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Only 0.2 percent of mushroom users sought emergency treatment in the past year.
Magic mushrooms, or psilocybins, have gotten plenty of recent attention for their potential to treat people suffering from depression and anxiety. But a new extensive report released by a London-based research company suggests they’re also the safest drug to take no matter what the occasion.
On Wednesday, the Global Drug Survey published its 2017 report, compiled from polling nearly 120,000 admitted recreational drug users in over 25 countries. Some of its many findings included that 60 percent had used cannabis in the past year and that more people are starting to buy their drugs over the dark net. They also found that magic mushroom users were the least likely to seek emergency treatment afterward compared to any other drug, including alcohol.
Only 0.2 percent out of a total 12,000 mushroom users sought emergency care in the past year, compared to nearly 5 percent of meth users, 3.2 percent of synthetic pot users, and 1.3 percent of drinkers.
“Magic mushrooms are one of the safest drugs in the world,” report author and co-founder of the Global Drug Survey Adam Winstock, an addiction psychiatrist, told the Guardian. Rather than overdosing on magic mushrooms, he added, users have more to worry from mistakenly ingesting actually toxic fungi, like those that produce aflatoxin.
While there’s no known lethal dose that can kill someone taking psilocybins or other psychedelic drugs like LSD, they’re not entirely harmless, especially if taken with other drugs.
“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,” Winstock explained.
Given that the movement to embrace these trippy drugs as psychiatric treatments has only grown in recent years, thanks to encouraging, if small, clinical trials, the authors believe it’s high time for governments to rethink their drug enforcement policies.
“Drug laws need to balance the positives and problems they can create in society and well crafted laws should nudge people to find the right balance for themselves,” said Winstock. “People don’t tend to abuse psychedelics, they don’t get dependent, they don’t rot every organ from head to toe, and many would cite their impact upon their life as profound and positive. But you need to know how to use them.”
This story originally appeared on Vocativ and has been republished with permission.