How magic mushrooms helped Kiwi man beat alcoholism and save his relationship

A former alcoholic says using psychedelic drugs helped save his relationship and that others should be allowed to use magic mushrooms in microdoses to alleviate depression and anxiety. 

Zach, 35, told Patrick Gower he discovered psilocybin (magic mushrooms) while living in Canada with his then-partner Theresa - and it was a life-changer.

As part of the documentary Patrick Gower On All The Drugs, available now to watch on ThreeNow, Zach revealed he'd been given an ultimatum to turn his life around.

"It started six years ago when I had big problems with drugs and drinking. The drugs were only hurting me, primarily [but] the drinking was hurting everybody around me. I was nasty, I wouldn't say nice things, I'd throw shit around the house," he said.

"I wasn't a nice person. I was given an ultimatum from my now wife that I needed to knock the drinking on the head and honestly, I didn't think I'd be able to keep to it.

"I found mushrooms."

Zach said taking a big dose recreationally had had a surprising effect on him.

"I had flashbacks of every single time I'd been drunk, everything I'd done wrong and everything that had gone wrong from drinking," he said.

"Lost memories, lost moments and I knew from that moment forth, I'd never drink again. It was the kick up the arse that I needed.

"Myself personally, I am safer to society and myself with psilocybin rather than alcohol."

Zach's partner Theresa says the mushrooms have unlocked the person "he was always supposed to be".

"They have definitely helped him. You can't just say 'Hey psilocybin cured him'. Psilocybin helped him realise who he was.

"I've got the man that I've always wanted thanks to the mushrooms, really."

Zach also believes microdosing with magic mushrooms could help his sister Michaela's mental health issues.

Speaking to Gower from Seattle in the US where she now lives, Michaela said psilocybin had worked for her where prescription drugs had failed.

"I was pretty much ready to give up the fight, and that is when psilocybin came into my life. In saving his life, he's saved mine," she said.

Magic mushroom use in Seattle has been decriminalised, so Michaela and her partner regularly microdose with the psychedelic, baking it into foods or taking small doses to help with daily life.

"When I microdose, I don't have any sort of trip, or affected state at all. After about two months of microdosing, it alleviated a lot of my anxiety, my dissociation, my depression and my PTSD," she said. 

"Because of the psilocybin, I didn't have to go back on the pharmaceuticals, I managed to wean myself off the last pharmaceuticals I was entirely addicted to and they were doing nothing for me."