gash that is closed up.

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