It is no doubt that the use of hallucinogens like magic mushrooms (scientifically known as psilocybin) is on the rise in the U.S. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Past-year hallucinogen use had been relatively stable over the past few decades until 2020 when reports of use started to increase dramatically. In 2021, 8% of young adults reported past-year hallucinogen use, representing an all-time high since the category was first surveyed in 1988.” One of the primary reasons for this is the way that the media and popular culture has minimized the negative effects of magic mushrooms in recent years.
It should also be noted that these numbers represent surveys taken during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is now a consensus among many addiction professionals that all substance use, including the use of magic mushrooms, has increased dramatically due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the negative effects of magic mushrooms and other hallucinogens and how they can greatly affect the quality of a person’s day-to-day life.
What Exactly Are Magic Mushrooms?
Regarding the specifics of magic mushrooms, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) offers a concise description. According to the DEA, “Psilocybin comes from certain types of psilocybe mushrooms. Psilocybin is metabolized in the body to the active drug psilocin, also present in many of the same mushrooms.” For a more colloquial definition, magic mushrooms are organic fungi that cause hallucinogenic effects when they are ingested.
Historically, magic mushrooms have been around and utilized for thousands of years, often for religious or spiritual purposes. Because of this, it is important to note two issues regarding magic mushroom use and spiritual practices. One, people who used psilocybin thousands of years ago were most likely unaware of its potential negative effects. Two, for individuals who still use psilocybin for spiritual practices, this is not meant to diminish them. The topic here is specifically regarding people who misuse and abuse magic mushrooms for recreational activity.
What Are the Negative Effects of Magic Mushrooms?
There are many negative effects regarding the abuse of magic mushrooms. According to the DEA, “The psychological consequences of psilocybin use include hallucinations and an inability to discern fantasy from reality.” Also, “Panic reactions and a psychotic-like episode also may occur, particularly if a user ingests a high dose.” The DEA also discusses the physical side effects of magic mushrooms when under the influence, noting muscle weakness, vomiting, and loss of coordination. However, the most concerning side effects interfere with an individual’s psyche.
While specific panic and “psychotic-like episodes” can be particularly concerning, the primary negative psychological side effect is that of “psychological addiction.” Many people wrongly think that magic mushrooms are not addictive. While yes, most professional addiction specialists agree that psilocybin is rarely physically addictive, psilocybin can certainly be psychologically addictive. It is also for this reason that magic mushroom addiction requires professional treatment for effective and lasting recovery.
Treating the Negative Effects of Magic Mushrooms
One positive aspect of getting treatment for psilocybin addiction is there is rarely any physical withdrawal, so no detox is necessary. However, the other negative effects of magic mushroom addiction must be treated with professional care.
Here at the Phoenix Recovery Center, we have an array of treatment programs that can be effective recovery options for magic mushroom addiction. We have a residential treatment program, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient treatment program (IOP), and a general outpatient treatment program (GOP).
Now, when deciding what program is best to treat magic mushroom addiction, the most important aspect is to assess the severity of the psychological addiction. If an individual is experiencing more severe symptoms of magic mushroom abuse, a residential or PHP is probably the best choice. On the other hand, if the client is less severely symptomatic, then an IOP may be the way to go. Regardless of where a client starts, the goal is to eventually get them into our GOP and then comfortably integrated back into their community and long-term recovery.
The Recovery Mission at the Phoenix Recovery Center
Here at the Phoenix Recovery Center, we make it our mission to help all of our clients not just recover from their short-term symptoms but to rediscover their strengths so they can go out and use them in long-term recovery. For individuals who are struggling with magic mushroom addiction, we aim to tackle any underlying emotional issues that often inform substance abuse so they can better understand why they were using psilocybin in the first place.
At the Phoenix Recovery Center, we do not just treat clients or what it says on their charts. We treat individuals and what is in their hearts. Everyone is unique and special at the Phoenix Recovery Center, and what we want most is to help them show those qualities to the rest of the world. For more information on psilocybin addiction treatment options available, reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Center at (801) 438-3185