What Are Magic Mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms are a type of mushroom that contains a chemical called psilocybin   which causes hallucinogenic effects. They are a naturally occurring psychoactive that evolved to be this way in order to prevent them from being eaten.
As they are able to cause hallucinations and a high sensation, many people use them in order to experience a drug ‘trip’.
Magic mushrooms are one of the most well know naturally occurring psychoactive plants and have been used for thousands of years in teas for both recreational and religious purposes.
Magic mushrooms are also a Class A drug and are illegal in the UK, and are also not permitted even for medical or religious purposes. This is because their effects are so easily misused and can cause dramatic effects on a person, and their side effects can be dangerous.
There is also the danger of people trying to find their own as they appear like normal brown mushrooms and are often dried out or eaten fresh. Many dangerous and poisonous mushrooms look similar, therefore even if you are searching for legal mushrooms, it is never recommended that you pick and eat wild mushrooms without certainty of what it is.
The exact effects of a magic mushroom depend on you. As they are hallucinogenic, when you use them, you will see, hear and feel things that aren’t really there. You may experience an enjoyable high or a terrifying one, and there is no way to be assured that you will experience a good trip or a bad trip until it is already happening.
The effects the magic mushrooms have on you also vary from person to person, and it all depends on factors such as:
- Your height
- Your weight
- Your age
- Your mental health
- Your personality
- The environment
- Your physical health
- Any history or family of mental illness
The most common magic mushroom-related hospital admission is someone experiencing a terrifying bad trip and has become a danger to themselves or to others.
Common Side Effects
As with many drugs, the side effects of magic mushroom misuse can be split up into physical and mental. It is important that you remember that a negative impact on either your physical or your mental health can have drastic life-altering consequences.
The common physical side effects of magic mushrooms are:
- Dilated pupils
- Increased heart rate
- Increased body temperature and blood pressure
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle weakness
- A difficult time breathing
- Being unable to move
- Difficulties speaking
- Suicidal thoughts
The common mental side effects of magic mushrooms are:
- Visual and audial hallucinations
- Nervousness and paranoia
- Distorted sense of time and reality
- Distorted sense of place/ location
- Spiritual experiences
- Psychotic symptoms
- Loss of memory
- Mood swings
What Are the Risks of Taking Mushrooms?
Not much is yet known about long-term health risks associated with long-term magic mushroom use. However, it has been found that taking magic mushrooms can open the pathway for you to develop psychosis and other mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression.
During a hallucination, you are not in control of yourself or aware of your surroundings. This puts you at risk of injuring yourself or others without even knowing about it. Even during a good trip, you are not aware of what is really going on and you could easily wander into traffic or even attempt to drive a car resulting in a serious accident.
During a bad trip, you may also experience suicidal thoughts or urges. You could also attack people believing you are defending yourself from danger when in reality you are not.
Another big risk is when it comes to buying magic mushrooms from dealers who may not bother to be sure what they are giving you is safe.
As previously stated, magic mushrooms can look very similar to poisonous mushrooms, and unless you are experienced in foraging for mushrooms, you will have no way of knowing until you have already consumed them.
If you believe you have ingested poisonous mushrooms, call 999 straight away. Emergency medical services will also need to know what drugs you have been taking in order to help you. They also won’t hand you over to the police as you have a right to treatment no matter what.
Bought magic mushrooms are also commonly just normal mushrooms bought at the shops coated in some other drug such as LSD or contaminated with rat poison. So if you are calling an ambulance or going into A&E, be sure to bring the bag of mushrooms with you for them to analyse.
Can You Become Addicted?
In theory, you can become addicted to anything that allows your brain to produce dopamine.
A mental addiction can form for anything, not just drugs such as porn, video games or even adrenaline-inducing activities like sky diving.
Technically speaking, in the physical sense, magic mushrooms are not addictive. This is often because the high they create is very short-lived and provides a very intense trip. Unfortunately, people also begin to build a tolerance to psilocybin   very quickly, and so the effects are difficult to maintain.
The tolerance can grow so much that after a few days of repeated use, you may be all but immune to the effect the chemical has on your body.
But this doesn’t mean that the mental effects of addiction are not there. For example, it is not uncommon for people who frequently use magic mushrooms to become depressed when they are no longer able to use them.
How to Get Help for Magic Mushroom Misuse?
If you or a loved one is regularly using magic mushrooms in order to get high, then there is help available.
Here at Addiction Advocates, we are able to help you overcome your or your loved ones’ need to use magic mushrooms, and we can provide support for the fallout of being without them.
At one of our drug rehab centres, we can provide you or your loved one with the treatments you need in order to give you the tools to avoid going back to the magic mushrooms and to help you understand why you or your loved one used them in the first place.
You can find more information on admissions on our admissions page, or alternatively, call us on 0800 012 6088  to discuss with our expert team any queries or concerns that you or a loved one has an addiction.