Drug and Substance Abuse

Safest recreational drug? Mushrooms

A massive drug survey has labeled hallucinogenic mushrooms as the safest recreational drug in the world

A massive drug survey has labeled hallucinogenic mushrooms as the safest recreational drug in the world  (AP)

A massive drug survey has labeled hallucinogenic mushrooms as the safest recreational drug in the world—though ensuring you're consuming a psychedelic variety of fungi, rather than some poisonous version, is rather important.

This year's Global Drug Survey, with 120,000 participants in 50 countries, found that 0.2 percent of more than 12,000 people who reported taking magic mushrooms in 2016 ended up in the emergency room, per the Guardian.

That's compared to 0.6 percent of cannabis users, 1 percent of LSD and cocaine users, 1.2 percent of people who took MDMA or ecstasy, 1.3 percent of alcohol consumers, 3 percent of people who took synthetic marijuana or "spice," and nearly 5 percent of people who took methamphetamine, labeled the most dangerous recreational drug.

Drugs like LSD are more potent than magic mushrooms, so "it's easy to take too much and have an experience beyond the one you were expecting," says survey founder Adam Winstock.

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That's why users should "always take a tiny dose to start." But in the case of magic mushrooms, "death from toxicity is almost unheard of, with poisoning with more dangerous fungi being a much greater risk in terms of serious harms," Winstock says.

Magic mushrooms, with the active ingredient psilocybin, do carry risks, though. Users may experience accidental injury, confusion, disorientation, panic attacks, and negative flashbacks, reports Inverse.

Winstock adds that risk of harm increases when the drug is taken with alcohol or in "risky or unfamiliar settings." (Here's what happened when cancer patients took mushrooms.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Study Finds World's Safest Recreational Drug