New study finds magic mushrooms to be the 'safest of all recreational drugs'

According to this year's Global Drug Survey, magic mushrooms are the safest of all drugs people use recreationally.

Less than one percent of more than 12,000 people who reported taking psilocybin hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2016 said they were in need of emergency medical treatment, according to the survey. That's five times lower than rates recorded of emergency medical treatment for MDMA, LSD, cocaine and alcohol.

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"Magic mushrooms are one of the safest drugs in the world," Adam Winstock, a consultant addiction psychiatrist and founder of the Global Drug Survey, told the Guardian. But he also added that the drug can still be a risk for users and has been linked to panic attacks and confusion.

"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 said.

However, Winstock points out that the main danger with using shrooms is picking the wrong one.

Death from toxicity is almost unheard of in cases of magic mushrooms, with poisoning from more potent fungi being a much greater risk in terms of serious harm, according to Winstock. But while there have been serious cases involving mushrooms, magic mushrooms have been shown in clinical trials to treat anxiety, severe depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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The report also found synthetic cannabis to be one of the riskiest drugs for recreational use.

More than one in 30 synthetic cannabis users sought emergency medical treatment, which is the highest of all of the drugs examined in the survey -- with the exception of crystal methamphetamine, which rises to 1 out of ten users who take a minimum of 50 doses of the drug per year.

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