Mushrooms that contain psilocybin are psychoactive. This means that when you take them, they will alter how your brain functions. As a result, you may experience a loss of coordination, as well as drowsiness and hallucinations upon ingesting these mushrooms.
These psychedelic mushrooms are similar to the ones that you would typically buy in your local grocers for cooking or eating. However, they are different in the sense that they contain the psilocybin chemical. As a result, you may experience both auditory and visual hallucinations if you ingest them.
Also referred to as shrooms, magic mushrooms, and psychedelic mushrooms, mushrooms are drugs that can lead to the development of distorted thinking and hallucinations upon ingestion. You may start abusing these drugs for religious or spiritual experiences.
The active ingredient in these mushrooms is psilocybin. This substance occurs naturally and has been consumed for its hallucinogenic properties. For this reason, mushrooms are considered to be psychedelics due to the fact that they can alter thoughts, mood, and perception.
When you ingest the psilocybin component, it will be converted into psilocin by your body. This chemical will end up releasing the psychoactive effects that come with magic mushrooms.
The ingredients are found in over 75 different species of these mushrooms. Most of them are native to the subtropical and tropical areas of the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, Mexico, and South America.
That said, the potency of the mushrooms you take will vary from one strain to the other. However, most of them contain between 0.2 and 0.4 percent of the psilocybin chemical and some psilocin in trace amounts.
If you have been abusing mushrooms, you may buy them dried or fresh and ingest them orally, drink them in tea, and sprinkle them on different types of foods. On the other hand, you may crush dried mushrooms into powder form or buy them in form of capsules. Otherwise, you may inject, smoke, or sniff the resulting powder.
The effects that you will experience when you take mushrooms will vary from what someone else would feel. For instance, you may have a positive experience or a bad trip that is characterized by living nightmares and terrifying thoughts.
Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration (the DEA) classifies psychedelic mushrooms as schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act passed by the federal government. This effectively means that they have no recognized medical purpose while coming with a high risk of substance abuse and addiction. Although mushrooms are not illegal, anything containing psilocin and psilocybin is considered illegal.
Other Names for Mushrooms
On the streets, people refer to psychedelic mushrooms by a wide variety of names to avoid detection by figures in authority, such as law enforcement officials. Examples of these street names include but are not limited to:
- Hallucinogenic Mushrooms
- Little Smoke
- Magic Mushrooms
- Psychedelic Mushrooms
- Purple Passion
Signs and Symptoms of Mushrooms Addiction
Since magic mushrooms are hallucinogenic drugs, they can cause you to experience hallucinations. Further, they may lead to changes in the way that you perceive various things in your immediate environment. Over time, abusing this drug could lead to the following signs and symptoms of mushroom addiction:
- Aggressive behavior
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in perception
- Changes in reality, including seeing colors, tasting sounds, and hearing tastes
- Compulsive mushroom use in spite of the negative psychological and physical problems that they cause
- Continuing to use the drug in spite of the various social and interpersonal problems that arise from ongoing mushroom use
- Continuing to use this drug in spite of the physical and psychological detriments that are exacerbated or caused by ongoing use
- Depressed thoughts
- Engaging in illegal or unusual behaviors so that you can acquire more mushrooms
- Failing to meet some of your main obligations at work, home, or school due to ongoing psilocybin use
- Inability to cut down on use or stop using these drugs
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased euphoria
- Increased pulse rate
- Increased tolerance to the drug in mushrooms
- Needing to take mushrooms in higher amounts over the course of time before you can achieve the desired effects
- Neglecting recreational, family, social, scholastic and occupational activities that you used to enjoy so that you can use mushrooms
- Paranoid thoughts
- Spending a great deal of your time and money trying to acquire and abuse the drug
- Stealing, lying, and engaging in other antisocial activities so that you can get your hands on more mushrooms
- Strong urges or cravings for mushrooms
- Taking the drug even in hazardous situations, for instance while you are driving
- Using other mushroom types while hoping for the same effects
- Using the drug for longer time periods or more often than you originally attended
Short and Long-Term Effects of Mushrooms Abuse
When you take mushrooms, you will typically experience its effects about 30 minutes after. In general, these effects will last for around 6 hours. However, you may continue experiencing them several days after.
Mostly, mushrooms cause hallucinations. This is because they contain psilocin that will prevent some of your brain cells from properly communication. In particular, they can lead to poor communication between the parts of your brain that are charged with perception, cognition, and mood. Apart from these hallucinations, you may experience the following effects after using magic mushrooms:
- Abdominal cramps
- Adverse reactions
- Altered perception of space and time, while also meshing your memories with your present experiences
- Blurred vision
- Changes in your personality
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased heart rate
- Difficulty focusing
- Dilated pupils
- Distorted perceptions
- Dry mouth
- Elevated and euphoric mood
- Elevated blood pressure
- Enhanced perceptions of reality
- Excessive sweating
- Experiencing physical lightness
- Facial flushing
- Feeling more connected to the environment
- Feeling physically heavy
- Feeling that you are out of your body
- Feelings of floating
- Fluctuating emotions
- Heart palpitations
- Heightened awareness
- Heightened sensory experiences
- High blood pressure
- Impaired judgment
- Inability to distinguish between reality and fantasy
- Increased heart rate
- Intense spiritual experiences
- Lack of coordination
- Lightheaded feelings
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of energy
- Lowered inhibitions
- Mood swings
- Muscle relaxation
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness, particularly around the lips and tongue
- Pupil dilation
- Rapidly changing body temperature, which is accompanied by sweating and chills
- Sense of inflated happiness and well-being
- Slurred speech
- Synesthesia (or mixing up your senses)
- Trouble focusing
- Watery eyes
If you suffer a bad trip, you may experience some neurological effects. This would be because you have too much of the chemicals in mushrooms inside your brain as well as through your central nervous system. The drug could also affect the levels of serotonin - a chemical that is responsible for regulating behavior, memory, cognition, and emotions.
Some of the effects that will arise when you overdose on mushrooms include:
- Alternating agitation and severe lethargy
- Confused memories
- Depressed CNS, or central nervous system
- Elevated temperature
- Feelings of invincibility
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Harmful tendencies
- Inability to communicate properly with others
- Irrational behavior
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle spasms or jerks
- Racing thoughts
- Rapid or slow heartbeat
- Schizophrenic-like behaviors
- Shallow or slow breathing
- Suicidal tendencies
- Violent reactions
Often, this type of drug overdose will be allowed to pass without any medical treatment. However, you may be able to treat the anxiety and panic using anti-anxiety drugs. If you combined mushrooms with any other drug, your overdose might turn out to be more severe. As a result, doctors might use various treatments to try and stabilize the systems in your body so that they can prevent death or any other long term health effects.
Mushroom Withdrawal Symptoms
Since mushrooms are habit-forming in nature, they can cause you to suffer some withdrawal symptoms when you reduce your usual dose or completely stop abusing them. This is because you would have become accustomed to the pleasurable mental alterations that they cause.
As a result, you may suffer memory loss that could cause you to continue taking magic mushrooms so that you can maintain this altered mental state. Using the drug could also cause you to suffer some flashbacks, irritability, and fatigue.
Other symptoms of mushroom withdrawal include:
- Difficulty differentiating between what is real and what is not
The Best Options for Mushroom Addiction Treatment
At the moment, there are no medications that are used in the treatment of mushroom addiction. If you are struggling with this type of substance use disorder, you may however be able to benefit from both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment and rehabilitation services.