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Since the 1960’s, psychedelics have shown greatly promising benefits for those
struggling with substance addictions and other compulsive behaviors.

LSD was found to help people recover from alcohol addiction in many studies during the last century, and a recent meta-analysis of that research showed statistically significant improvement. Through rigorous clinical trails, Heffter Research Institute is working to demonstrate that psilocybin may be an effective treatment for alcoholism, smoking addiction, and cocaine dependence.




Beginning in 2012, Heffter funded a successful pilot trial with psilocybin for the treatment of alcoholism at the University of New Mexico. This 10 participant study showed highly significant improvements in alcohol use and life-satisfaction after two psilocybin sessions. Currently, at New York University, Michael Bogenschutz, M.D. and his team are conducting a follow-up clinical trial of 180 patients with alcohol-specific psychotherapy for alcohol dependence and two sessions with psilocybin or placebo. The study is expected to finish in 2019 and continues to seek funding.
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Smoking Cessation

At Johns Hopkins University, Matt Johnson, Ph.D. and his team piloted a trial with 15 participants, 80% of whom remained abstinent after three sessions with psilocybin. The team is currently conducting a placebo-controlled clinical trial of 80 participants with nicotine dependence, with half receiving psilocybin and half receiving nicotine patch treatment. All subjects receive specific psychotherapy for smoking cessation and a single psilocybin session. In addition, subjects will receive fMRI neuroimaging through government funding to help understand the neurobiological changes that occur when psilocybin is administered to smokers. The study is expected to finish in 2017.
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Cocaine Dependence

At the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Peter Hendricks, Ph.D. and his team are conducting a placebo-controlled pilot study of 40 patients with cocaine dependence, with half receiving psilocybin and half an active placebo, and all will receive specific psychotherapy for cocaine dependence and fMRI neuroimaging before and after psilocybin treatment. Heffter provided seed funding for this project, which is also funded by the University.
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Cathy – Psilocybin Smoking Cessation Study

Cathy started smoking when she was about 12 years old. She describes two psilocybin sessions at Johns Hopkins decades later that led to her quitting entirely.

60 Minutes – Psychedelic Science

“60 Minutes” is on researchers experimenting with psychedelics to treat addiction, depression and anxiety

Sarah – UNM Alcohol Dependence Study

Sarah describes her experience of becoming sober from alcohol dependence with psilocybin treatment at the University of New Mexico. This is the first psychedelic treatment for alcohol dependence in about 50 years.



Below are links to the most recent articles. Click Read More to read the full articles.

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Hallucinogens Could Hold Key To Quitting Smoking

For cigarette smokers, quitting can be an incredibly challenging experience. Approximately 480,000 Americans die every year from cigarettes, making it the single largest preventable cause of disease and death in the country…

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Current Drug Abuse Reviews

At the end of last month we published the first part of a special issue on the beneficial effects of psychedelics in the treatment of addiction of the scientific journal CDAR…

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Psychedelic therapy may become available in a decade

Matthew Johnson is part of the team at the Johns Hopkins University that conducts research with psilocybin in a growing number of areas, ranging from mystical experiences to the treatment of end-of-life anxiety and addictions…

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#14Days: Psilocybin, where science meets spirituality

The future may hold a surprising new approach to treating addiction: using one mind-altering drug to stop the abuse of another…

Magic Mushrooms Help Smokers Kick Habit in Small Study

Just two or three experiences with the hallucinogenic drug known as magic mushrooms helped a dozen long-term smokers quit, succeeding in a study where numerous other approaches failed…