“I’ll take a very small dose, every three or four days,” she says, weighing out a thumbnail of powder on digital jewellery scales, purchased for their precision.
“People take well over a gram recreationally. I weigh out about 0.12g and then just swallow it, like any food. It gives me an alertness, an assurance. I move from a place of anxiety to a normal state of confidence, not overconfidence.”
Over the last 12 months, I have been hearing the same story from a small but increasing number of women. At parties and even at the school gates, they have told me about a new secret weapon that is boosting their productivity at work, improving their parenting and enhancing their relationships.
And the ‘secret weapon’? Hallucinogenic fungi.
…microdosing – taking doses of psychedelic drugs so tiny they are considered to be “subperceptual”.
In other words, says Rosie: “You don’t feel high, just… better.”
Because you’re high!
Is this really true? Well, as you’d expect, no.
…the study found no evidence of increased creativity or life satisfaction. In fact, after six weeks of microdosing, a small increase in neuroticism was noted.
Yeah, extra neuroticism is just what women like this don’t need. They have enough of their own, as Tim Newman is doggedly recording…
The study’s participants did, however, report lower levels of stress and depression. It was this that drew Rosie to try it. “I’ve done the traditional treatments,” she tells me.
“Therapy helped hugely – it got me out of a seriously bad place and to a functioning one. And for many years, I was functioning very well, outwardly. No one would have known. But inside, I was a mess.”
Antidepressants failed to work, so she stopped taking them after the birth of her second child, comforting herself with alcohol instead.
All she’s done is exchanged one crutch for another. How is it that she can’t see this?
She is scrupulously careful to keep her mushrooms far out of the reach of her pre-teen children.
“But it definitely doesn’t impair my ability to parent,” she says. “If anything, my awareness is sharpened.”
Beg to differ, sweetheart! But it’s not just mushrooms, oh no…
Chloe is 40, lives in Yorkshire and runs a business in the hospitality sector. Like Rosie, she began microdosing as a means of addressing mental health problems, after suffering “quite a serious breakdown”.
Unlike her, however, she uses LSD, cutting a tab into 16 tiny triangles – a process she acknowledges is “inexact” – and taking one of these on each microdosing day.
These women no doubt have problems. But drugs, even ‘microdoses’ aren’t the answer to them.