What are Psilocybin Mushrooms?
Table of Contents
- What are Psilocybin Mushrooms?
- How do Shrooms Affect the Body?
- What are the Side Effects of Taking Psilocybin Mushrooms?
- Can Shrooms Lead to Experiencing a “Bad Trip?”
- Magic Mushrooms and the Signs of Overdose
- What are the Symptoms of ‘Shroom Withdrawal?
- Get Help Recovering from All Forms of Drug Abuse Here
- Can you Overdose on Mushrooms: The Risks of Polysubstance Abuse
- Finding the Right Treatment Options for You
- Can You Overdose On Shrooms? (FAQ)
- Medically Reviewed By
Popularly referred to as shrooms or magic mushrooms, psilocybin mushrooms are a naturally-occurring substance that, when used, can cause mind-altering and hallucinogenic effects.
Classified as a Substance I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), these pose a high risk for addiction, with no recognized medical uses. As with several other drugs, abusing magic mushrooms can have a number of adverse consequences; one of which is, in fact, the potential of overdose. With this in mind, we’ve written our guide in answer to the question: ‘Can You Overdose on Shrooms?’
How are Psilocybin Mushrooms Used?
Psilocybin-containing mushrooms are collected from certain types of fresh and dried mushrooms. Thus, they are typically used either by consuming them in this form, or by brewing them into a tea.
How do Shrooms Affect the Body?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), hallucinogenic drugs, including shrooms, are believed to act on neural highways in the brain. These interact with the neurotransmitter known as serotonin and disrupt communication between the brain and spinal cord.
In particular, this specific hallucinogen impacts the brain’s prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for an individual’s abstract thinking, thought analysis, moods and perceptions.
What are the Side Effects of Taking Psilocybin Mushrooms?
There are several side effects associated with taking magic mushrooms, which can be mental, physical, or emotional in nature. Furthermore, these effects can be short-term or long-term, depending on the amount taken and how frequently an individual is using them.
Short-Term Side Effects
General short-term side effects are usually similar to those of taking other hallucinogens. Aside from the most common side effect of hallucinations, these may include:
- Increased heart rate
- Intensified feelings and/or sensory perception (colors seem brighter, noises are louder, etc.)
- Distorted sense of time (i.e., time is passing more slowly)
- Dilated Pupils
While these are the most commonly associated short-term effects of taking magic mushrooms, those more specifically caused by the hallucinations themselves may include:
- Increased blood pressure, breathing rate, or body temperature
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Problems falling and/or staying asleep
- Spiritual experiences
- Lack of coordination
- Excessive sweating
- Panic, or paranoia (extreme and usually unprovoked distrust towards others)
- Psychosis (disordered thinking not based in reality)
- Bizarre behaviors
Long-Term Side Effects
While there are only two long-term negative effects that have been found to occur from magic mushrooms, these are particularly severe in nature. Usually seen in individuals with mental health disorders, these include persistent psychosis and Hallucinogen Persisting Perceptive Disorder, also known as HPPD.
While only occurring in rare cases, psilocybin’s effects can at times result in an individual’s experiencing of long-lasting psychotic symptoms. This is predominantly characterized by:
- Visual distortions and/or sensory disturbances
- Disorganized thoughts
- Mood swings
Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder
A disorder that can occur from using any hallucinogenic drug even just once, whether this is psychedelic mushrooms or other hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD, HPPD presents itself in the form of “flashbacks.”
These occur when a person re-experiences a previous trip without the use of a substance, and may involve:
- Visual distortions (seeing patterns or images that are not there, or seeing moving objects which are, in reality, standing still)
- Experiencing feelings or emotions associated with a previous bad trip
- Repeating hallucinations
Can Shrooms Lead to Experiencing a “Bad Trip?”
Because shrooms can increase feelings of anxiety or depression in some individuals, it is not uncommon for people to have bad trips when using this substance. A bad trip can look and feel different depending on the person, but can include experiencing:
- Difficulty breathing
- Unpleasant hallucinations
- Inability to move
- Psychotic symptoms
- Speech difficulties
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
The Hidden Dangers of Psychedelic Shrooms
There are several risks associated with taking magic mushrooms, including those that individuals may not consider outside the usual realms of substance abuse. For instance, the occasional occurrence of mushroom poisoning.
Because these are a naturally occurring substance, there have been incidents in which individuals have mistakenly consumed poisonous mushrooms thinking they were a psilocybin mushroom. This can cause several issues, including nausea, stomach cramps, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea and, in extreme cases, death.
Furthermore, magic mushrooms laced with other drugs can not only cause a bad trip, but can quickly become fatal. Mixing drugs of any kind is never a good idea, but mixing shrooms in particular can cause a number of complications, including paranoia, psychosis, seizures, coma, and death.
Magic Mushrooms and the Signs of Overdose
Because they are a natural substance, individuals often find themselves asking the question of: can you overdose on shrooms? However, the answer to this question is not necessarily a simple one.
Technically, it is possible to overdose on this particular substance. However, when considering a pure sample’s contents, psychedelic shrooms typically have a low toxicity level, and therefore do not usually pose lethal consequences.
Of course, because they do not come in an easily measurable form, it is fairly easy to unknowingly take large doses of shrooms. If a person finds themselves taking too many mushrooms, the resulting psilocybin overdose may cause:
- Lightheadedness, dizziness
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Excessive sweating
- Flushed skin
- Delusional thinking, confusion
- Slowed perception of time
- Lost control or weakness in muscles
- Panic or paranoia
While a magic mushroom may not be lethal if overdosed on its own, taking shrooms laced with other substances (especially higher doses) can easily become a fatal form of drug use.
