Psilocybin is a naturally-occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms, also known as psilocybin mushrooms. Many of these mushroom species include other psychoactive substances that also act as hallucinogens.
The 3 most common types of psychedelic mushrooms include the following:
Also known as the common large Psilocybe, golden cap, or Mexican mushroom. This mushroom has a cap that is usually reddish-brown, with a white to yellowish stem. It’s commonly found in damp, humid climates and grows on the feces of grazing animals, such as cattle.
Also known as the liberty cap, is another common psilocybin mushroom. In general, P. semilanceata is also found in moist, grassy fields often populated by grazing animals. It’s a small mushroom, ranging in color from light yellow to brown and has a pointed cap.
Also known as bluebell or bottle cap is yet another and has a dark brown cap and yellowish or brownish stem when fresh. It can be found in fields and also on rotting logs, peat or mulch.
Psilocybin is usually eaten or brewed as a tea, after which the body rapidly converts it to psilocin. Psilocin can produce mind-altering effects comparable, in some ways, to those produced by DMT, LSD, and mescaline. Effects may include euphoria, hallucinations, changes in perception, a distorted perception of time, and spiritual experiences, as well as adverse reactions like nausea, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Psilocybin is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I controlled substance. This classification indicates that it is not considered to have any legitimate medical purpose and has a high potential for abuse.
Chronic psilocybin abuse can lead to an emotional addiction, also known as hallucinogen use disorder. This condition is hallmarked by problematic drug use that causes significant impairment in a person’s life. Furthermore, he or she will continue to abuse psilocybin mushrooms despite adverse consequences that occur.
Common signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction include the following:
- Using more of the substance than initially intended or for a longer period.
- Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, and recovering from substance abuse.
- Experiencing strong drug cravings.
- Using the substance even when it results in a failure to fulfill personal obligations, social and interpersonal problems, or causes severe physical or psychological health problems.
- Using the substance in hazardous situations, such as when operating a motor vehicle.
- Neglecting activities that were once considered important or pleasurable as a result of substance abuse.
- Difficulty cutting back or quitting the substance of choice.
- Needing increasing amounts of the substance to produce the desired effects.
Effects of Psilocybin Abuse
The short-term effects of psilocybin mushrooms usually appear within 20-90 minutes of consumption and can include the following:
- Mixed-sensory experiences
- Changes in time perception
- Spiritual experiences
- Detachment from reality
- Loss of sense of self
- Intense emotions
- Rapid respiration
- Excessive sweating
- Increased body temperature
- Higher blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Sleep disturbances
- Blurred vision
- Impaired coordination
According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the potential for psilocybin mushrooms to cause long-term adverse effects is not fully understood and requires more research. However, there is no question that when a person is intoxicated by psilocybin, their logic and reasoning capabilities can be severely compromised. Also, some people may have frightening experiences as a result of use, otherwise known as “bad trips” and can have lasting adverse effects on the user.
In rare cases, a user may develop hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), which occurs in around 4.2% of people who use hallucinogens. Those with this condition experience “flashbacks” or a re-experiencing of psilocybin mushroom intoxication despite having abstained from use for a prolonged period.
People who use psilocybin may also be more vulnerable to injury or death as a result of poor judgment and accidents. Mushroom users are also at a heightened risk of poisoning and death from accidentally consuming a toxic mushroom that was misidentified as “safe.”
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Unlike many other drugs of abuse, the long-term use of psilocybin has not been shown to result in physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms. However, psychoactive substances such as these mushrooms have the potential to be habit-forming. Chronic users may also develop a tolerance, which means that they will need increasing doses of psilocybin to achieve the desired effects.
Harmony Recovery Center offers comprehensive, evidence-based treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, individual and family counseling, and group therapy, that address the underlying reasons why people choose to abuse substances of any kind. We believe that every person, regardless of their past, has the right to receive the very best treatment available.
If you or someone you love is struggling to overcome the abuse of drugs or alcohol, contact us today. We are dedicated to helping those who need it most break free from the chains of addiction and begin to enjoy the long-lasting wellness that they deserve!