If you’re an especially adventurous psychonaut, you may be inclined to wash down a handful of shrooms with a cold beer, a fancy cocktail or maybe a few tequila shots. But before you combine shrooms and alcohol, it’s important that you ask yourself, can you drink on shrooms, or will that muddle the effects of shrooms? Let me and the 10 disembodied heads you’re seeing right now help you make an informed decision.
From a physical standpoint, you should be okay. “There are no immediate negative interactions,” says psilocybin researcher David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit in the division of brain sciences at Imperial College London.
However, the side effects of alcohol can double down on the side effects of shrooms, possibly resulting in an extra bad time. “Alcohol is a depressant, and psilocybin works with serotonin receptors, so there would be a bit of nausea, disorientation, confusion and potentially panic when you combine the two,” says Amanda Schendel, founder and CEO of The Buena Vida Psilocybin Retreats, adding that dehydration is another potential consequence of mixing shrooms and alcohol.
But while your body should be able to handle some light drinking on shrooms, from a spiritual standpoint, you may face more serious ramifications. “Anything you can do before a journey to have a clean, clear, open mind and heart will lead to the best-case scenario with psilocybin,” Schendel says. “When taking psilocybin, you’re truly opening yourself up to the mystical and the unknown. A prepared mindset and safe physical setting are crucial components of any journey. Alcohol can impair judgment significantly, so the feeling of safety in yourself or your group may change when there’s alcohol present.”
In the end, though, everyone reacts to shrooms differently, and people who combine shrooms and alcohol have wildly different experiences. One forum explorer says, “If you plan to drink during your adventure, then expect a party-esque sort of thing rather than some intro-/extro-spective event.” Another reports, “A few weeks ago, we had a party in the forest where I drank some [absinthe] and beers, ate around 1G of shrooms and some molly. While I was dancing I fell into a campfire. Highly recommended experience.” One other warns, “It will just dull the trip.”
If you still feel like drinking on shrooms, maybe start with the cold beer and see what the disembodied heads say from there.