Magic mushrooms are mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a psychedelic drug with effects similar to those of LSD. These mushrooms have been used for centuries to create a sense of enlightenment by the shamans, or "medicine men" and other religious figures. Since then it has become a popular drug for taking a little "trip". They now, however, may be used to treat "normal" people suffering from problems like anxiety or depression.
Why should I be aware of this?
As magic mushrooms contain psilocin and psilocybin, consumption will cause an effect similar to a "trip" on LSD. We may experience loss of reality and have severe anxiety and paranoia. We should be aware of everything we can about magic mushroom if we plan to use it, for whatever purpose.
All about magic mushrooms
Magic mushrooms look like dried mushrooms and can be eaten, brewed and consumed as tea. Once ingested, they cause feelings of nausea before the desired mental effects appear. The effects include altered feelings and distorted perceptions of touch, sight, sound and taste, nervousness and paranoia. Effects can vary according to the potency of the intake, the user's expectations, mood, surroundings, and frame of mind. While some experiences can be enjoyable, they can go to other extremes such as terrifying thoughts, anxiety, fears of insanity, death, or losing control.
What are bad trips?
Bad trips can happen for the following reasons:
- When adverse influences such as noise, strangers etc interfere with the vulnerable, tripping mind
- When you can’t relax in your effort to mentally resist the effect of the drug
- When unconscious or difficult memories surface
- When the doze is larger than you have experienced before
Though experienced users can handle bad trips, they too are likely to be affected. Bad trips start small and can snowball into anxiety, fear, paranoia, and paralysis. People experiencing a bad trip may appear withdrawn and silent or, visibly upset, scared or wild. There may be a feeling of going insane or losing control or dying. The resultant anxiety may trigger breathlessness or even a full-blown panic attack.
Magic mushrooms and law
Magic mushroom was made illegal in the United States in 1968 and the possession and use of psilocybin is prohibited. It is a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medical use, a high chance for abuse, and may be dangerous even in a clinical setting. If caught with psilocybin, one faces severe penalties including lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.
Magic mushrooms have been banned in the Netherlands recently after a teenage girl who took them fell to her death from a bridge.
What can I do?
- Individuals going through emotional or psychological upheavals should be cautious about taking this drug as such problems can get aggravated and cause severe distress. Added caution is required for those who have a family history of mental illness. Prolonged use may also lead to Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD).
- Though magic mushrooms are not poisonous, the main danger is in mistakenly picking poisonous, non-magic mushrooms. Do not gather mushrooms unless you know what you are doing.
- You can reduce the chance of a bad trip by ensuring you are in a safe comfortable environment with someone you trust. Read up on the drug you are taking.
- Be informed and be careful. Measure the dosage accurately and when trying a new drug or a new supply always start low to gauge its strength.
Magic mushrooms were used by the most revered members of many Native American tribes, such as their shamans or "medicine men". These fungi and plants not only helped them cure people of their illness but they could see beyond what they could see with their own physical eyes.
Now the use of these fungi and plants are looked upon as bad kind of drugs which should be avoided.
Researchers at John Hopkins University have discovered that just using magic mushrooms once can lead to feeling good for months. Many users even claimed that what they experienced after taking the mushrooms were some of the most meaningful events of their lives. And, as an added plus, there were no harmful side effects reported.
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