Psychedelics Usage Up, Especially Among Millennials and Gen Z

Psychedelics Usage Up, Especially Among Millennials and Gen Z

Psilocybin mushrooms
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

By reMind Staff —

Young adults are spurring a significant rise in psychedelics usage in the United States, according to new data from two independent sources.

When asked if they had used a hallucinogen in the last year — specifically LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline, or PCP — a record 8.1% of young Americans (aged 19-30) said yes, according to a new survey from the National Institutes of Health. That’s up from 5.1% just two years ago.

By comparison, 2.5% of older Americans (aged 35-50) said they used a psychedelic, up from 1.1% two years ago.

A different study suggests psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, is driving the growth of psychedelics consumption. According to the Brightfield Group, a marketing research firm in Chicago, about 3.3% of all American adults have used psilocybin in the last 6 months. To put that in perspective, about 3.8% have smoked a cigar in the same period.

“Psilocybin usage is especially on the rise with Millennials and Gen Z,” said Bethany Gomez, Brightfield’s managing director. “About 70% of psilocybin users are from those age groups. If you compare that to cannabis, Millennials and Gen Z represent only about 55% of those users.”

The Brightfield study, which polled 21,111 people, defined Generation Z adults as those aged 21-24 and Millennials as those aged 25-42.

The NIH survey, which polled 4,909 people, also revealed different trends among specific psychedelics. For Gen Z, the growth of LSD usage was less than other hallucinogens, rising from 3.6% to 4.3% in the past two years. While MDMA usage actually declined from 4.3% to 2.9% in the same period.



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