Consuming magic mushrooms (shrooms) and alcohol together can have unpredictable results. For this reason, doctors recommend against combining alcohol and recreational drugs such as shrooms.

Alcohol and shrooms interact because they can affect the brain in some of the same ways. Combining substances that act similarly intensifies the drugs’ effects, side effects, and potential risks.

Some people may notice that mixing alcohol and mushrooms can lessen the effect of each drug. However, it may also make it more difficult to think clearly.

Keep reading to learn more about the effects of mixing mushrooms and alcohol.

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Shrooms are mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a natural hallucinogenic and psychoactive compound. They can cause hallucinations and an inability to tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

Although people usually use shrooms recreationally, they can have adverse effects. People may experience:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • muscle weakness
  • lack of coordination
  • panic attacks
  • psychotic-like episodes

Alcohol affects the brain similarly to shrooms. Drinking too much alcohol can change a person’s mood and behavior, and it can cause people to have trouble with memory and motor control.

Although doctors generally advise against combining substances, there is limited research showing the effects of shrooms and alcohol. This means most of the effects of mixing them come from people’s reported use.

Combining alcohol and shrooms can cause unpredictable results, but experts consider it a high-risk combination. It can cause headaches, panic attacks, and nausea. Drinking alcohol while taking shrooms can also increase a person’s risk of a “bad trip,” which can include hallucinations and frightening emotions.

Some people report drinking alcohol to lower the effect of shrooms and feel less high. While they may decrease the effects of alcohol, there is limited research supporting this, and the effects can be unpredictable.

It is also unclear how much alcohol is safe in combination with shrooms. Overall, doctors do not recommend consuming alcohol while using other drugs.

Experts also advise avoiding polysubstance use, which means using more than one drug together or within a short time.

Interestingly, researchers suggest that psilocybin, the active drug in shrooms, may help people with alcohol addiction. An ongoing study is currently exploring, in a controlled setting, whether psilocybin can lower the number of heavy drinking days among people living with alcohol addiction.

The psilocybin in mushrooms may have mind-altering effects, and reality can appear distorted. Other effects of mushrooms include:

  • delusions
  • emotional swings
  • feelings of detachment from people, objects, and surroundings

Psilocybin causes hallucinations because it acts on serotonin receptors in the brain and other parts of the body. Serotonin and psilocybin can both bind to serotonin receptors, so when psilocybin is in the body, it competes with serotonin to bind to them.

These receptors are responsible for controlling our emotions and moods. They also control behavior, learning memory, appetite, and other processes.

Other psychedelics include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), mescaline, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

When combining psychedelics such as LSD with alcohol, people may also notice that the effects of alcohol are lower than usual. However, like with shrooms, these results can be unpredictable.

Researchers are also studying the benefits of using psychedelics in people with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Another study showed that using psychedelics might lower a person’s alcohol intake.

These study conditions do not reflect real-life use of alcohol and psychedelics. In controlled studies, the risk of unsafe behaviors and side effects from illicit drugs is low.

People should note that the United States classifies shrooms as an illegal drug.

With years of evidence from people’s reported use and modern scientific studies, experts confirm that shrooms have low toxicity. They also have a low risk of addiction.

However, people can overdose on shrooms. The side effects of an overdose can include:

  • longer or more intense “trip” or unpleasant episodes
  • psychosis
  • death

Another consideration is the risk of accidentally taking a poisonous mushroom when using shrooms.

The effects of mixing mushrooms and alcohol are unpredictable and may vary from person to person. The following symptoms of alcohol poisoning require immediate medical attention:

  • confusion
  • difficulty remaining awake or inability to wake up
  • vomiting
  • seizures
  • slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
  • irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • slow heart rate
  • clammy skin
  • loss of gag reflex (which prevents choking)
  • low body temperature, bluish or pale skin color

People experiencing a bad trip, or a psychologically challenging drug experience, may want to contact a doctor. A bad trip can feel like a sudden and long-lasting side effect of a drug. This may occur when taking shrooms alone or with alcohol.

During a bad trip, people can put themselves or others at risk of harm. Some may have aggressive or violent behaviors. A person who feels concerned about their well-being and the safety of others when mixing mushrooms and alcohol should seek immediate medical attention.

The effects of mixing shrooms and alcohol are unpredictable. While some people may experience a lower effect of shrooms when mixing them with alcohol, this effect is unproven. Someone can experience a bad trip when mixing drugs.

If a person experiences concerning side effects after consuming shrooms and/or alcohol, they should seek medical attention.