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'Shrooms' In The Media and A Must-Have Conversation

Jul 25, 2023

A blog post from Delaney Ruston, Filmmaker and Physician behind the "Screenagers" trilogy of documentaries. The full blog post suggests discussing Kristin's op-ed.

Blog piece originally published at, reproduced in part here.


In the news, podcasts, social media, and shows, there is a lot of talk about magic mushrooms, aka “shrooms,” and their potential benefits through their psychoactive component called psilocybin. For example, people talk about how consuming mushrooms can create life-changing experiences in full or microdoses. In addition, there is a lot of buzz about the important research being done to uncover potential medical applications. 

However, what concerns me is that all these media outlets often fail to address the risks of psychedelics and ways to prevent such risks.  I’ve written this blog to offer an effective way to talk to teens about these risks, knowing that such conversations can be tricky.

Parent Dilemma

As parents, when we try to discuss drugs, including psychedelics, youth often dismiss us, thinking we’re being overly dramatic, uninformed, or anxious and old-fashioned. Teens tell me that adults can sound just like the memes out there that make fun of the idea of drugs “destroying brains.” Given the many positive media messages about “shrooms” these days, youth can be especially prone to roll their eyes with discussions about risks. 

Parent Solution

To tackle this dilemma, I suggest a way to talk about psilocybin in mushrooms with kids about age 12 and up without sounding like any of the stereotypes I just mentioned...

Blog continues at

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