Psilocybin Addiction: Withdrawal Symptoms & Treatment Help

Psilocybin is a hallucinogen substance found in many species of mushrooms in South America, Mexico and the United States. Natural occurring psilocybin and psilocin can be manufactured synthetically. Mushrooms can be fresh with white/gray stems and dark brown edges around the cap. Dried mushrooms are rusty brown with white speckles. Psilocybin mushrooms are typically taken orally when fresh or dried, but they can also be brewed into a tea or added to other foods. Some people coat the mushrooms with chocolate to mask the bitter taste. Psilocybin is considered a Schedule I substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration. These mushrooms should not be confused with Amanita muscaria (known as fly agaric), which can produce a different type of hallucinogenic trip. There are closely regulated studies occurring now using psilocybin to treat certain types of cancer, obsessive-compulsive disorders, end of life anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction.

Signs of Psilocybin Mushroom Use

There are many varieties of mushrooms and many of them poisonous. Psilocybin mushrooms induce hallucinations and the user cannot control what type of trip he or she will experience. A bad trip can produce feelings of intense fear and paranoia lasting up to 10 hours. The length of the trip depends upon the amount consumed. Mushrooms produce altered perception of time (either speeding it up or slowing it down) and an inability to differentiate between fantasy and reality.
Other side effects include:

  • Panic
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Weakness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Euphoria
  • Increased heart rate
  • Twitching
  • Drowsiness

Long-term use may cause psychiatric illness such as psychosis, impaired memory, heart problems and unpleasant “flashbacks” where an individual experiences effects of the drug long after it is used.

Social Cost of Psilocybin Mushroom Use

Regular use of mushrooms diminishes the effect; thus more and more mushrooms are required. After a time, abstinence is required. Unfortunately, regular use distorts one’s perceptions of reality and can lead to psychosis. Research has found that some people have become aggressive or suffered from homicidal or suicidal thoughts when using mushrooms.

Psilocybin Mushroom Withdrawal

There are no physiological withdrawal symptoms from psilocybin mushrooms, but habitual users may experience anxiety, depression, insomnia or cravings. A bad trip can have devastating psychological implications making deep-seated problems worse. Therapy may be needed to help deal with flashbacks. Unfortunately, these flashbacks tend to be of bad trips.


This page last updated: September 19, 2013

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