Sometime in the first few weeks of 2020, Charles*, a 37-year-old psychotherapist, picked up and moved his wife and six-year-old child to a new state. A pivot of that magnitude is already stressful. Then came the pandemic. Charles entered an extended period of unemployment, and his marriage began to suffer.
But Charles was confident he could solve their problems. He asked a female friend to ship him some chocolate bars she’d started making at home when the pandemic started. One night, he and his wife sent the kiddo off to a babysitter and hung out on the porch of their new home, each breaking off no more than a half-gram’s worth of sweet goodness to gnosh on. Why so little? Not because they were concerned about putting on some pounds. The chocolate was laced with psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms.