According to Brown University, “Psilocybin [the hallucinogenic compound found in most psychedelic mushrooms] does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior.” While addiction to hallucinogens is rare but does occur (especially with drugs like PCP), psychedelic mushrooms themselves are not considered to be addictive, though the psilocybin itself is considered a Schedule I drug.
Why Aren’t Psychedelic Mushrooms Considered Addictive?
These drugs can cause serious issues in those who abuse them, but generally, they are not considered to be addictive by the United States government and most scientists who study their effects. There are several reasons why they, and their active component psilocybin, are not considered to be addictive substances, including:
- They cause such intense hallucinations and other psychological side effects that most people need to take time away from the drug to reorient themselves, thus keeping them from abusing them compulsively.
- They cause side effects that can sometimes be upsetting and frightening, an experience that is often referred to as a bad trip. A person cannot anticipate when these bad trips might occur, even if they have used the drug before.
- They create a very high tolerance over a short amount of time, making repeated use pointless.
- As stated by the Center for Substance Abuse Research, “Mushrooms can take 20 minutes to 2 hours to take effect and will last for 3 to 6 hours.” The long duration of the drug’s effects means a person will not need to abuse it several times in a row over a short period of time, the way crack and other extremely addictive drugs are often abused.
For these reasons, psychedelic mushrooms are not considered to be addictive substances. Though the mushrooms themselves are not scheduled, psilocybin is still listed as a Schedule I substance because, though non-addictive, it has a high potential for abuse and no approved medical uses.
Are Psychedelic Mushrooms Still Dangerous?
Psychedelic mushrooms may not be addictive, but they can certainly be dangerous. For example, even trying to find the right kind of mushroom can be dangerous. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Some psilocybin users risk poisoning and possibly death from using a poisonous mushroom by mistake.”
These drugs can also cause:
- Persistent psychosis
- HPPD (or hallucinogen persisting perception disorder)
- Severe or frightening hallucinations as well as panic, depression, anxiety, paranoia, depersonalization, and other intense effects during a bad trip
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature
- Mood disorders or disturbances
- Psychological withdrawal that makes it difficult for users to discern reality
In addition, the effects of the drug can sometimes be so intense or frightening that a person may become incredibly hostile or depressed. They may become a danger to themselves or others and prone to homicidal or suicidal acts, self-mutilation, etc. It is still very dangerous for people to abuse psychedelic mushrooms because one can never know the effects these substances might cause.
Do You Need Psychedelic Mushroom Abuse Help?
Just because these drugs are not addictive doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. If you have been abusing mushrooms and need professional, medical treatment, call 800-895-1695. We can help you find a program that will fit your needs and provide the best treatment for you.