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Magic Mushroom Use

NCJ Number
Substance Use & Misuse Volume: 43 Issue: 1 Dated: 2008 Pages: 55-71
Sarah C.E. Riley; Graham Blackman
Date Published
17 pages
A questionnaire on magic mushroom use was completed by 174 respondents living in Edinburgh and Bristol (United Kingdom) in 2004, a year in which the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms was not illegal in the United Kingdom.
Most respondents were in their 20s, were White-British, and were students or employed; 64 percent were male. Nearly half of the respondents reported infrequent but intense consumption of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Forty-seven percent consumed the mushrooms 4-12 times a year, with the average consumption at one sitting being 12 g, a high dose. In describing their experiences under the influence of the hallucinogen, 41-74 percent described hallucinations, laughing, and altered perspectives; 49 percent described feeling closer to nature. Negative experiences reported included paranoia (35 percent of respondents) and anxiety (32 percent of respondents). The mushroom users considered themselves to be part of a wider recreational drug and alcohol culture. The questionnaire was administered in May 2004 at two shops in Bristol (England) that sold magic mushrooms and the Crew2000 drugs information drop-in center in Edinburgh (Scotland), which is located opposite several shops that sold mushrooms. The questionnaire was designed to provide indepth information on patterns of magic mushroom use. Four focus groups were also convened, two in Edinburgh in a private meeting room at the Crew2000 center and two in Bristol at participants' homes. 3 tables, 2 figures, 29 references, and appended example of a negative experience from focus group four