Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic substance from certain types of mushrooms that are grown in tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico, and the United States. These mushrooms typically contain small amounts of psilocybin and a trace amount of psilocyn, another hallucinogenic substance. Commonly the mushrooms that contain this substance are referred to as “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms”. The psilocybin-containing “magic” mushrooms have the chemical make up similar to LSD. There are over 200 varieties of these psychedelic mushrooms available and there is a danger of a person choosing a spoiled or rotten mushroom. If one of those rotten, spoiled or moldy one is eaten it can be extremely toxic. Once the psilocybin has entered the person’s system there is an inherent danger of the person having a “bad trip”. A person who experiences a “bad trip” runs the risk of severe anxiety or paranoia.
How to Identify the Psychological Effects of Psilocybin
The psychological psilocybin effects include but are not limited to:
- Excessive sweating
- Numbness of the mouth
- Numbness of the lips
- Altered awareness of time and place
- Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality
- Severe anxiety
- Psychosis is another effect that may happen if a user ingests a large dose
Additional Dangerous Physical Effects
While there are many psychological effects this drug use can produce there are some physical dangers as well. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse some of the physical effects the abuses of psilocybin are muscle relaxation or severe weakness, loss of control of ones bodily functions, extreme pupil dilation, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness. Once it is ingested orally the effects of psilocybin will have a tendency to appear within 20 minutes and will last for approximately six hours. The mushrooms which contain psilocybin are used either fresh or have been dried. Typically the mushroom is either brewed in tea or added into a food or foods to mask the bitter flavor.
Unfortunately, there are no regulations or any simple way to figure out how much of the substance is contained in a single mushroom. It can vary from a minuet trace or a slightly larger percentage; in either case its measurement is small. People who abuse psilocybin mushrooms also risk poisoning, as it can be very difficult to distinguish the difference between a poisonous mushroom and a psilocybin mushroom. In many instances ingesting the poisonous mushroom can prove to be deadly.
As with most drug use long-term abuse of psilocybin can produce some long lasting, dangerous effects with a person’s mental stability including flashbacks, extreme anxiety, aggressive disorders and schizophrenia. All of these effects would require additional treatment following an extended period of mushroom use. Although the drug is not as addictive as similar drugs such as heroin, prescriptions drugs or cocaine, a person can very easily develop a tolerance to it.