×

Magic mushrooms are the ‘safest’ illegal drug, survey finds

A global report into the habits of those taking illicit drugs found magic mushrooms to have statistical lower risk of harm compared to other substances.

The Global Drugs Survey 2017, released Wednesday, found that only 0.2 percent of those who took magic mushrooms in the last year needed emergency medical treatment. That compares to 4.8 percent of those taking methamphetamine, 1 percent of those taking cocaine and 1 percent taking LSD.

The report, which explores people's drug habits, conducted online surveys with 120,000 people across 50 countries.

Magic mushrooms
Getty Images
Magic mushrooms

"Magic mushrooms were the safest drugs to take in terms of needing to see emergency medical treatment," the report said.

"The rate is considerably lower than with LSD presumably because of intrinsic safety of magic mushrooms (the greatest risk is picking the wrong type), the smaller dosing using units (a single mushroom versus an LSD tab) and a greater understanding of how many mushrooms may constitute a typical dose for a desired effect."

However, one of the worst nations for those needing emergency medical services was the U.K, as a result of drug consumers taking cocaine and MDMA of greater purity. The report found there had been a 50 percent increase in cocaine users being admitted to A&E in the U.K. since 2015.

"This year's study shows that increased drug purity is leading to a surge in admissions to A&E departments across the U.K.," said Dr. Adam Winstock, author of the Global Drugs Survey, in a press release.

"We need to educate users about purity levels and the impact that they have on the bodies."

The aim of the Global Drug Survey is to promote honest conversations about drugs, as well as raise safety awareness.

"The government will seek to criminalize and change legislation, but that can take years," said Winstock.

"It is far easy to change the conversation than the law and having open and honest conversations around the drug-taking in the U.K. will save lives."

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.