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Inside Oregon’s Magic Mushroom Underground

Content warning: This story addresses suicide attempts. If you or a loved one is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Tabitha Quattlebaum was sick of being sad. The 31-year-old artist and mom had tried everything—therapy, yoga, medication—to stop her suicidal thoughts, but nothing helped. Then, two years ago, she tried to kill herself for the last time.

Fed up, she found a doctor in Portland, Oregon, who grows psychedelic mushrooms and treats patients with them in underground sessions. She started microdosing—taking one-tenth of a gram, in capsule-form—every two days, followed by a larger “heroic dose” for an intense, reflective trip.

Within a week, she noticed herself changing. In two weeks, her depression had all but vanished. “It was like this cloud rolled away and I could see my own bullshit clearly,” she said, adding she’s no longer suicidal. “I truly have been transformed. I feel like I’m living proof that this works.”

On Nov. 3, Oregon could become the first state ever to legalize magic mushrooms as a mental health treatment. The legislation, Measure 109, would allow trained “facilitators” to give patients psilocybin—the hallucinogenic compound in mushrooms—and guide them in “breakthrough therapy” at licensed centers.

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