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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Jun 1;130(1-3):245-8. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.11.010. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

A survey of hallucinogenic mushroom use, factors related to usage, and perceptions of use among college students.

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1
Neuroscience Program, United States. rhallock@skidmore.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recreational usage and attitudes toward psilocybin-containing hallucinogenic mushrooms among college students are seldom explored.

METHODS:

We surveyed 882 randomly selected undergraduates at Skidmore College in upstate New York and quantified whether participants had ever used psilocybin mushrooms, their attitudes toward the drug, and polydrug use.

RESULTS:

There were 409 responses and 29.5% of the sample reported psilocybin use. Among users, the mean number of times they reported using mushrooms was 3.4 (mode=1). The top factors cited that influenced their decisions to try hallucinogenic mushrooms for the first time were 'curiosity', 'to achieve a mystical experience', and 'introspection'. Users and non-users had significantly different perceptions of mushrooms: non-users were more likely to say that hallucinogenic mushrooms were addictive and had the potential for abuse than users. Users did not believe that psilocybin negatively impacts their academics, mental health, or physical health, while non-users did. Both users and non-users of psilocybin reported high life-time use of alcohol (97% vs 96%, respectively), marijuana (98% vs 73%, respectively) and tobacco (82% vs 54%, respectively). Psilocybin users were significantly more likely to use other drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, opiates, non-prescribed prescription drugs, opiates, and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) than non-users of psilocybin.

CONCLUSION:

This study uncovers important insights into hallucinogenic mushroom use by college students.

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