Police Seizures of Psilocybin-Containing Mushrooms Recently Increased

Significant increases reported in frequency, size of seizures across all regions of the United States

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 8, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Law enforcement seizures of shrooms, also known as magic mushrooms, increased in the United States from 2017 to 2022, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Joseph J. Palamar, Ph.D., M.P.H., from New York University in New York City, and colleagues examined national and regional trends in shrooms seizures reported to the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (2017 to 2022).

The researchers found there were 402 seizures in 2017 versus 1,396 in 2022, with the plurality occurring in the Midwest (36.0 percent), followed by the West (33.5 percent). The number of seizures increased by 368.9 percent between 2017 quarter 1 and 2022 quarter 4 (adjusted quarterly percentage change [AQPC], 7.0), with significant increases in all four regions. There was also an increase in the weight of seizures (226.0 kg in 2017 versus 844.0 kg in 2022). The greatest total weight in seizures was in the West (1,864.2 kg; 42.6 percent), followed by the South (1,831.9 kg; 41.8 percent), but there were significant increases in all four regions. During the study period, the total weight seized in the United States increased by 2,749.7 percent (AQPC, 6.2).

“Seizures of shrooms have increased, suggesting that availability may be escalating; thus, increases in prevention efforts and harm reduction education are warranted,” the authors write.

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