Drug and alcohol information for PDHPE students

This guide takes you to key eresources, books and information about drugs and alcohol for PDHPE students.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available

Magic mushrooms and other natural hallucinogens

Magic mushrooms & other natural hallucinogens

Many hallucinogens occur naturally, including psilocybin ('magic mushrooms'), DMT (dimethyltryptamine), datura and mescaline (from the peyote cactus).

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical found in some kinds of mushrooms. It belongs to the same chemical family as LSD, so its effects are quite similar. While the psilocybin mushroom is native to Mexico, other kinds of magic mushroom grow in other parts of the world and there are several species growing wild in Australia.

It is dangerous to pick and eat wild mushrooms because it is difficult to distinguish edible mushrooms from their poisonous lookalikes. Poisonous mushrooms can cause stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea, while some can cause permanent liver damage, respiratory failure, unconsciousness and even death. Symptoms can take up to 40 hours to develop.

DMT is a powerful hallucinogenic drug found in certain plants in the West Indies and South America. Its chemical structure is very similar to that of psilocybin. In Australia, most DMT bought on the street is synthetic. It can, however, be found in the bark of a number of commonly occurring trees as well as a number of other plants. In its pure form it is a crystal, though on the street it is usually found in powder form.

Read more about magic mushrooms and other natural hallucinogens here.


Drug facts

Use the following websites to find information about specific drugs, including their long and short term effects, how they are used, legal status and information on mixing drugs.

Journal articles

Journal articles are a good source of explanations and discussions of drug and alcohol issues.  There are several eresources with links to journal articles available in the State Library.

A quick guide to drugs and alcohol

Further information from Drug Info

Visit the Drug Info website for free drug and alcohol information for the community of NSW. Drug Info is a partnership between NSW Ministry of Health and the State Library of NSW.