Dr. Albert Garcia-Romeu is a research associate and a member of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Facility at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He studies the effects of psychedelic drugs on humans and focuses on psilocybin as an aid in treating addiction. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Tulane University in 2003. He earned his doctorate in transpersonal psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (Sophia University) in Palo Alto, California in 2012. His doctoral thesis explored self-transcendence, meditation, and altered states of consciousness.1
Psilocybin for Treating Tobacco Addiction
Dr. Garcia-Romeu and his colleagues including Roland Griffiths have received attention recently for their work using psilocybin for treating tobacco addiction.2–4 Their 2014 open-label pilot study used two to three moderate to high doses of psilocybin along with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for smoking cessation. The results showed substantially higher smoking abstinence rates after 6 months as compared to CBT alone or other smoking cessation medications.2
Their 12-month and long-term (16 months or more) follow-up studies showed the psilocybin effects were enduring.4 At 12 months, 67% of the study participants were smoking abstinent. Sixty percent were abstinent at the long-term follow-up. Also, at the 12-month follow-up, 86.7% said their psilocybin experiences were “…among the five most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives.” Interestingly, 60% of all the study participants had a “complete” mystical experience while on psilocybin. Their success in quitting smoking was significantly correlated with the measures of their mystical experience.3
In addition, Dr. Garcia-Romeu has researched and published work on using mindfulness meditation to help incarcerated youth5–7 and on the concept of self-transcendence.8–10
Barb is the former Editor and one of the founders of Psychedelic Science Review. Her goal is making accurate and concise psychedelic science research assessable so that researchers and private citizens can make informed decisions.
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