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Mushroom Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

Medically reviewed by

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

February 15, 2019

Psilocybin Mushrooms are psychedelic drugs that can cause the user to experience intense hallucinations. The use of this drug is extremely unsafe and can cause several adverse health effects including death.

What Are Psilocybin Mushrooms?

Perhaps, it is the allure of the unknown, the mystical, the world of dreams and visions that have justified using hallucinogens, whether it’s sacred rituals, or during gatherings of more recent times. One of several ‘psychedelic’ products of mother nature is the psilocybin mushroom, which has toxic, and addictive properties.

To some, the ‘magic’ effects of psilocybin mushrooms may not be considered harmful. Yet according to noted mushroom toxicologist, Dr. Donald Simons, “a toxin is anything that disrupts physiological processes in humans… whether or not a person eats a mushroom to achieve the desired result is irrelevant.” The quest for a toxic, hallucinogenic mushroom experience, may provide a favorable outcome, but it may provide the opposite effect, an irreversible consequence, or even death.

Many factors must occur in order to achieve a good trip, even if one is present or missing, there are health risks, and physical and mental responses to psilocybin and ‘psilocin’ (responsible for the psychedelic effects), which are dangerous and can be life-threatening. Psilocybin mushrooms are within the genera Psilocybe, within which exist 144 species (according to Gaston Guzman, who increased his previous estimate of 116, in 2000, to 28 more species, in 2005), psilocybe cubensis being the most common in subtropical areas, and on the black market.

The majority of hallucinogenic mushrooms are found in Mexico (53), with the remainder distributed throughout the US and Canada (22), Europe (16), Asia (15), Africa (4), and Australia with proximate islands (19). Generally, mushrooms containing psilocybin are gilled, have dark spores, and usually grow meadows and forests of tropics and subtropics, in humus soils, rich in plant debris, often near animal dung. They are relatively small and inconspicuous, and when picked or handled, the stems turn blue, hence the name “blue legs” for, at least, one species. However, identification of particular ‘safe’ Psilocybe mushroom varieties is difficult, even for trained scientists, and often, the amateur may easily choose a different mushroom, the wrong species, and if ingested, become severely poisoned. Of all the dangers associated with ‘magic mushroom’ use, the outcome of this one factor is the most tragic, often resulting in death.

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Usually taken orally, mushrooms can be fresh or dried, ground (put in capsules), or made into a tea, or combined with other foods (hides bitterness), and many would advocate using only ‘cultivated’ psychedelic mushrooms, thus removing the chance that deadly, poisonous ones are present, or possibly a part of a mix. The psilocybin in fresh mushrooms is less stable than that in dried ones, and will nearly disappear after only a month, whereas, the latter will retain potency for months, even years.

The actual amount of ‘hallucinogenic compound’ ingested compared to the number of ‘mushrooms’ in whatever form or species utilized is often very difficult to determine, creating another compromising factor for recreational users. This anomaly coupled with the variability of an individual’s metabolism and brain chemistry can often lead to potential overdose – some users may be extremely sensitive to the psilocybin, while others are more tolerant, thus the threshold for a ‘desired effect,’ is quite different in each case, as are the side effects. The onset of “psychedelic trip” may be different for each person using (usually beginning in 10 – 40 minutes), and when combined with ‘impatience’, a user may take more than is really needed creating another scenario for overdose. A typical physical response to initial ingestion of this type of mushroom may include nausea and vomiting, which is from the mushroom itself, not the active hallucinogen.

Short-Term Effects

Psychedelic substances like those found in magic mushrooms, mescaline, or LSD, produce effects that are subjectively based, differing because of an individual’s physiology, as discussed above, but also, because of his or her ‘state of mind,’ combined with, a ‘setting,’ (environment) where the user will take the mind-altering journey. The effects of psilocybin can last between 2 and 8 hours, and for many, it may seem much longer – minutes seems like hours, as the drug affects time perception (a function of prefrontal cortex). Changes to the senses during a psychedelic episode may include intriguing ‘light’ phenomena such as halos, auras, contrasting colors, rippling, shimmering surfaces, morphing shapes, shifting colors, increased aural clarity to music and sounds. Feelings of euphoria, joy, and giddiness, or in contrast, disorientation, lethargy, and sadness may take place, and with higher doses more intense affective responses may occur such as greater introspection, regression to primitive, childlike thinking, and ability to access vividly, memory traces with deeper emotional connection – open-eyed hallucinations are common, and can be very detailed, but not usually confused with what is real.

Persons who have better ‘trips’ have usually done so with friends, or others with whom and where they are comfortable, and are engaged in the event without unpleasant feelings, trepidation, or anxiety. The optimal outcome can also be the reverse – a ‘bad trip’ for those who are unfamiliar with the activity, surroundings or company, nervous, fearful, or in a depressed emotional or physical state beforehand. Some research suggests, that the damage to body organs is minimal, and reactions from ‘bad trips’ are most often indirect, such as erratic, dangerous behaviors, sometimes involving homicidal or suicidal attempts, violence, and aggression. Many ‘trippers’ experience panic attacks afterwards, and for some, hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), occurs – ‘flashbacks’ of the visual disturbances created by the drug as a continual presence long after the ‘trip’ had ended.

Tolerance to psilocybin increases and dissipates rather quickly, and ingesting more, more often, to achieve desired effects actually diminishes its effect. Familiar users of mushrooms may enhance the drug’s effect by consuming alcohol, takings MAOI’s (anti-depressant), or smoke cigarettes; often adverse side effects occur when alcohol or other drugs have become a part of the ‘trip’ mix.

Short-term effects for small – moderate doses:

  • mental and physical relaxation
  • tiredness
  • distorted sight, sound, touch, taste, hearing
  • paranoia
  • anxiety, nervousness
  • increased heart rate, blood pressure, breathing
  • sense of separation from surroundings
  • feeling of physical heaviness, or lightness, tingling
  • hyper/hypo tension
  • general instability
  • dilated pupils

Short-term effects for higher doses, potential overdose:

  • nausea
  • anxiety
  • dizziness or light-headedness
  • facial flushing
  • sweating or shivering
  • numbness of lips, tongue or mouth
  • sense of being separate from one’s body
  • altered perceptions, similar to effects of LSD

Consequences of taking using hallucinogens, like ‘magic mushrooms,’ may not be so magical; maintaining a psilocybin habit of use is toxic to the body and can alter the mind and emotions, requiring specialized treatment in rehabilitation. Substance abuse involving mushrooms, often includes other drugs or alcohol, and users or addicts may not realize the dangers or health risks which are associated over long-term use. It is imperative that inpatient treatment is sought, which will help an individual detox from the drug.

If you or a loved one suffer from addition to psilocybin mushrooms contact us to find a rehab that meets your personal needs.

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