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Magic Mushrooms and Alcohol: Understanding the Risks of Mixing Them and How Psilocybin Can Help With Alcohol Use Disorder

February 5, 2024
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In a world where the exploration of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes is gaining traction, the intersection of magic mushrooms and alcohol raises important questions about potential risks and benefits. 

Can you mix magic mushrooms and alcohol? 

Can mushrooms help people with an alcohol use disorder? 

In this article, we’ll discuss the delicate balance between psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, and alcohol consumption. As we navigate the complexities of this intersection, we will unravel the potential dangers, shed light on the therapeutic promise of psilocybin, and explore its role in addressing the challenges of alcohol use disorder.

Can You Mix Alcohol and Mushrooms?

The better question is probably, “SHOULD you mix alcohol and mushrooms?”

Mixing alcohol and mushrooms is generally discouraged. The combination can intensify the effects of both substances, leading to unpredictable reactions and increasing the risk of a negative experience. The potential for increased nausea, confusion, anxiety, and impaired judgment is notable. The synergistic impact on the central nervous system may also pose safety concerns. 

It's crucial to approach the use of these substances with caution and, ideally, avoid combining them to prioritize physical and mental well-being.

How Alcohol and Mushrooms Affect the Mind and Body

The Effects of Psilocybin Mushrooms

Psilocybin mushrooms, commonly known as magic mushrooms, have profound effects on the mind and body. Psilocybin, the active compound, interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain, leading to alterations in perception, mood, and cognition.


  • Altered perception – Psilocybin may induce changes in sensory perception, often resulting in vivid visual and auditory hallucinations.
  • Mood enhancement – Users frequently report feelings of euphoria, interconnectedness, and profound emotional experiences.
  • Introspection – Psilocybin can facilitate deep self-reflection, prompting users to explore their thoughts, emotions, and life experiences.


  • Nausea – One common side effect is nausea, especially during the onset, which is attributed to the body's response to psilocybin.
  • Slightly increased heart rate – Psilocybin may temporarily elevate heart rate and blood pressure, though the effects are generally mild compared to stimulant drugs.
  • Coordination and motor skills – Users might experience mild impairment in coordination and motor skills, but it's typically less pronounced than with substances like alcohol.

Individual reactions vary, and set and setting play a crucial role in shaping the psychedelic experience. While many users describe positive outcomes, a safe and supportive environment is essential to mitigate potential adverse effects. 

Psychedelic experiences can be unpredictable, and responsible use, along with proper education, is key to maximizing potential benefits and minimizing risks.

The Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol has various effects on the mind and body, acting as a central nervous system depressant. Here are some key impacts:


  • Central nervous system depression –  Alcohol slows down brain activity, leading to a sense of relaxation and decreased inhibitions.
  • Impaired judgment – Alcohol can impair decision-making and reasoning, affecting one's ability to make sound judgments.
  • Memory impairment – Excessive alcohol consumption can result in memory lapses and blackouts.


  • Coordination and motor skills – Alcohol affects the cerebellum, leading to impaired coordination, balance, and fine motor skills.
  • Slurred speech – As a depressant, alcohol can cause slurred speech and difficulty articulating words.
  • Dehydration – Alcohol is a diuretic, increasing urine production and contributing to dehydration.
  • Nausea and vomiting – Excessive alcohol intake may cause nausea and, in severe cases, vomiting.
  • Liver damage – Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to liver damage, including conditions like cirrhosis.

Individual responses to alcohol vary, and moderation is key to minimizing potential negative effects.

Excessive alcohol consumption poses serious health risks and can lead to addiction, organ damage, and an increased likelihood of accidents or injuries. Responsible and informed drinking is crucial for maintaining overall well-being.

mushrooms and alcoholism

The Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Mushrooms

While the effects of mixing mushrooms and alcohol are not completely understood, it is generally not recommended. Mixing these two substances can have various unpredictable results and intensify effects. 

Unpredictable Results

Combining alcohol and mushrooms poses significant risks, including unpredictable results and heightened impairment. The interaction between the central nervous system depressant effects of alcohol and the hallucinogenic properties of mushrooms can lead to synergistic effects, making it challenging to anticipate how the substances will interact in each individual.

The combination can result in unpredictable psychological and physiological responses, intensifying or masking both the sedative and hallucinogenic aspects.

Increased Impairment

Alcohol impairs cognitive function, coordination, and judgment. When combined with mushrooms, these impairments can escalate, potentially leading to accidents or risky behaviors.

alcohol and magic mushrooms

Alcohol and Mushrooms: Can Mushrooms Help People With Alcohol Use Disorder?

There is emerging research suggesting that psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, may have therapeutic potential for addressing alcohol use disorder (AUD). Some studies indicate that psilocybin-assisted therapy may contribute to reduced alcohol consumption and increased rates of abstinence.

Important Studies on How Psilocybin Mushrooms Help People With Alcohol Use Disorder

A recent study by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine explored the safety and feasibility of using psilocybin in the treatment of alcohol dependence. The study suggested that psilocybin-assisted therapy might be a promising intervention, showing positive trends in reducing alcohol use.

How Mushrooms May Work To Reduce Alcohol Use

The potential mechanism by which mushrooms, specifically psilocybin-containing ones, may help reduce alcohol use is not fully understood and is an area of ongoing research. However, several hypotheses have been proposed:

Psilocybin has been suggested to enhance neuroplasticity and promote changes in brain connectivity. This could potentially help individuals break entrenched patterns of alcohol dependence.

Psilocybin experiences are often characterized by profound introspection. This self-reflective process may lead individuals to gain insights into the root causes of their alcohol use, potentially prompting behavioral changes.

Additional Treatments and Therapies To Help Those With Alcohol Use Disorder

Several additional treatments and therapies can be effective in supporting individuals with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Here are just a few effective interventions:

It's essential to tailor treatment plans to individual needs, considering factors like: 

  • The severity of alcohol dependence
  • Co-occurring mental health conditions; and 
  • Personal preferences

A comprehensive, individualized approach often yields the best outcomes in addressing Alcohol Use Disorder. Individuals seeking assistance should consult healthcare professionals to explore the most suitable treatment options for their specific circumstances.

mixing alcohol and mushrooms

Become a Facilitator With Clinical Cognitive Training and Help Clients Through Their Alcohol Use Healing Journey

As the research on mushrooms for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) continues to show promising results, more clients are searching for natural, therapeutic paths to recovery and wellness.

At Clinical Cognitive Training, we take mental health very seriously. Our training program is designed to equip our graduates with the tools needed to support clients who are experiencing anxiety and depression through their psilocybin journey.

If you think you have what it takes to become a skilled, caring, and respectful psilocybin facilitator, contact Clinical Cognitive Training today to discuss your options.

mixing alcohol and mushrooms
The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.