What Are Psilocybin Mushrooms?
Psilocybin Mushrooms, also called Magic Mushrooms or Shrooms, are Hallucinogenic mushrooms containing the chemical Psilocybin. Magic Mushrooms are popular for their Psychedelic effects, often creating a mind-altering experience in the user. Traditionally used in indigenous communities to connect to the spirit world, Magic Mushrooms gained popularity in the 1960s throughout the hippie movement. They are also commonly abused at music festivals today.
Illegal since the 1970s, the Psychedelic fungi can be eaten either fresh or dried and can also be brewed in tea. Mushrooms containing Psilocybin can also be baked into foods such as cake and eaten. Psilocybin Mushrooms may also be dried and crushed into a powder that can be injected, snorted, or put into capsules and swallowed, although this method of use is rare. (It is extremely dangerous to inject Psilcocybin powder, and the results can be fatal.) Users generally begin to feel the effects between 20 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion; the effects typically last 3 to 6 hours and can include anxiety, restlessness, chills, and euphoria. In some instances, the effects of mushrooms can last up to 3 days. Changes in the perception of time and feelings of relaxation can tempt people into misusing the mushroom.
Common Side Effects Of Psilocybin Mushrooms
Generally, Psilocybin Mushroom abuse is not as life-threatening as with other drugs like Opioids or Stimulants; however, users can experience mushroom poisoning. Other side effects of Psilocybin Mushrooms include:
- Dry mouth
- Increased heart rate
- Feelings of floating
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Lowered inhibitions
- Synesthesia (mixing up senses)
- Altered perception
- Unpredictable hallucinations
- Muscle spasms
- Elevated, euphoric mood
- Sense of inflated well-being
- Enhanced perception of reality
- Elevated blood pressure
- Excessive sweating
Continued use of Magic Mushrooms can create long-term psychosis. Research by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has found that even one strong dose of Psilocybin Mushrooms can alter a person’s personality for more than a year, and perhaps permanently.
Psilocybin Mushroom Addiction
There is a debate over whether or not Magic Mushrooms are addictive. Like any substance, someone can become dependent for different reasons. The more someone uses, the more they may begin to crave the substance. In some cases, individuals may prefer to combine Psilocybin Mushrooms with another substance (like LSD) for a difference effect. For this reason, people are more likely to become psychologically addicted to Psilocybin Mushrooms than physically addicted.
The severity of dependency or addiction often depends on the number of mushrooms someone consumes. People curious about mushrooms can become dependent because of the mind-altering effects and the unpredictability of good or bad “trips.” Someone increasing their frequency of Psilocybin Mushroom use may isolate themselves to use, start using in combination with other drugs, or show an increased tolerance. The next step may be to contact a treatment professional for rehab, or family members may need to hold an intervention.
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Psilocybin Mushroom Withdrawal
Not only can someone abusing Magic Mushrooms become accustomed to the altered state of mind that they bring, the user can also begin to have trouble living in the “real world.” They may have memory loss and continue using Psilocybin Mushrooms to maintain their altered state. Some users suffer from flashbacks from the Hallucinogenic drug, fatigue, and irritability. Users going through withdrawal may experience confusion and difficulty determining reality from imagination.
Psilocybin Mushroom Treatment
Treatment is needed if someone clings to the drug so much they become out of touch with reality. One of the best ways to beat a Psilocybin Mushroom dependency is to stop eating them. Because the drug is not as powerfully addictive as many other substances, individuals with Psilocybin Mushroom dependencies have a greater chance of attaining abstinence from use.
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If someone has combined Psilocybin Mushrooms with other substances like alcohol, Benzodiazepines, Stimulants, or Opioids, detox services may be beneficial. Detox can help the person using multiple drugs prevent further addiction to other substances before the problem gets worse. Detox would include medication to soothe the symptoms of withdrawal while the body cleanses itself of harmful substances. Contact a treatment provider to explore treatment options.