In Family Resources, Personal Resources

Although mushrooms can be a delicious addition to a dish, not every mushroom is safe for your chicken marsala.

Some mushrooms are poisonous and evenly deadly if consumed. Some mushrooms also have psychedelic effects and are consumed with the intention of getting high. You may have heard about some people from your college or high school who have tried them. You may even be curious about these magic mushroom effects yourself, but before you let your curiosity get the best of you, our PA inpatient drug treatment center is sharing all of the mushroom side effects, you need to be aware of.

What Are Shrooms?

Shrooms are a nickname for a group of mushrooms that contain psilocybin and psilocin that are abused for their psychedelic and hallucinogenic effects. These psilocybin mushrooms are also sometimes called magic mushrooms or psychedelic mushrooms. Naturally, these magic mushrooms usually have long white stems with caps that are darker in color on the underside. These mushrooms are then dried and can be ingested on their own or mixed into food or even tea. Some drug manufacturers may also crush the dried mushroom into a powder or transform it into pill form. In some instances, psilocybin and psilocin can also be created synthetically in a lab.

In some cultures, and parts of the world, psilocybin effects are related to a spiritual experience or used for medicinal purposes. In the United States, these magic mushrooms are illegal and typically used recreationally. The estimated lifetime use of shrooms in the country was 8.7% in 2013.1 Although an addiction to magic mushrooms is not typically a problem, the effects of shrooms can be powerful and there are some possible dangers of shrooms to be aware of.

Short-Term Side Effects of Shrooms

Just like other drugs, the effects of shrooms will vary depending on the individual, and no drug is completely safe. Along with the amount taken and the strength of the shrooms, the aftereffects of shrooms are dependent on other qualities like the person’s weight, health, size, and experience with other drugs. Typically, the first effects of psilocybin will start around a half-hour after the mushrooms were taken depending on the route of administration and the amount that was ingested. The effects often peak around six hours and vary greatly from person to person.2 Some people may find that they have a more euphoric experience while others may have a bad trip.

Some immediate effects of shrooms may include:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Visual and/or auditory hallucinations
  • Distorted perception of time
  • Dilated pupils
  • Faster heartbeat than normal
  • Increased body temperature
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor coordination
  • Dry mouth and a bad aftertaste that can last for hours
  • Sweating or chills
  • Anxiety or paranoia especially for those already struggling with poor mental health
  • Headaches3,4

While some people may think about trying magic mushrooms or want to experiment with this substance, shrooms can be dangerous. While death is rare, an overdose may lead to an intense and lasting bad trip.3 Shrooms also have some other dangers. These special mushrooms look a lot like some poisonous mushrooms, and this has led to some deadly mix-ups. Mixing magic mushrooms with other substances, like alcohol, may also lead to unexpected or dangerous side effects.

Shroom Side Effects Long-Term

While not typically thought to be addictive, some other potential long-term magic mushroom side effects still need to be studied in more detail.

The long-term effects of shrooms from recreational use may include:

  • Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (flashbacks of previous hallucinations)
  • Paranoia
  • Mood changes
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Changes in personality5,6

The most common long-term effect of shrooms is the presence of flashbacks reminiscent of previous hallucinations that can occur even when the person is no longer high. One study found that as many as 60% of regular hallucinogenic users had experienced these flashbacks.5 These flashbacks can even occur years after use.7 There may also be underlying medical problems, especially if psilocybin is regularly mixed with other psychoactive substances, but not enough research has been done to have conclusive results.2

While abusing these substances recreationally is dangerous, there may be some potential medicinal benefits to shrooms as well. Some studies suggest that microdoses of psilocybin could help treat anxiety, depression, and OCD as well as aid in the process of alcohol addiction treatment.8 While there may be some promising developments in the future, research surrounding these claims is still new and mixed. For this reason, psilocybin abuse of any kind is not recommended.

From psychedelics to prescription drugs, our drug rehab in Pennsylvania helps people stop their substance abuse and build better futures.

To learn more about Clearbrook Treatment Centers and to get help, call us today at 888-280-4763.

 

Sources:

  1. Science Direct- The abuse potential of medical psilocybin according to the 8 factors of the Controlled Substances Act
  2. Science Direct- Acute renal injury caused by confirmed Psilocybe cubensis mushroom ingestion
  3. DEA- Drugs of Abuse
  4. NCBI- Self-reported negative outcomes of psilocybin users: A quantitative textual analysis
  5. Science Direct – Abnormal visual experiences in individuals with histories of hallucinogen use: A web-based questionnaire
  6. Science Direct- Psilocybin – Summary of knowledge and new perspectives
  7. Vice – Some People Relive Psychedelic Trips Years Later
  8. NCBI- Clinical potential of psilocybin as a treatment for mental health conditions
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