Alcohol and Shrooms (psilocybin) Interaction: Can You Drink Alcohol with Shrooms?
Author: Thomas Roth
Last Updated: 2/01/2023
Shrooms, or magic mushrooms, are naturally occurring hallucinogens. People take shrooms to embark on hallucinogenic trips, see flashbacks, or for spiritual purposes. Shrooms are native to Mexico and Central America but some magic mushrooms are grown in the United States and other countries. Alcohol and mushrooms should not be combined because the interaction between shrooms and alcohol is dangerous.
Mushrooms that contain psilocybin are also useful in a medical setting according to recent studies. According to the Harm Reduction Journal, a 2019 study by Thomas Anderson, Rotem Petranker, and Emma Hapke found that microdosing mushrooms that contain psilocybin may help with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Shrooms continue to grow in popularity and as they enter the world of medicine understanding the effects of magic mushrooms and alcohol is essential. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about mixing shrooms and alcohol.
What are Shrooms?
Shrooms is a slang term that refers to mushrooms that contain psilocybin. Many mushrooms contain trace amounts of psilocybin but psilocybe cubensis is a type of mushroom that contains enough psilocybin to cause intoxicating effects. Psilocybe cubensis is a type of mushroom, which is a fungus that belongs to the hymenogastraceae family.
It’s also common for shrooms to be known by other street names. Examples include caps, magic mushrooms, gold caps, golden halos, and cubes. Shrooms is the most common street name for mushrooms that contain psilocybin according to a recent survey by the World Health Organization (WHO).
What are the Effects of Shrooms?
Shrooms impact the mind in several ways and the experience is unique to the individual taking shrooms. Some effects are more common than others and we’ll take you through the most notable effects of shrooms below.
- Visual hallucinations
- Auditory hallucinations
- Sensual hallucinations (hearing colors, feeling vibrations)
- Blurred vision
- Objects appear like they’re moving
There are also negative effects of shrooms. These include fear, panic, and other mood swings. Negative effects of shrooms occur due to environmental and mental factors.
Not much is known about the causes of bad trips aside from being anxious about taking shrooms or being around people you’re uncomfortable with.
How Do Shrooms Work?
When someone ingests shrooms the psilocybin is converted to psilocin over the course of 30 to 40 minutes (on average). Not much is known about what causes the hallucinations but experts at Cornell University found that it interacts with serotonin levels in the brain. Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine discovered that psilocybin activates serotonin 2a receptors in a way that reduces the amount of energy required for the brain to switch between activity states.
When shrooms interact with these receptors in the brain hallucinations occur. Hallucinations may be positive or negative depending on the person’s mental health state and environmental factors (being around someone you don’t like). The amount of shrooms someone takes determines the intensity of the hallucinations.
Microdosing shrooms works similarly but the amount of psilocybin is reduced. When reducing the amount of psilocybin users don’t hallucinate and shrooms are effective for treating depression according to several recent studies. In fact, the FDA lifted the research ban on shrooms in 2018 because psilocybin is considered a “potential breakthrough depression treatment.”
How are Shrooms Obtained?
People participating in microdosing trials may get a prescription for small doses of psilocybin. These trials are legal and active in states like Colorado. Some popular companies that research the benefits of shrooms include ATAI Life Sciences and MindMeld.
Shrooms may also be obtained through purchase from a drug dealer. Unfortunately, this is the most common way to get magic mushrooms. What makes matters worse is that dealers may carry the wrong mushrooms. Many mushrooms that look like magic mushrooms are poisonous, which leads to adverse health effects and even death.
Are Shrooms Addicting?
No, shrooms are not addicting. According to a 2018 neuropharmacology study published in Science Direct, people who take shrooms don’t exhibit patterns of addiction that are found in other drug users. The study found that the intense effects of shrooms and how quickly the body builds a tolerance are the reasons that make it non-addictive.
What are the Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Shrooms?
The most common side effects of mixing alcohol and shrooms are nausea and vomiting. However, the effects of alcohol and shrooms are hard to predict because of how unpredictable the intoxication from shrooms is. Therefore, we list some additional side effects of mixing shrooms and alcohol below.
- Stomach pain
- Panic attacks
- Increased heart rates
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of consciousness
- Feeling faint
- Increase in body temperature
- Reduction in motor skills
- Bad decision making
Side effects may also vary depending on how much shrooms are consumed and if someone is having a “bad trip.”
Bad trips are negative hallucinations that cause depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Mixing alcohol with shrooms will make the effects of a “bad trip” worse and may turn a “good trip” into a bad trip.
What are the Effects of Microdosing Shrooms and Drinking Alcohol?
Microdosing shrooms and mixing alcohol is never a good idea. The purpose of microdosing psilocybin-containing mushrooms is to help with energy levels, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. When mixing alcohol with mushrooms the benefits of microdosing are reduced because alcohol impacts similar areas of the brain. Alcohol will also make the effects of shrooms more negative and intense, so it’s not safe to microdose shrooms and consume alcohol.
What are the Reasons why Alcohol and Shrooms Should not be Combined?
Shrooms and alcohol impact similar areas of the brain. Mixing the two substances increases the risk of an overdose and increases the risk of someone having bad hallucinations. Shrooms cause hallucinations that bring pleasure or panic and consuming alcohol increases the risk of the latter.
We list some other reasons to not combine alcohol and shrooms below.
- Increases the risk of scary hallucinations
- The risk of alcohol overdose increases due to a reduction in self-awareness
- Changes in mood may result in depression or suicidal thoughts
- Mood swings
- Loss of consciousness
- Increased risk of entering a coma
These are only some of the reasons to avoid combining alcohol and shrooms. Depending on the person, other reactions may occur.
How Long After Taking Shrooms Can I Drink Alcohol?
It’s safe to consume alcohol 12 hours after consuming shrooms. Shrooms take about 30 minutes to cause intoxicating effects and the intoxication peaks after about two hours. After the peak, users slowly return to sobriety in about two or three hours. The high from shrooms may last for about 6 to 8 hours but trace amounts of psilocybin will remain in the body for up to 12 hours. It’s best to avoid any alcohol consumption if psilocybin is lingering in the body.
How Many Shrooms are Dangerous to Take with Alcohol?
As little as one 1 gram, or 10 milligrams, of shrooms, is dangerous to take with alcohol. Bigger doses of shrooms like 5 grams increase the risk of overdose from shrooms or alcohol. Microdoses of 5 milligrams may also be dangerous to take with alcohol and cause mental health problems.
Can Mixture of Alcohol and Shrooms Lead to Death?
Yes, the mixture of alcohol and shrooms can lead to death. Shrooms cause people to become less self-aware, which may lead to someone drinking more alcohol than they think. Drinking too much alcohol will lead to alcohol poisoning, which is fatal. Alcohol also impacts decision-making, which may alter the way someone behaves on shrooms. Therefore, someone may cause harm to themselves or others when mixing alcohol and shrooms.
What Other Drugs are Dangerous to Take with Alcohol?
Several drugs are dangerous to take with alcohol. Drugs are dangerous with alcohol because negative interactions between the substances may occur. Furthermore, some drugs may increase the risk of overdosing when drinking alcohol. Alcohol may even reduce the effectiveness of some medications.
Below we list the other dangerous drugs to take with alcohol.
These are only some of the drugs that are dangerous to mix with alcohol. Always consult with your doctor before mixing drugs or medications with alcohol.