Hallucinogenic or magic mushrooms are a common drug of plant origin. They are a type of poisonous mushrooms that contain substances that affect the human psyche and cause various hallucinations (psychedelic trips).
What are the magic mushrooms?
Hallucinogenic mushrooms are a type of mushrooms containing a high concentration of psychedelic substances, which have a direct stimulating effect on the psyche, manifesting in the form of vivid emotions and sensations, as well as hallucinations.
Types of magic mushrooms
There are two kinds of hallucinogenic mushrooms:
- Fly mushrooms – are very toxic, containing tryptamine, bufotenin, dimethyltryptamine, and in some cases, muscarinic. The muscimol contained in the cap of the mushroom provides a vivid hallucinogenic effect. If fly agaric mushrooms are consumed, there is the highest risk of irreversible severe consequences or death, so they are not consumed;
- Psilocybe (penis envy) is virtually nontoxic. They contain psilocin, which provides a pronounced hallucinogenic effect. They do not cause direct lethality in humans, which is why they are considered relatively safe for physical health.
Signs of use
Given the mechanism of psilocin’s effects on the human body, the signs of mushroom use are pronounced and noticeable to others. The external behavior of “mushroom heads” is quite similar to the behavior of people who have consumed a large dose of alcohol. The main signs include:
- Severe dilation of the pupils;
- Excessive activity, pronounced agitation, rapid movements of the limbs;
- Dryness in the mouth, constant thirst;
- Chills, increased sweating, the sensation of trembling all over the body;
- Uncontrollable urination, less frequently defecation;
- Paranoid thoughts;
Effects on the human body
Poisoning by hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms does not occur immediately but about an hour after consumption. The effect of the mushrooms on the body begins with a gradual excitation of the nervous system, a person may be lost in time and space (feeling of slowing down or speeding up time).
Movement becomes sluggish, then hallucinations occur: the addict may see images of people or objects popping up, which may cause the most unpredictable reactions: from excessive joy and a feeling of happiness to animal fear and a feeling of death. Suicide attempts are not uncommon as a consequence of the effects of mushrooms.
The scientific view
Scientists have conducted many studies on the properties of hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms. Psilocin has been found to be a compound with a very low toxicity rating, as well as a powerful psychostimulant effect that can have a positive effect on the treatment of various mental illnesses.
Psilocin, found in hallucinogenic mushrooms, can improve autobiographical memories by enhancing the interaction of different parts of the brain – this can help in the treatment of people with dementia, as well as other problems related to memory impairment.
Medical Care for Poisoning
Psilocybin hallucinogenic mushroom poisoning poses a similar danger as other drug overdoses. Any attempts at self-medication or untimely drug treatment are fraught with irreversible consequences, up to and including death.
In case of poisoning by hallucinogenic mushrooms, it is necessary to perform the following actions:
- Call a narcologist at home or an emergency ambulance with an explanation to the operator;
- Give the addict a few glasses of water to drink, preferably to induce vomiting – this will help flush the stomach;
- In case of unconsciousness, lay the patient on his side and place a pillow under his head. The head should be turned on its side to prevent vomiting;
- Provide fresh air in the room and wait for doctors.