Psilocybin mushrooms are not widely considered addictive, although there has been some debate over this issue. Many experts believe that these mushrooms are not addictive because the intense experience they can produce, which can be physically and mentally challenging, may cause individuals to limit their frequency of use.
Another reason for this contention is that the human body quickly builds tolerance to psilocybin. People require significantly higher doses after only a few days of repeated use, making it challenging to experience any noticeable effect after more than four days of repeated use.
That said, in some instances, it appears that some people can become emotionally dependent on psilocybin, as with any intoxicating substance. Polysubstance abuse, which may also include mixing mushrooms with alcohol, opioids, or any number of illicit or prescription drugs, can exacerbate this potential problem.
What Are Shrooms?
Psilocybin mushrooms, also referred to as magic mushrooms or shrooms, are hallucinogenic mushrooms containing the chemical psilocybin. Magic mushrooms are infamous for their psychedelic effects, often producing a mind-altering experience in the user. Traditionally used by indigenous communities to connect to the spirit world, shrooms gained notoriety in the 1960s. They are still also commonly abused socially and at music festivals and other entertainment events today.
Illegal since the 1970s, psychedelic mushrooms are typically consumed fresh or dried or brewed in tea. It is also common to bake psilocybin mushrooms into food such as cake and ingest them in this way. Psilocybin mushrooms may also be dried and crushed into a powder that can be snorted, injected, or put into capsules and swallowed. However, these other methods of ingestion are less common. In fact, it is hazardous to inject psilocybin powder, and the results can be lethal.
Users generally begin to experience effects of psilocybin within 20 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion, and they typically last 3 to 6-hours and in addition to their hallucinogenic effects can include anxiety, restlessness, chills, and euphoria. The perception of altered time and feelings of relaxation can motivate some individuals to use these mushrooms repeatedly.
Common Side Effects of Psilocybin
In general, the abuse of psilocybin mushrooms is not as hazardous as other commonly abused substances, such as opioids or alcohol. However, side effects of psilocybin mushrooms can include the following:
- Feelings of floating
- Altered perception
- Visual/auditory hallucinations
- Reduced inhibitions
- Synesthesia (mixing up senses)
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Muscle spasms
- Elevated, euphoric mood
- Excessive sweating
In extreme cases, individuals who have used magic mushrooms have hallucinated to the point of experiencing physical pain or causing pain to others. Continued use of magic mushrooms can cause the development of long-term psychosis. Based on some research, even one strong dose of psilocybin mushrooms can alter a person’s personality for over a year and perhaps irreversibly.
Psilocybin Mushrooms Are Potent Hallucinogens
There has been some debate over whether or not magic mushrooms have the potential to be addictive. Like any substance, individuals can become emotionally dependent on psilocybin for several different reasons. The more a person abuses mushrooms, the greater the likelihood they will begin to crave more of the substance.
The intensity of dependency often depends on the amount and frequency in which a person ingests psilocybin. Persons who experiment with mushrooms can become psychologically dependent due to the mind-altering effects and the “good trips” mushrooms can produce.
A person increasing their frequency of psilocybin mushroom abuse may isolate themselves to use mushrooms, use them with other psychoactive substances, or exhibit increased tolerance. As a result, these persons may benefit from contacting a rehab center or addiction professional, or family members and friends may need to stage an intervention.
Due to some potential to be habit-forming, frequent users may experience withdrawal symptoms related to psilocybin. Not only will a person abusing shrooms become accustomed to the altered state of mind they produce, but they may also find it challenging to live in the world.
A person may experience memory loss and continue using psilocybin mushrooms to sustain an altered mental state. Some psilocybin mushroom users experience flashbacks, fatigue, and irritability related to the drug. Users undergoing withdrawal may experience confusion and challenges with identifying the difference between hallucinations and reality.
Getting Treatment for Psilocybin Abuse
Professional treatment is likely needed if someone clings to the drug so much they continually exhibit signs of being out of touch with reality. The best way to end a psilocybin mushroom dependence is to stop ingesting mushrooms. Because they are not as chemically addictive as many other substances, persons with psilocybin dependence have a greater chance to overcome this condition.
Just Believe Recovery center offers specialized addiction treatment in partial hospitalization in inpatient formats. Our programs feature a complete spectrum of evidence-based services, including psychotherapy, counseling, group support, holistic approaches, experiential activities, aftercare planning, and much more.