Magic Mushrooms Are Reportedly Helping Some People Cope Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

A Sunday report from Global News spotlights a unique way that some people are coping with the stress and anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic — magic mushrooms.

The publication spoke to Jen Burke, a member of Canada's Edmonton Hiking and Psychedelic Society who has been micro-dosing psilocin mushrooms along with approximately two dozen other members of the group. According to Burke, an increasing number of people in the group's online monthly discussions are focusing on the use of psychoactive substances like magic mushrooms.

"They come from all ages and backgrounds, people you wouldn't expect, like one woman … she's 75 years old. There's nurses that come out, like a lot of nurses, and people from different trades."
For Burke, magic mushrooms have helped her cope with the pandemic.

"There's so many people who were struggling and having a hard time with it. But I felt great," she said.

Brian Welling, an Edmonton psychologist, pointed out that the stress of the pandemic might be fueling a boom in psychedelic use due to related mental health issues.

According to the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, research on psychedelics in the 1950s and 1960s suggested promise for their use in addressing mental health issues. Although Global News said U.S. President Nixon's War on Drugs "dried up research funding and changed attitudes" toward the substances, Peter Facchini — the chief scientific officer at a company that develops psychedelic-derived medicine — claims there has been a resurgence of interest in the psychedelics even before the pandemic. Notably, Health Canada approved at least 25 applications for cancer patients to use psychedelic treatment since August of last year.

Still, a proper understanding of the risks of such drugs is important. As The Inquisitr reported, a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry highlighted the case of a man who injected magic mushrooms into his veins and ended up hospitalized after they grew inside him.

A worker cleans out the last stock of mushrooms from a fridge on July 18. 2005 in London, England.
Getty Images | Daniel Berehulak

When taking the right precautions, many people have claimed to have gained benefits from using psychedelics. In 2019, some parents were notably using magic mushrooms and LSD to help them become better with their children. Elsewhere, soldiers have used magic mushrooms to help them overcome post-traumatic stress disorder.

In Canada, magic mushrooms are still illegal to obtain, produce, or possess without a license or prescription under schedule III of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Conversely, per The Mercury News, magic mushrooms were recently decriminalized in three United States cities — Denver, Colorado, and the California cities of Oakland and Santa Cruz.