The Consequences of Combining Psilocybin Mushrooms with Alcohol

Mixing any type of substance, such as alcohol, opioids, hallucinogens, or psychoactive substances, can have dangerous consequences. Psilocybin mushrooms are made up of two psychoactive substances that cause a range of hallucinogenic effects that can be heightened when combined with alcohol.

What Are Psilocybin Mushrooms “Magic Mushrooms”?

Magic mushrooms, also known as “shrooms” or psilocybin mushrooms, are a group of fungi containing two psychoactive compounds, psilocin and psilocybin. When consumed, psilocin and psilocybin activate altered perceptions of reality, hallucinations, and changes in thought processes. “Shrooms” have been associated with treating mental health disorders such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, and addiction. Psilocybin is labeled a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which means it has a high potential for abuse and is not approved for medical purposes.

Psilocybin is a psychedelic drug that converts into psilocin in the body, interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain to produce mood and mind-altering effects. The most common types of psychedelics, also known as serotonergic hallucinogens, are lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and mescaline. MDMA, also referred to as “ecstasy,” is both a stimulant and psychedelic substance, producing both energizing and euphoric effects.

The side effects of shrooms often include euphoria, hallucinations, altered sense of time, anxiety, and emotional distress. Other adverse effects may cause nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, panic attacks, and psychotic-like episodes. Combining psilocybin mushrooms with alcohol can exacerbate these effects, resulting in intense or challenging experiences or “trips.”

psilocybin mushrooms

The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Psilocybin Mushrooms

Mixing magic mushrooms with alcohol can produce several potentially harmful risks and interactions, given their profound effects on the mind and body.

Increased Intoxication and Impaired Judgment

When alcohol, a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, is combined with psilocybin, a psychedelic substance, it can increase levels of intoxication. Alcohol’s effects on the brain are similar to that of magic mushrooms, altering the user’s mood and behavior. These two substances impact the central nervous system (CNS) differently. Alcohol can dim senses and lower inhibitions, while magic mushrooms provoke intense psychological effects. This heightened intoxication can impair judgment, resulting in poor decision-making, unpredictable or risky behaviors, accidents, and injuries.

Heightened Negative Effects

Combining psilocybin and alcohol can amplify the side effects of both substances. The short-term effects of alcohol typically include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Mood changes
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of coordination
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Altered focus, vision, and perception

Alcohol’s effects are similar to those of psilocybin, including feelings of euphoria, impaired judgment and thinking, loss of coordination, nausea, and altered perception and vision. Mixing these two substances can exacerbate these side effects, including heightened anxiety or paranoia, resulting in a more uncomfortable and distressing psychedelic experience.

people combining psilocybin mushrooms with alcohol

Unpredictable Psychological Reactions

Psychedelic drugs like psilocybin can have both unpredictable and intense psychological effects, including paranoia, hallucinations, and anxiety. Drinking alcohol while taking shrooms can severely impact one’s mood and emotional state, increasing the potential of a bad trip or panic attack. While psilocybin has been researched as a potential treatment for depression and anxiety, when misused and mixed with other substances, the effects can be contradictory and exacerbate these conditions.

Physical Health Concerns

Alcohol has many adverse effects on the body and overall health, including dehydration, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a weakened immune system. When psilocybin is mixed with alcohol, these effects put additional strain on the body, leading to severe health risks like high blood pressure and increased heart rate. This can be especially dangerous for individuals with existing health conditions, exacerbating heart and health issues.

Both of these substances contribute to dehydration in the body, with alcohol being a diuretic and psilocybin leading to sweating. This combination can lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which is especially detrimental for individuals in environments such as a festival or a party.

Dangerous Behaviors

Psilocybin alters the perception of reality, time, and self, while alcohol lowers inhibitions. This combination can impair judgment and logical thinking, leading to risky decisions and dangerous behaviors. Impulsive behavior while under the influence of alcohol and psychedelics can lead to unsafe practices, misjudging the severity or danger of a situation, and increased risk of accidents and injuries.

Mental Health Risks

For those with pre-existing mental health conditions, combining mind-altering substances like alcohol and psilocybin mushrooms can exacerbate psychiatric disorders. Substances may also trigger the onset of conditions like depression, anxiety, or PTSD, especially when misused and taken in high doses.

man struggling with mental health issues from alcohol abuse and psilocybin mushrooms

Addiction and Overdose Risks with Psilocybin Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms, or psilocybin mushrooms, are not commonly associated with addiction and overdose like other substances. Psilocybin has a low potential for dependence, addiction, and overdose. Psychedelic substances act on serotonin receptors in the brain, whereas opioids and alcohol directly impact the brain’s reward system. Magic mushrooms do not generate compulsive drug-seeking behavior associated with addictive substances like alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids. Less commonly, some individuals may develop a psychological habit of using shrooms for their therapeutic effects or self-exploration.

The relatively low toxicity of psilocybin mushrooms reduces the likelihood of fatal overdose risks. While the risk of a physically toxic overdose is rare, consuming a hefty dose of psilocybin can lead to severe psychological effects. These effects can include panic attacks, severe paranoia, hallucinations, and disorientation. Since magic mushrooms are illegally produced and sold, there is a high potential for contaminated products mixed with other harmful substances. Some mushrooms are poisonous and can be misidentified for psilocybin, which can result in poisoning rather than overdose.

While the risks for addiction and overdose are particularly low and uncommon with psilocybin, this does not deem it safe for use. Psilocybin is still a Schedule 1 drug that can produce dangerous, mind-altering effects, especially when combined with alcohol. Avoiding the use of psilocybin mushrooms or “magic shrooms” alongside alcohol consumption can reduce the potential for severe health risks and mental health conditions.


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  • National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2023. Psychedelic and Dissociative Drugs.
  • Drug Enforcement Administration, 2020. Drug Fact Sheet: Ecstasy/MDMA.
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  • National Institutes of Health, 2023. How psychedelic drugs may help with depression.
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