Photo: Odyssey Online

Are Mushrooms the Safest Drug?


According to respondents of the recent Global Drug Survey, magic mushrooms are not only fun, they are also safe as hell. The 12,000 people from 50 different countries who were asked about their drug usage had the least negative experiences with shrooms.

The survey found that only 0.2 percent of the participants who took shrooms needed medical attention afterwards. Based on their reported experiences, drugs like MDMA, LSD and cocaine required five times as much medical attention.

Adam Winstock, a consultant addiction psychiatrist and founder of the Global Drug Survey, said, “Death from toxicity is almost unheard of with poisoning with more dangerous fungi being a much greater risk in terms of serious harms.”

Although Winstock did note that when mixing shrooms with other drugs, the effects might not be so peachy: “Combined use with alcohol and use within risky or unfamiliar settings increase the risks of harm most commonly accidental injury, panic and short lived confusion, disorientation and fears of losing one’s mind.”

But maybe that’s not such a bad thing? Even those who have had bad experiences with mushrooms are slightly glad they did, according to research by Roland Griffiths and Robert Jesse at Johns Hopkins Medicine. They surveyed 2,000 people about their worst experience with magic mushrooms and found that of the 2.7 percent who received medical help, 7.6 percent needed treatment because of psychological symptoms. But out of all of those who said they had a bad trip, 84 percent said it was still beneficial.

“When we look back on challenging life events we wouldn’t choose, like a bout with a major disease, a harrowing experience while rock-climbing, or a painful divorce, sometimes we feel later that the difficult experience made us notably stronger or wiser. We might even come to value what happened,” said Griffiths when asked about the paper.

In another study conducted in 2010 by Lancet, the finding showed that alcohol was more dangerous than crack and heroin, and that mushrooms was the safest out of all the drugs. Numerous other studies have found that there are other benefits to psychedelic mushrooms.

So, what are your plans for Memorial Day Weekend?

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