GDS 2017 and the Media: Cocaine, MDMA, and Mushrooms

The Global Drug Survey 2017 brought some results that the internet found more interesting than others. For instance, some mainstream media outlets—even those without prior knowledge of the Global Drug Survey—wrote about the study’s findings on mushrooms. Another one, changes in MDMA’s average purity interested not the media, but even some of the core research team behind GDS.

As mentioned above, mushrooms captured the attention of even the mainstream media. And just to clarify, “mushrooms” is in reference to “magic mushrooms” or simply mushrooms containing psilocybin, the prodrug responsible for the associated “trip.” GDS 2017 showed that, over the last 12-months, only 0.2% of people who used psilocybin sought emergency treatment. For comparison, almost every drug covered by the survey hit 1%, and methamphetamine reached 4.8%.

Perhaps the greatest risk with mushrooms comes with picking or ingesting an incorrect mushroom by mistake. There are numerous safe mushrooms, psychedelic or otherwise. Researchers have discovered roughly 200 species of mushrooms containing psilocybin within several genera. But toxic mushrooms are not uncommon. One genus in particular, the Galerina, is most known for looking much like the psychedelic mushrooms in the Psilocybe genus and perhaps poses the

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