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Substance Abuse - Mushrooms

Commonly Known As: 'shrooms, silly cybin, magic mushrooms, cubes, liberty caps.

Access to Drug: Available through drug dealers who have access to people who cultivate the mushrooms. Also available in the wild, provided the individual knows the specific type of mushroom to find. It is illegal to possess, transport, or sell psilocybin mushrooms.

Scientific Name: Psilocybin is the active ingredient in certain mushrooms that provides hallucinatory effects. There are over 70 species of mushrooms containing psilocybin found in Mexico, the U.S., South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe.

Interesting Facts: Psilocybin mushrooms have been used by Indians in Central and South America as far back as 1000 B.C. The ceremonial use of mushrooms, which still occurs today, is for the visions produced to help treat illness, solve problems, and get in contact with the spiritual world. In the United States, psilocybin was isolated in the mid 1950’s by the same scientist who discovered LSD. It’s use began to grow recreationally into the 1960’s and it became illegal to possess psilocybin mushrooms by 1968 because of the amount of abuse.

Methods of Use: Mushrooms are eaten, either raw or dried. More commonly, users will buy the dried mushrooms because it takes less dried mushrooms to achieve the effect. Some drink tea with mushrooms or sprinkle food with mushrooms to hide the taste.

Common Effects When Intoxicated: Perceptual changes occur as the mushrooms take effect. Impaired judgment, possible paranoia and confusion can occur. Pupil dilation, auditory, tactile and visual hallucinations plus quickly changing emotions are common.

Duration of Intoxication: Mushrooms take 30 minutes to up to 2 hours to take effect. Initially, the user will feel nauseous prior to the altered state of consciousness. The physical, visual and perceptual hallucinations last three to six hours with an additional 2 to 6 hours where it is difficult to sleep and it is difficult to discern reality.

Withdrawal: There is a period of psychological withdrawal or difficulty determining which is real and which is an actual experience for several days following a mushroom trip. Some users will claim they had a deep religious experience and be elated while others may become withdrawn. They may also experience fatigue.

Effects of Long Term Use: Users generally will not repeat a mushroom experience immediately due to the intensity of the experience. Regular users may have difficulty with determining everyday reality for several days after a “trip” but do recover.

Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction: Mushrooms are neither psychologically or physically addicting and do not lead to dependence. Curiosity tends to be the main reason for trying mushrooms.

Associated Risks: Users will experience nausea and vomiting during a mushroom experience. They may also experience anxiety, frightening visions and thoughts. Because of their altered state of reality they may think they can fly or are invincible which could cause injury or death to themselves or others. It is a powerful psychoactive experience and can trigger unsettling psychological/physical feelings.