The Dangers of Calling Magic Mushrooms “The Safest Recreational Drug”

Historians claim that ancient humans used mushrooms to produce visions and trance-like states. They believed these mushrooms would allow them to communicate with the gods.  Evidence found in rock paintings dating as far back as 9000 B.C. depict these ceremonies.  Similar ritualistic evidence was seen among the Aztec and Mayan ruins of Central America.  Unfortunately, history doesn’t provide much evidence on the magic mushrooms after effects.

What we refer to as “magic mushrooms” gained popularity in the late 1950s after mycologist, R. Gordon Wasson, participated in a ritual ceremony in southern Mexico.  The ritual involved the use of mushrooms by the indigenous people of the area.  In 1955, he published an article about this experience. The article described the mushrooms as “magic,” and the term persists today. In later years, hippies used mushrooms in their quest to find heightened states of consciousness or spirituality.  In the 1970s, psilocybin was banned and restricted to medical research only.

Recent studies suggest that magic mushrooms are a safe recreational drug as compared to LSD, cocaine, or MDMA.  Hallucinogenic mushroom users are five times less likely to require emergency medical care as people who use other drugs, according to Global Drug Survey. Unfortunately, people who don’t know the consequences of shrooms may interpret this as meaning mushrooms are safe.

The DEA classifies mushrooms as a Schedule One controlled substance. Schedule One means it has a high potential for abuse and no proven medical purpose. Mushrooms share this classification with heroin, LSD, and many other potent drugs.

Magic Mushrooms Risks and Side Effects You Need to Know

One of the most significant risks of magic mushrooms is the chance of poisoning. Using the wrong kind of mushrooms or those that are infected with deadly fungi can be fatal.  Before using mushrooms, it is wise to be aware of the signs of toxicity that can be life-threatening.  For instance, watch for the following three main symptoms of toxic mushroom drugs side effects:

  • Hallucinations:  Golden top mushrooms  (Psilocybe Subaeruginosa) cause hallucinations, confusion, headache, rapid heart rate, agitation, and muscle weakness.
  • Gastrointestinal problems:  Stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are common symptoms.
  • Liver failure:  The death cap mushroom (Amanita Phalloides) contains a fungus that can cause liver and kidney failure within 48 hours after ingesting.  Other species that can cause these same effects include the Galerina, Lepiota, and Conocybe mushrooms.

When mushrooms are used in combination with other mind-altering substances, dangerous side effects are intensified.

There is always the chance of a “bad trip” when using magic mushrooms.  A bad trip can include panic attacks, paranoia, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and acute psychosis.  The result can consist of self-injury, harm to others, or suicide.

Can You Become Addicted to Magic Mushrooms?

Although hallucinogen addiction is rare, the body can build higher tolerance levels after repeated use. Tolerance can develop quickly with increased dosages.  But, brief periods of abstinence will usually resolve this issue. Psychological factors may impair the ability to make sound judgments about the continued use of the substance.  Some users experience emotional withdrawal for several days after using magic mushrooms.  All in all, mushroom addiction is an addiction of the mind, not a physical addiction.

What Does it Feel Like to Be High on Magic Mushrooms?

The effects of magic mushrooms are unpredictable. Factors that influence the impact include environment, state of mind, sounds, and lighting.  Each experience differs due to variations in these stimuli at each occurrence.

Getting high on mushrooms can produce feelings of spirituality, depression, or paranoia.  The “trip” usually varies each time a person uses the substance as mentioned above.  During the high, a person can experience the following:

  • A sense of “enlightenment”
  • Expanded awareness, altered consciousness
  • Changes in perception
  • Distorted sights, sounds, and images
  • Lack of coordination, weakness
  • Mood swings, emotional outbursts

Some of the above effects can cause a person to question their beliefs about their place in the universe. This effect often results in a “bad trip.”  Psychedelic substances such as magic mushrooms reveal repressed memories, insecurities, and fears. The individual often has an adverse reaction to this heightened awareness. Their reaction may include some of the following behaviors:

These effects diminish after four to six hours.  Regular users experience memory loss, cognitive impairment, and psychological problems.  These problems can persist for several weeks.

Common Misconceptions About Magic Mushrooms

Psychedelic substances have been used for decades around the world. During this time, many misconceptions arose about the safety of these substances.  For instance, here are six of the untruths you might hear about magic mushrooms::

  • Shrooms are completely safe.  Not true. The fact is, shrooms can be toxic causing digestive tract illness.  Also, some mushrooms that resemble psilocybin mushrooms are deadly.
  • They stop anxiety and fear.  This is a half-truth.  Some people feel less anxiety while using the mushrooms. Others experience the opposite effect causing increased fear, anxiety, and panic attacks.
  • There are no long-lasting consequences.  Not true.  Many users suffer effects that range from a negative experience to permanent disability.
  • You can’t be “trapped” in a high.  Not true.  Some users experience persisting hallucinations that last a lifetime.  Unexpected flashbacks occur that the person must simply learn to live with.
  • Shrooms are not addictive.  Partially true.  Some regular users experience an emotional or behavioral dependence.
  • There is no treatment for shroom addiction.  Not true.  Treatment methods are available that help a person overcome mushroom addiction.

What is the Best Treatment Approach for Magic Mushroom Abusers?

Psilocybin does not create a physical addiction, but the emotional or behavioral addiction requires professional treatment.  As with any addiction, the person usually has underlying issues that contributed to their need to experiment with mind-altering substances.  For these reasons, an inpatient addiction treatment program is strongly advised.

An inpatient treatment program provides a comforting, secure environment where patients can relax and feel nurtured.  They can interact with others who are struggling with addiction issues.  This approach is beneficial because it helps a person realize that they aren’t the only one in this situation.  Patients have an opportunity to observe the successes of others and gain valuable tips and advice.

Other beneficial aspects of inpatient treatment include, but are not limited to:

  • Group and individual counseling
  • Cognitive  Behavioral Therapy
  • Life Skills training
  • Nutritional Guidance
  • Faith-based programs, if desired
  • Music and art therapy
  • Fitness and exercise routines
  • Family Involvement
  • Aftercare programs

The goal is to help the person heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Patients are protected from the daily stress and negativity that contributed to their drug use.  In this way, he or she can focus on learning new methods for coping with those issues.

Finding the right treatment program can be overwhelming due to the variety of options and facilities available today.  If you are ready to get back on the path of sober living, please call our toll-free number today.  One of our representatives is available to take your call and help you choose the best program for your unique situation.

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