Psychedelic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin, are often abused for their hallucinogenic properties. Because these drugs are not considered to be highly addictive, those who abuse them are often unconcerned with their potential for other harmful effects. If you are worried that your loved one may be consistently using psilocybin, here are 10 signs that clearly point to this type of abuse.
Chief among hallucinogenic drugs, psychedelic mushrooms are more likely to cause drowsiness. A person will become extremely relaxed while on these drugs and may even fall into a state of near-sleep. If not, they will yawn more often than those who abuse other psychedelics like LSD and peyote. This kind of relaxation is more likely to occur as well when someone is having a positive reaction to the drug; otherwise, they may become tense or anxious.
2. Concentration Problems
According to CESAR, a person on psychedelic mushrooms will often exhibit “difficulty focusing, maintaining attention, concentrating, and thinking.” This is an acute effect of abusing the drug, but long-term mushroom abuse can lead to the occurrence of this issue even after the regular effects of the drug wear off. One of the signs of persistent psychosis, a side effect of long-term abuse, is disorganized thinking, as it can be extremely difficult for someone who uses these drugs constantly to focus or think clearly.
“Historically, Central and South American Indians have considered hallucinogenic mushrooms, called ‘god’s flesh,’ to be sacred.” These drugs were often used in social and religious rituals, and even now, some individuals still take them for these reasons.
The hallucinations experienced by users are often positive and cause a feeling of oneness with environment. However, it is not unusual for someone to experience intense and adverse hallucinations that can induce panic, terror, paranoia, and depression. Though hallucinations are a symptom of this type of drug abuse, a person’s behavior and reactions to them can allow an outsider to recognize that psychedelic mushroom abuse is occurring.
4. Dilated Pupils
According to the NIDA, “excessive pupil dilation” is a common sign of psilocybin abuse. This effect is likely to occur whenever anyone abuses hallucinogenic drugs. However, it is especially clear when someone abuses mushrooms, partly because of the potency of this particular drug.
5. Relaxed Muscles and Twitching
It is common for a person on this substance to feel that their arms and legs are very heavy or light, causing their muscles to become extremely relaxed. The condition that follows, known as ataxia, causes the individual to lose voluntary control over their muscles. This will often result in muscle spasms or twitches.
Though other psychedelics can cause this result, they are more likely to occur with psilocybin abuse. A person who abuses the drug regularly will usually only show signs of muscular weakness, relaxation, and ataxia while high, but in some cases, this kind of sign can result even when the individual is not currently on the drug. This will only occur, however, if the person abuses psychedelic mushrooms regularly and is having trouble stopping this type of drug abuse.
6. Trouble Discerning Reality from Fantasy
One of the more common psychological effects of psilocybin abuse is the inability to distinguish reality from fantasy. This will often occur during acute use of the drug, but it can be an issue that lingers even after intoxication. According to CESAR, “For several days following the use of mushrooms, users may experience a period of psychological withdrawal and have difficulty discerning reality.”
Most other psychedelics do not cause this type of long-term effect, as these drugs are not known to cause addiction and dependence in most cases. Psilocybin does not cause the latter issues either; however, the psychological withdrawal which causes a user to be unsure if they are experiencing reality even after the drug has left their system is particular to psilocybin.
7. Increase in Bodily Functions
It is common for someone who is high on psychedelic mushrooms to experience an increase in
- Body temperature
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
The users may not notice these issues themselves, but they will likely develop signs like sweating, chills, shivering, flushing of the face, and rapid breathing. This reaction is also common with other psychedelic drugs such as LSD and peyote.
8. Stomach Problems
The California Administrative Office of the Courts states that large quantities of psilocybin “can cause stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting.” However, even a lower dose can cause mild stomach upset to occur. A person may complain of cramps or even experience diarrhea.
There is a possibility that the individual abusing this substance could “risk poisoning if one of the many varieties of poisonous mushrooms is incorrectly identified as psilocybin mushroom” (DOJ). While the user is likely to experience gastrointestinal issues, even with non-poisonous mushroom abuse, the more intense this reaction is, the stronger the possibility that the person has ingested another type of more dangerous mushroom.
A person’s tongue, lips, and/or mouth could become numb as a result of their abuse of psychedelic mushrooms. Because you cannot be sure unless the individual tells you they are experiencing this, ask or look for behavior that shows they are unable to talk or move their mouths the way they usually do.
While this is not always a serious issue, Brown University warns that this numbness could be a sign of overdose if the individual has ingested particularly high doses of the substance.
10. Use of Slang
Those who abuse psychedelic mushrooms regularly may be more likely to use the street names for the drug. By doing this, they may hope to conceal their abuse. You can be more aware of the possibility by knowing the slang terms involved in psychedelic mushroom abuse, such as:
- Liberty caps
- Little smoke
- Silly putty
- Silly cybin
- Simple Simon
- Mexican/magic mushrooms
- Fungus delight
- A term for psychedelic mushrooms that have been ground into powder mixed with fruit juice
- Flower flipping/hippie flip
- Psilocybin and ecstasy
While a one-time instance of slang terms for this substance does not necessarily point toward regular abuse, someone who constantly calls mushrooms by these names is more than likely abusing them in a more consistent manner.