Magic mushrooms and LSD give sustained boost in mood after recreational use, study concludes

The recreational use of psychedelic drugs can provide a sustained improvement in mood and leave users feeling closer to others even after the initial high has worn off, a study of more than 1,200 festival goers has found.

Those who had recently taken substances like LSD and magic mushrooms were more likely to report having “transformative experiences” profound enough to radically alter their moral values, which subjects associated with feelings of increased social connectedness and mental wellbeing, Yale University scientists discovered.

By surveying 1,242 UK and US festival goers over a four-year period, the researchers were able to characterise the psychological effects of the “afterglow” often documented in laboratory-based research into psychedelic experiences, publishing their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

“Our results show that people who take psychedelics ‘in the wild’ report positive experiences very similar to those observed in controlled laboratory studies,” said lead author Matthias Forstmann.

The most pronounced effects were reported by those who had used psychedelics within the past 24 hours, as opposed to within the past seven days.

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