Young Adult ‘Magic’ Mushroom Use Nearly Doubles in 3 Years

Psychedelic Mushrooms
James MacDonald/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The use of “magic” mushrooms by young adults has nearly doubled in three years along with other hallucinogenic drugs.

A recent article published this month in the journal Addiction found that roughly 6.6 percent of young adults in 2021 (aged 19 to 30) used hallucinogenic drugs other than LSD, up from 3.4 percent in 2018. Psilocybin, a.k.a. “magic” mushrooms, stood chief among the hallucinogenic drugs used other than LSD. Roughly eight percent of young adults used some kind of hallucinogenic drug in 2021. Men experiment with such drugs at a higher rate than women. Per the Hill:

Public health officials face a growing societal disconnect over the risks and rewards of recreational drugs. Both marijuana and hallucinogens registered historic highs in young-adult use in 2021, according to federal data.

Therapeutic use of psychedelics remains rare. Most young adults who take hallucinogens are engaging in youthful experimentation, not unlike their baby-boomer forebears in the Woodstock era. And those experiments are not without risk.

Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said drug users should be worried about a “bad trip,” which can possibly result in suicide.

The Associated Press

A vendor bags psilocybin mushrooms at a cannabis marketplace on May 24, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Megan Patrick, a study co-author and co-principal investigator of Monitoring the Future at the University of Michigan, said the increase in hallucinogenic drugs raises potential public health concerns.

“It’s really difficult to explain these trends,” she said. “We have some guesses, but we don’t really know yet.”

The report comes over a year after a U.K. study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry showed people who use cannabis with a THC potency above five to ten milligrams per gram have a higher risk of addiction and mental health problems. Study co-author Tom Freeman, director of the addiction and mental health group at the U.K.’s University of Bath, told CNN in an email at the time that high-potency cannabis users have a “four-fold increased risk of addiction” over low-potency cannabis users.

“A report by the United Nations found that in the past two decades, the proportion of people seeking treatment for cannabis addiction has risen in all world regions apart from Africa,” he said.

The Associated Press

In this April 20, 2016, file photo, a man smokes a marijuana joint at a party celebrating weed in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

In 2022, a study found that roughly three in ten people in the United States have been diagnosed with cannabis addiction, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Likewise, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction found a 76 percent increase in treatment for marijuana addiction over the past decade.

Paul Roland Bois joined Breitbart News in 2021. He also directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed on TubiGoogle PlayYouTube Movies, or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms. 


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.