So, check this out: magic mushrooms seem to be on the rise in England and Wales! According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), more folks are hopping on the psychedelic train, even though the use of ecstasy and nitrous oxide is dropping.
In the last year, around one in 100 people in England and Wales tried hallucinogenic drugs. But get this—the use of magic mushrooms shot up by tens of thousands of people! While ecstasy and nitrous oxide took a dip, the mushrooms made their way into the spotlight.
Surprisingly, it’s not just the young crowd getting into this. Older adults seem to be the ones driving this psychedelic wave. The ONS figures, covering 16 to 59-year-olds, point fingers at the grown-ups for the rise in trippy experiences.
But hold up, there’s another twist. Among 16 to 24-year-olds, there’s actually been a drop in drug use overall. From 21% using within a year down to 18%—the lowest it’s been since 2014. Looks like the younger generation might be cooling off on the drug scene.
Shrooms on the Rise
Around 260,000 people between 16 and 59 took a magic mushroom trip in the last year. That’s a whopping 100,000 more compared to 2020. These funky fungi, known as shrooms, mushies, or liberties, are considered a big no-no as they fall under class A drugs in the UK. Whether they’re fresh from the fields or dried up, possessing or dealing them can get you in trouble.
The Shroom Scene
Here’s the twist—despite being illegal, you can actually get your hands on these online. Yep, they’re sold through mail orders or grow-your-own kits. Some folks even go for the DIY approach and pluck them from the wild. And guess what? This shroom surge isn’t happening in a vacuum.
There’s a whole mushroom craze going on in the cultural scene. A biologist, Merlin Sheldrake, dropped a bestseller in 2020 all about fungus, including a chapter on the trippy side of mushrooms. Even Netflix had a hit show called Fantastic Fungi.
Let’s hear from Simon, an architect in his fifties and a parent. Feeling blue despite taking antidepressants, he turned to tiny doses of dried mushrooms. He got into it through a magic mushroom group on a social app, snagged a grow-your-own kit online, and started micro-dosing.
He takes these small doses daily, even on workdays. No, it doesn’t make him see pink elephants; instead, it lifts his mood. And a bit more gets him a nice buzz, not the ‘let’s dance all night’ vibe of ecstasy. But hey, he warns that taking too much could mess with your head. He had a wild trip where trees looked like animals, and at one point, he even felt like God while chatting with his wife!
Here’s the thing about magic mushrooms—they aren’t addictive, and the biggest risk is accidentally munching on a poisonous one. But here’s the kicker: if you’re dealing with mental health stuff, these shrooms might not be your best bud.
Scientists, though, are getting all curious about the potential of psychedelics to treat depression. Some research, involving peeps from Imperial College London, found that with the right support, these mushrooms could give a serious mood boost for months.
Magic mushrooms, man. They’re making waves, and everyone’s got a story. But remember, they’re not all rainbows and butterflies—gotta tread carefully with these trippy little guys!