As the market is flooded with enormous quantity of recreational drugs, people looking for short-living euphoria are almost certainly get to try as many of them as possible. At some point, and likely somewhere closer to the beginning, it will come to mushrooms. What are these drugs exactly and what effect do they make on our body and long-term health?
Magic mushrooms belong to the group of hallucinogen drugs, namely, psilocybin. They are also known as Shrooms, Purple Passion and Little Smoke. As National Institute on Drug Abuse states, they possess mind-altering properties that intensify one’s perception of things and experiences, quite often creating the feeling of detachment from reality and inability to tell the difference between imagined and real. Its effect starts somewhere between 20-90 minutes after use, reaches its peak 2-3 hours after it and wears off in about 6 to 12 hours. This makes mushrooms highly attractive for people, especially for youngsters.
The Global Drug Survey has gathered data on drug use from about 120.000 people living in more than 50 countries. Among those surveyed, more than 12.000 people have reported psilocybin ‘magic’ mushrooms in 2016, and 28.000 have mentioned trying mushrooms within their lifetime. Of those who have confirmed mushrooms use, only 0,2% had to seek emergency medical help. This rate is almost 5 times lower than ER visit rate for LSD users. The researchers’ team links this to ‘intrinsic safety of magic mushrooms, (the greatest risk is picking the wrong type), the smaller dosing using units (a single mushroom v an LSD tab) and greater understanding of how many mushrooms may constitute a typical dose for a desired effect“. Thus, this conclusion allows to suggest that magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drug in the world.
Still, there is more to know about magic mushrooms. In the United States, the drug stays on Schedule I of Drug Enforcement Administration, meaning that it does not have an approval to be used for medical purposes and has high potential for being abused. While some research have suggested that mushrooms can be effective in depression treatment, more data is required to prove its potential benefits over potential harm and determine the safest way of using it as a medication. Until then, magic mushrooms continue to be an off-the-list drug in terms of any official approval. Moreover, NIDA states that more research is needed to find out about long-term effects of mushrooms abuse, as those may be highly damaging instead of commonly expected short costless pleasure with no consequences.
So, why it is dangerous to underestimate mushroom drugs?
- One is exposed to a much bigger risk of harming oneself while being under the effect of mushrooms due to detachment from reality and negatively affected judgment;
- There is a danger of getting hallucinogen persisting perception disorder that may seriously decrease one’s life quality even if one has already stopped magic mushrooms abuse by then;
- There is much greater risk of mushroom poisoning due to the chance of picking the wrong, poisonous mushroom, especially is a person does not possess profound knowledge of those;
- The effects of combining mushrooms with other recreational drugs are unknown, and impaired judgment may lead a person to chaotic mixing and taking different drugs simultaneously;
- Its long-term effects may be detrimental.