Magic mushrooms are reported to be safer as compared to other drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and LSD.
Research also suggests that it could treat depression.
According to a report from the Global Drug Survey, magic mushrooms lead to fewer health problems as compared to cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. In the report, those who used magic mushrooms seek less medical help than those who use other drugs.
The term magic mushrooms is used for mushrooms that contain psychedelic compounds such as psilocybin and psilocin which cause hallucinations.
Out of 10,000 magic mushroom users, only 0.2 per cent sought emergency medical treatment according to the report. In comparison, the figures for drugs like meth and synthetic cannabis was 4.8 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively. In this respect magic mushrooms were the safest drug to take. Even alcohol had a higher percentage of 1.3 per cent. In addition, researchers believe that the low risk and small dose of magic mushrooms make it ‘safer’.
The use of magic mushrooms is prominent in Colombia, New Zealand, Norway and Finland where they either pick or grow their own mushroom variant.
However, he added that mixing magic mushrooms with alcohol or other substances lead to greater danger and harm. The hallucinations could worsen which may lead to increased confusion, accident and panic.
“Death from toxicity is almost unheard of with poisoning with more dangerous fungi being a much greater risk in terms of serious harms.”
– FOUNDER OF THE GLOBAL DRUG SURVEY, ADAM WINSTOCK
The ‘safest’ drug could even help patients suffering from incurable depression according to researchers from Imperial College London. In a trial conducted by the researchers, eight out of twelve patients who suffered from different levels of depression observed reduced symptoms a week after taking Class A psilocybin.
Three months later, five of the same patients were depression free. On the downside, patients are given high doses of psilocybin equivalent to several magic mushrooms. In essence the patients all got high and had a hallucinogenic trip. Psychological support was rendered to them after consuming the drug to allow them to cope with several side-effects such as confusion and anxiety.
“This isn’t a magic cure, but even so the effects at this stage do look promising.”
– LEAD SCENTIST FROM IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON, DR ROBIN CARHART HARRIS
Despite the ‘safety’ and benefits of magic mushrooms, some cases only serve to remind the dangers of any hallucinogenic drug. On May 7, 23-year-old Singaporean, Ong Chee Seng, jumped from his hotel room to his death in Bali.
Ong was hallucinating after drinking a magic mushroom concoction which he bought outside his hotel. Ong’s friend Lee Jun Yu was there during the incident and tried to hold him down when he wanted to jump. Lee failed after the victim broke free who died upon impact.
According to Singapore Police Force, the police’s efforts to stop magic mushrooms trade has been quite tricky. The drug is classified as a ‘type 1’ narcotic and is illegal. Local police are still investigating the case of Ong’s death.