Mushroom Addiction, symptoms and Side Effects Information
Magic Mushroom Addiction
Despite being classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the U.S. (which implies heavy addiction potential), addiction to magic mushrooms is extremely rare. However, it does happen. Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is not known to be physically addictive in any way, and there are no withdrawal symptoms even after long term use, but magic mushrooms can be psychologically addictive. Below we will discuss the symptoms and side-effects of magic mushroom addiction and help you determine if you or a loved one should seek help.
A Brief Overview
Before we dive into discussing magic mushroom addiction, let’s talk a bit about magic mushrooms themselves. The term “magic mushrooms” refers to a wide variety of naturally growing mushrooms which contain the chemical known as psilocybin. Psilocybin is a potent psychedelic and it’s psilocybin that we are really talking about when we talk about magic mushroom use. However, it’s very common to hear magic mushrooms used to refer to the drug and we will use that term for the duration of this article.
Historical and Current Uses for Magic Mushrooms
Magic mushrooms, in part because they are prevalent in many natural environments, have been in use for thousands of years. Cultures from all over the world, including our own, use and have used magic mushrooms both recreationally and therapeutically. Therapeutically they have been shown to help combat alcoholism and other addictions as well as help alleviate anxiety, especially associated with death. These therapeutic benefits have come out of carefully controlled clinical experiments, and we absolutely don’t recommend that you self medicate with magic mushrooms or any other psychedelics.
Effects of Magic Mushrooms
One of the reasons carefully controlled clinical trials are so important in reaping the benefits of magic mushrooms and also one of the reasons to avoid using magic mushrooms in general, is that the drug can be extremely volatile in its psychological effects. The effects can vary widely from person to person and depending on your state of mind and environment, and, while most experiences are described as pleasant, “bad trips” are always possible when using magic mushrooms, especially at high doses.
Because magic mushroom experiences vary so much from person to person and because the experience tends to be complex and hard to describe, it’s difficult to make a complete list of the effects of magic mushrooms. Common effects reported include a general change in consciousness, visual hallucinations such as vivid colors and the appearance of motion, euphoria, a feeling of deep spiritual enlightenment, as well as more negative effects such as high emotional sensitivity, fear, and sometimes nausea. A magic mushroom trip will usually last between four and seven hours with the peak beginning around one hour after ingesting the drug and lasting around two hours.
Addiction to Magic Mushrooms
As stated earlier, there is no evidence that magic mushrooms can be physically addictive, and there is also currently no evidence that long term use of magic mushrooms causes physical harm. That being said, magic mushrooms can have a detrimental effect on something maybe even more important than your physical health: your mental health.
Long term and frequent use of magic mushrooms may lead to anxiety and depression, and can often exacerbate already existing mental illnesses. There is also a phenomenon known as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (or “flashbacks”) which is when you experience the symptoms of being on a magic mushroom trip randomly and long after having taken the magic mushrooms. Flashbacks often become more prevalent and more intense as you continue to use magic mushrooms. Even if you aren’t experiencing negative psychological effects, frequent and regular use of magic mushrooms can seriously affect your productivity and personal life.
Luckily, even psychological addiction to magic mushrooms is rare. A magic mushroom trip is a very intense experience that requires a lot of mental and emotional energy and can leave one feeling completely drained afterwards. It’s a difficult task to engage in on a regular basis. Furthermore, magic mushrooms, as well as other psychedelics, are associated with a very quick tolerance build up. Meaning that if you take magic mushrooms on Monday then take the same amount on Tuesday your trip will be of a much lower intensity, but if you wait a few days your tolerance will start to go down dramatically and after two weeks you’ll be back to normal. This means that in order to continue having trips of a similar intensity day after day you would need to take larger and larger quantities of magic mushrooms. So not only is a mushroom addiction mentally difficult but it’s also financially costly.
However, magic mushroom addiction can occur and is a real problem. Why would someone become addicted to magic mushrooms? The most common reason lies in magic mushrooms supposed spiritual power. Many people claim that magic mushrooms are incredibly enlightening and that they can open up your awareness in a very profound way. Such supposedly profound spiritual benefits are often what drives magic mushroom addiction, and addicts can end up chasing these feelings with ever greater quantities of mushrooms.
I don’t think I need to explain to you that copious amounts of magic mushrooms is not the path to spiritual enlightenment, but I understand that psychological addiction is a complicated feeling. If you’re concerned about your level of magic mushroom use and are concerned you might have an addiction then consider the following warning signs.
- Frequent strong urges to use magic mushrooms
- Neglecting of other important responsibilities because of magic mushroom use
- continued use of magic mushrooms despite experiencing negative psychological effects
- inability to lower your magic mushroom intake despite various efforts
- use of magic mushrooms in irresponsible situations when you should be sober
- experiencing negative psychological effects
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms you should seek help immediately.
Magic mushrooms may be of relatively low toxicity but they are far from harmless. Extended magic mushroom use can have a profoundly negative effect on your mental health and can interfere immensely with your day to day life. But these problems are almost never irreversible and finding a treatment center is the first and most important step in getting your life back. Don’t be ashamed; get help now.