Forget the freakouts; mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

Forget the freakouts; mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

VicesMay 26, 2017 By Reilly Capps

Magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drug in the world, says new data from the Global Drug Survey, the world's largest survey of drugs and users. Only .2 percent of the people who shroomed last year needed medical help — that's one out of every 500 users.

Mushrooms are three times safer than the next safest drug, cannabis, which is still pretty damn safe. And shrooms are five times safer than the third safest drug, LSD. Drinkers of alcohol, note, were more likely to need medical care than users of shrooms, cannabis, LSD and even more than MDMA and cocaine.

The almost kiddie-pool level safety of mushrooms stokes hopes that they'll someday be as everywhere as marijuana ...

The recreational drug that most often ends in unwanted IVs or unpaid medical bills is meth. Synthetic cannabis is the second diciest.

The Global Drug Survey is a lens into the lives of 120,000 drug users from 50 countries — people who usually do their deeds in secret. When asked what drugs they'd taken, and what happened, the reports were mixed. Illegal drugs aren't all awesome, respondents said, but they aren't all bad, either.

Mushrooms, for one, have a big upside: they can lift fears of death, brighten sadness and, in microdoses, flow your workday.

And now there's more data that mushrooms are the Volvo of hallucinogens. Mushrooms don't dampen breath or speed up the heart rate. Unlike scary drugs like fentanyl or heroin (where a few milligrams too much is certain doom), you can eat mushrooms like Kobayashi ate hot dogs and the coroner will never be called.

Yes, crazy thoughts come. The eerie sensation that the house plant noticed your new haircut can spin you into a bad trip; 5 percent of mushroom users reported having a difficult/negative experience last year. But shroomers have bad trips far less often than users of any other common psychedelic drug. Ayahuasca drinkers, peyote users and LSD trippers all tend to have tougher times.

Bad trips can really shake someone. In a separate study, from Johns Hopkins, 7 percent of people who had a bad mushroom trip had such enduring symptoms that they sought psychological help. But most people felt just the opposite; 84 percent of people said their bad mushroom trips actually ended up benefiting them; they learned something or confronted difficult emotions. The researchers likened bad trips to something like climbing a mountain in a hailstorm — hurts worse than a mother, but afterward you feel like Hercules.

The almost kiddie-pool level safety of mushrooms stokes hopes that they'll someday be as everywhere as marijuana. Oregon activists are pushing to set the mushrooms free; in the Netherlands and Jamaica, they never really got outlawed, and so they're still used freely. Underground facilitators in America are paid hundred of dollars to hand them out safely .

Data keeps piling up. If you're looking for the next drug most likely to appear at a dispensary near you, you might've just found it.