Psilocybin is considered to have extremely low toxicity, and cases of death have been extremely rare. But beginning in the 1960s and continuing today, sensationalized media coverage of psychedelic-related deaths misattributed the role of psychedelics like psilocybin in causing suicide or accidental death.

Recent results from epidemiological studies have actually shown lower rates of mental health disorders and suicide among people who have used psychedelics like psilocybin.

The risks from psilocybin are dependent on set and setting and differ from other types of drugs, including alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opiates, which produce relatively predictable physical and psychological effects. The consequences of negative or challenging experiences can be minimized by education and awareness of psilocybin’s effects, with particular attention paid to issues around set and setting prior to the experience.

See the fact sheet for more information and sources.