Brits are having ‘amazing sex’ eating magic mushrooms to get through lockdown
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While many Brits have turned to the bottle more frequently since coronavirus hit, others are using a more unusual method to battle through the unknown – gobbling magic mushrooms.
Users told the Daily Star that dosing up on psychedelics has boosted their sex lives, brought them “closer to nature” and helped them deal with the shackles of pandemic.
Others are munching the mind-altering drugs to combat the boredom of pubs and clubs being shut.
One engineer, 41, from Liverpool, has been regularly buying a product from the dark web called 4-AcO-DMT, the lesser known discovery of iconic psychedelic godfather Albert Hofmann who developed LSD.
He pays around £50 for a half gram of powder which gives him 25 doses of 20mg – working out at just £2 for a trip which lasts for around six hours.
He started ingesting the drug, known as “synthetic shrooms”, around once a week at the start of lockdown and says sex and music are “amazing” when he’s high.
He said: “I'm surprised it's not everywhere. I started taking it when the pubs shut. I was spending more time in nature and this really complements that.
“I was also spending more time indoors and I discovered sex and music are both amazing on it so that’s a bonus. It’s massively helped me.
“It’s not like a mad trip but it makes everything seem sunnier and gives me a feeling of connecting with things better. It’s helped me to reframe things in lockdown.”
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Another sales rep, 30, from Chester, has been chomping magic mushrooms on a weekly basis from her local dealer.
She said: “It is a form of escapism, there is so much sh*t in the world right now.
“I was drinking loads of wine at the start of lockdown but I actually feel way better on mushrooms.
“Life got very boring with no festivals or clubs open.
“I’ve been forced to stay at home but I feel like I’m going somewhere when I trip.
“Apart from a slight bit of nausea when I take them there is no comedown or hangover.
“I don’t think I’ll drink as much after lockdown as I did before.”
But psychedelics are not for everyone, especially the inexperienced who can be overwhelmed by the trip.
One former nurse, 34, from Wales, had never experimented with drugs before and was caught off guard.
She tried 4-AcO-DMT and said: “I think I’m too much of a worrier. It made me take my trousers off and cry. And later on, it all got a bit like when Will smokes weed in the Inbetweeners.”
The classic scene shows Will freaking out while stoned and demanding an ambulance because he's scared he's going to die.
Despite Hoffman synthesising the drug in 1963, its recreational use is fairly recent compared with many more established psychedelics.
There are only a few suppliers on the dark web but “word is spreading” and the drug is known in hippy communities.
The engineer added: “People who deal psychedelics on the dark net tend to be a lot nicer. It’s not a money-making scene. They seem to have more of a genuine interest in giving you a good experience.
“It’s the opposite of what you might get with a coke dealer or someone selling pills who will try and cut your stuff with all sorts to make a bigger profit. It’s actually pretty difficult to cut this as the doses are so small.
“It seems like more and more people are spreading the word.”
While many are self-medicating with psychedelics in their bedrooms, the UK’s top doctors are fighting an ongoing battle to explore medical uses in the lab.
They are working hard to convince the government to change the laws surrounding research into psilocybin – the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms.
It is found naturally in over 100 species of fungi and has the potential to drastically improve the lives of millions of people who are resistant to antidepressants.
But the drug is currently classified under Schedule 1 status making it extremely expensive and difficult to run trials.
Dr James Rucker is currently leading pioneering trials at King’s College London which he hopes could eventually bring the drug to the mass market.
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He tests it on volunteers in a dosing room at King’s College which is designed to be cosy and put them at ease.
Dr Rucker said: “It’s comfortable, almost living room-like but with the trappings of medicine as well. It’s designed to strike a balance between the safety of medical oversight but not feeling too clinical.”
But conducting the research is like “wading through treacle” because of the government’s red-tape.
The psychiatrist added: “Psilocybin is currently more legally restricted than medical heroin but medical heroin is much more dangerous
“From a physiological point of view psilocybin is really very innocuous. It’s a pretty safe drug, particularly when given under medically-controlled circumstances.
“When I sign a prescription for psilocybin I do not worry about it the same way that I worry with a prescription for some of the antipsychotic drugs that we routinely give people to take away.
“The scientific view does not back up Schedule 1 status.”
Dan Pryor, head of programmes at the Adam Smith think tank, has just sent a report to the Home Office backed by scores of top psychiatrists demanding the government reconsider their position.
He said: “Brits have faced months of isolation under lockdown and we’re only beginning to understand the consequences for not only our physical but also our mental health.
“Even before Covid-19, an estimated 1.2 million of us were battling against treatment-resistant depression.
“There hasn’t been a breakthrough in depression research for decades. By rescheduling psilocybin we have a chance to put Britain at the forefront of research, and change millions of lives for the better."
A Home Office spokesman said: "We need to strike the right balance between enabling legitimate research to take place in a secure environment while ensuring that harmful drugs are not misused and do not get into the hands of criminals.
“The current classification of psilocybin under Schedule 1 does not prevent research or clinical trials under a Home Office licence. There is already an established process for pharmaceutical companies to develop medicines, run clinical trials and bring them to market.”
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