Magic Mushrooms on the Rise: What’s Up with Drug Use?

4 min read

More Tripping on Shrooms, Less Ecstasy

Okay, so here’s the deal: in England and Wales, there’s been a spike in people gobbling up magic mushrooms. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says about 1 in 100 folks in these parts had their fair share of hallucinogens in the past year. And get this—while more people are diving into the magical world of shrooms, fewer are partying it up with ecstasy or nitrous oxide.

Shifting Trends in Drug Use

It seems like the older crowd is the one boosting the numbers when it comes to trippy experiences. The ONS yearly report on drug habits among 16 to 59-year-olds spills the beans on this. But here’s the twist: among the younger lot—those aged 16 to 24—drug use of all kinds actually went down from 21% to 18% in the last year. Seems like they’re toning it down a bit.

Shroom Surge: What’s the Scoop?

Numbers say around 260,000 people between 16 and 59 got their hands on magic mushrooms last year. That’s a whopping 100,000 more than back in 2020. Now, here’s the tricky part—these funky fungi are considered a Class A drug in the UK. That means if you’re caught with them, you’re in hot water, regardless of whether they’re fresh from a field or dried up.

But guess what? You can snag these babies online, delivered straight to your door in grow-your-own kits. And loads of people prefer to pluck them from the wild for their personal trips. Seems like the interest in these mushrooms is sky-high, especially with all the hype around mushrooms lately. A biologist wrote a bestseller on fungi’s cool properties, and Netflix had a hit show called Fantastic Fungi. Mushrooms are having their moment!

Real Stories: Meet Simon

Here’s Simon’s story. He’s in his fifties, an architect, and a parent. Last year, he ditched his antidepressants for small doses of dried mushrooms. He got into this after feeling like the meds weren’t doing much for his long-term blues. So, he started micro-dosing, taking small amounts daily, even on workdays. It didn’t make him see unicorns or anything, but it sure brightened his mood.

He swears by it: “It’s like remembering what happy feels like.” And if he takes a bit more, he gets a nice tingle, not like the wild ‘I love you’ vibe you get from ecstasy. He’s pretty convinced that older folks dig these shrooms because they’re more about chilling and contemplating life rather than being party fuel.

The Ups and Downs of Tripping

Now, Simon’s got a warning: going overboard with the doses can mess with your head. Once, he took a trip that felt like falling down an “existential rabbit hole.” He started seeing trees as animals, and when he shut his eyes, it was like a Beatles album cover. He even dropped the bomb on his wife, saying, “I think I might be God.” Yeah, that’s intense.

Here’s the lowdown from Frank, the drug advice guru: these mushrooms aren’t addictive, but watch out for accidentally munching on a poisonous one. And hey, if you’ve got mental health stuff going on, shrooms might make it worse. Heads up!

Beyond the Trip: Science and Shrooms

But wait, there’s more! Scientists are all hyped about the possible perks of psychedelic drugs for treating depression. Some recent study, with the brains from Imperial College London involved, found that when mixed with some mental support, these drugs can lift up moods real quick for folks battling depression. And the kicker? This boost can last for months. Fascinating, right?

So, there you have it—a mushroom boom, a twist in drug habits among different age groups, and scientists peeking into the potential benefits of trippy trips. Seems like shrooms are more than just a fun ride!

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