Psilocybin Surge

in Culture

A new study based on data collected by law enforcement agencies suggests the availability of illicit psilocybin mushrooms in the U.S. has risen significantly compared to prior years. This uptick in psilocybin seizures suggests that the mushrooms are now easier to find on the street.

Researchers at New York University (NYU) uncovered a rapidly growing trend suggesting more Americans have access to psilocybin mushrooms, as the list of potential medical benefits grows. Published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the study analyzed 4,526 psilocybin seizure reports from 2017 to 2022, and categorized the annual number of confiscations and weight of seized shrooms per state. The study shows that law enforcement seizures of psilocybin mushrooms in the U.S. skyrocketed from 402 seizures in 2017 to 1,396 in 2022. The total weight of psilocybin mushrooms seized also increased by 2,749%, from 226 kilograms (498 pounds) in 2017 to 844 kilograms (1,860 pounds) in 2022.

Drug seizures by law enforcement are also what the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration uses to determine drug availability. The researchers noted that this data does not paint a clear picture of the exact amount of psilocybin in America, given all of the people who elude the police or go undetected.

Confiscations of psilocybin are up in nearly every region of the country that was analyzed. Researchers found “significant increases” of psilocybin seizures in all four regions—the Northeast, West, South, and Midwest regions of the U.S., and shrooms are particularly growing in popularity on the West Coast.

“We found that the number of shroom seizures and the total weight of shrooms seized annually increased through 2022, and the greatest weight of shrooms seized was in the West,” Joseph J. Palamar told High Times in an email.

Palamar, a co-author of the study, is an associate professor at the Department of Population Health at NYU’s Langone Health …

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Author: Benjamin M. Adams / High Times

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