Also known as shrooms and “magic mushrooms”, mushrooms containing what is called psilocybin are available fresh or dried and have long, slender stems topped by caps with dark gills on the underside. Fresh mushrooms have white or whitish-gray stems; the caps are dark brown around the edges and light brown or white in the center.
Psilocybin mushrooms are ingested orally. They may also be brewed as a tea or added to other foods to mask their bitter flavor.
The mental consequences of psilocybin use:
- Hallucinations, or imaginary occurrences
- Not being able to tell fantasy from reality
- Panic reactions and psychosis (or mental disorder) also may occur, particularly if a user ingests a large dose of mushrooms
The physical effects include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Muscle weakness
- Lack of coordination
Abuse of psilocybin mushrooms can also lead to poisoning if one of the many varieties of poisonous mushrooms is incorrectly identified as a psilocybin mushroom.
There are also long-lasting effects from mushroom use:
- Flashbacks that may be pleasant or a living nightmare; these may be caused by using other drugs or by doing physical exercise – they have appeared for weeks, months and even years after the use of mushrooms
- Sustained depression
- Lack of motivation
- Panic attacks
- Compromised memory
- Inability to concentrate
- Severe mental disturbances