Psilocybin Addiction Treatment

The Phoenix Recovery Center

Psilocybin: Magic Mushrooms

Psilocybin Addiction Treatment

Many people may not be aware that hallucinogens have been around for thousands of years, one of the oldest being psilocybin which is derived from magic mushrooms. Historically, hallucinogens were used in religious and spiritual practices, not for recreational use. Now, while there is still some spiritually legitimate hallucinogenic use today, most use has primarily shifted to recreational. This shift has brought with it a surge of hallucinogen use disorders, as well as a greater need for better treatment options for psilocybin addiction. Psilocybin mushrooms have been illegal since the 1970s when recreational use became popular. Most users take psilocybin seeking a euphoric sensation that it can sometimes induce. Psilocybin mushrooms are typically eaten dried or fresh, but are also commonly put in tea. Some users will bake it into other foods. Depending on the amount of mushroom consumed, it can take 30 minutes to a few hours before the hallucinogenic takes effect. The immediate effects of the chemical generally lasts three to six hours, but in certain cases, effects can continue for up to three days. The drug’s potential euphoric sensation and relaxing possibility often cause individuals to misuse psilocybin mushrooms

Are Shrooms Addictive?

The addictive effects of psilocybin are often underestimated because it is not considered a physically addictive substance. Since it is easy to build a tolerance to the drug, frequent users require large doses to have any effect. This typically discourages addictive use. However, a shroom user can become psychologically dependent on the drug, which can give users similar destructive behavior to a physical addiction. Many users will also combine psilocybin use with other drugs, such as LSD, leading to further psychological dependency. 

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration recognizes psilocybin as a Schedule I controlled substance. Substances in this category are considered to have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Heroin and LSD are examples of other Schedule I drugs

What exactly is Psilocybin?

While there are many types of hallucinogens, there are actually three defined overarching categories. These include:

  • Psychedelic drugs, such as magic mushrooms
  • Dissociative drugs, such as PCP
  • Other hallucinogens, such as MDMA and salvia 

Regarding psychedelic drugs like psilocybin specifically, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines them as “[illicit drugs] that “mainly interact with specific receptors, which are molecular structures in the brain. Known as 5-hydroxy-tryptamine (5-HT) receptors, these are targets for the neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) serotonin.” Further, “at certain doses, psychedelics may bring on vivid visions or sensations, alter a person’s sense of self, and promote feelings of insightfulness or connection.” To break it down in more basic terms, “psychedelic” drugs are substances that alter perception, often informing intense audio and visual hallucinogenic states of mind.

Now there are many people out there that do not understand the dangers of psilocybin abuse. This is not surprising, as popular culture has been promoting the use of magic mushrooms as “enlightening” and relatively harmless for over half a century, specifically since it was highly promoted by the counterculture of the 1960s. However, what they didn’t know then, they certainly know now. Truth be told, hallucinogens like psilocybin can cause serious consequences and psychological addiction.

Shrooms’ Effects: Short and Long-Term Effects of Mushrooms

The experiences while on the drug, also known as shroom trips, are unpredictable. Users often experience both good and bad trips. Users typically seek the more pleasant symptoms associated with the drug:

  • Relaxation
  • Floating sensation
  • Hallucinations
  • Decrease of inhibitions
  • Altered perception
  • Elevated mood
  • Psychosis
  • Altered perception of reality
  • Sensation confusion: believing to hear sights and see sounds

Luckily, the drug’s negative side effects are not as life-threatening as others. However, it is common to experience these negative and distressing effects of psilocybin

  • Nausea
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Muscle spasms
  • Increased perspiration

In addition to these common side effects, there are occasionally more drastic effects. Some users have reported feeling pain while hallucinating or acting out violently. There can also be negative, long-term damage from mushrooms. Users can experience traumatic and disturbing hallucinations that can cause paranoia for the rest of their lives. Some users also continue to experience psychosis years after using psilocybin. After significant use over a longer period of time, users can have flashbacks to hallucinations. Additional research also suggests that the hallucinogenic can alter a user’s personality even after just one use. 

Recovery from Psilocybin Mushrooms

Many of these effects are serious and distressing. But it can be easier to stop psilocybin use compared to other drugs. Since the body doesn’t become physically dependent on the drug, it is safe for a user to immediately stop consuming mushrooms. Users may go through a period similar to withdrawal. They may struggle to cope with reality while their brain recovers from the altered reality they’ve been experiencing on psilocybin. It’s also common to feel exhaustion and irritability.

What Does Addiction Treatment Look Like at PRC?

The Phoenix Recovery Center offers therapy, rehab, and treatment for those who struggle with psilocybin mushroom abuse. If the situation is serious, the patient can use our Inpatient Residential Program, Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) Day Program or Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). For less severe cases, we also offer our General Outpatient Program (GOP)

Phoenix Recovery Experience

Patients and their families who choose The Phoenix Recovery Center will learn and develop both disease-management skills and the skills to find recovery. We also teach our patients and their families how to focus on identifying, defining, and achieving stability in their pursuit of a meaningful life. Through the tools we provide and their own efforts, patients and their family members can achieve improved emotional health and cognitive health, allowing them to heal their relationships. 

The Phoenix Difference

The Phoenix Recovery Center is driven by this guiding mission statement: “Empowering individuals and families suffering from addiction and mental health disorders to celebrate life through lasting solutions.”

The Phoenix Recovery Center carefully tailors our addiction treatment programs and bases them in research. We make every effort to support the treatment outcomes that prepare patients and their families to manage addiction or other mental health disorders and reclaim a meaningful life. Our purpose is to equip those we help to overcome drug abuse with knowledge and applied behaviors that they need to continue on to success, even after they’ve completed our treatment program.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction

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