How Many Shrooms are Too Many?
Measuring organic mushrooms is a fairly complicated process, as there are many different strains of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Furthermore, these are not dispersed in a quantified form, such as a pill or tablet. Thus, knowing what a particularly strong batch looks like, and when they might be a risk for overdose can be hard to determine.
However, one of the most common forms in which this particular drug is available is one called psilocybe cubensis. A particularly potent strain, the most common unit at which it is sold is that of 3.5 grams.
Thus, taking anything over this can be considered a large dose, while double or more is a fair indicator for a potential overdose. One of the more recent trends is the packaging of magic mushrooms in chocolate form, with a label that indicates dosage and potential effects.
While clearly not ‘over the counter’ such mushroom chocolates are an attempt to regulate dosing and prevent the symptoms associated with ingesting too much psilocybin unintentionally. These don’t make it impossible to take too much, but help answer the question of dosage and its effect on ‘Can you OD on shrooms?’
What are the Symptoms of ‘Shroom Withdrawal?
Because magic mushrooms predominantly cause psychological effects when taking them, this particular form of substance abuse can cause a number of withdrawal symptoms of the same nature. These may include:
- Psychotic breaks and inability to perceive reality
- Memory loss
- Difficulty speaking
Get Help Recovering from All Forms of Drug Abuse Here
Regardless of the type of drug being abused, addiction is a dangerous disease that can have adverse side effects both during and while receiving treatment for it. While an addiction to mushrooms alone may not require its own level of intense treatment, there are several other factors that may promote an individual’s need for professional help.
For instance, individuals typically begin using magic mushrooms as a means of self-medicating a mental illness. Thus, when treating addiction to psilocybin shrooms, finding treatment options that will address the underlying causes of it is highly recommended.
Can you Overdose on Mushrooms: The Risks of Polysubstance Abuse
Furthermore, people who regularly use magic mushrooms are, in many cases, struggling with a simultaneous addiction to other drugs or other substances. In cases such as these, a co-occurring addiction to alcohol, opioids, or heroin can be fatal during their withdrawal periods.
As the body’s vital organs can become directly impacted by the sudden removal of these particular substances, seeking out addiction treatment options that involve constant or regular medical attention is crucial to the individual’s safety. This may include participating in an inpatient rehabilitation program, or a medically supervised detox process.
To learn more about the levels of care in addiction treatment, click here.
Does My Insurance Cover Addiction Treatment?
When it comes to seeking out treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, one concern many individuals struggle with is finding reasonable payment options. Fortunately, most individuals should be able to receive insurance coverage for their addiction treatment.
Of course, the level of coverage a person may be able to receive will depend on their specific insurance provider and personal plan. To find out the level of compensation they are entitled to, individuals should reach out to their provider directly.
Or, use our free insurance verification tool available on the Find Addiction Rehabs website, here.
Finding the Right Treatment Options for You
Whether addicted to psilocybin mushrooms or any other drug, addiction is an isolating and unpredictable disease, both for the addicted individual and the people who love them. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, know that you are not alone, and help is available.
Here at Find Addiction Rehabs, we are dedicated to providing people like you with addiction resources and treatment options that are dedicated to meeting their personal care needs. With our hotline being available 24/7 and access to rehab locations nationwide, one of our representatives is ready at all times to support you in getting the help you need.
Make the right choice and call today, so that we can get you started on a path to finding addiction treatment options that will help you achieve a life of peace, stability, and sobriety!
Can You Overdose On Shrooms? (FAQ)
Are there benefits to consuming psilocybin?
Psilocybin has been shown to have anti-depressant effects in patients with treatment-resistant depression, according to a study done in 2016. Participants who took psilocybin had significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who took a placebo and had substantially higher levels of positivity as well.
How long does a trip on psychedelic mushrooms last, on average?
The effects of psilocybin are short-lived. A typical “trip” will peak after 20 minutes and subside after 2 hours. The results may last much longer if you have taken more than the recommended dosage of mushrooms. The half-life of psilocybin is 11 hours, which means it takes your body 11 hours to clear half of the drug from your system.
What causes a bad “trip” when taking psychedelic mushrooms?
Psilocybin mushrooms have been shown to exacerbate symptoms of pre-existing mental disorders. If you have any pre-existing mental health conditions, it is best to avoid taking them altogether. If you do not feel safe or comfortable in your environment, this will also affect your experience significantly.
Can a magic mushroom “overdose” result in death?
There have been no reports of deaths due to psilocybin overdose alone – only deaths that occurred after someone who had taken magic mushrooms became involved in an accident or altercation.
Anecdotal reports indicate that the human lethal dose (LD50) of psilocybin is 16 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. That means a person weighing 100 pounds would need to consume 800 mg of psilocybin or over 6 mg of psilocin to develop toxicity symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
Nicole Rogers is an experienced and accomplished writer with special interests in the fields of Anthropology, English, and behavioral health, and has written countless articles for newspaper publications, institutional research journals, and Find Addiction Rehabs.
Her alma mater is Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Nicole hopes to spread awareness of and combat the stigmatization surrounding addiction and substance abuse treatment through her writing and work in the field.