Human history is laden with evidence of magic mushroom usage. Ancient culture and civilizations have utilized the mind-altering influence of the magical fungi for healing and spiritual experiences. The human race’s interest in magic mushrooms continues to this day and age.
The increasing popularity of magic mushrooms has elevated the curiosity of people on nature, effects, benefits, and health risks posed by using these fungi. Many users attest that the experience induced by consuming magic mushrooms is similar to that of LSD. This is expected, as both are psychedelic substances. Magic mushrooms contain psilocybin, which turns to psilocin when metabolized by the body. These chemical compounds are responsible for the psychoactive properties of shrooms.
It is highly unlikely for a person to die from ingesting magic mushrooms, although deadly overdose can be possible. Still, the chances are very slim. Magic mushrooms pose a comparably lesser risk for overdose compared to other substances, tobacco and alcohol included. Plenty of medical researches were done on the nature and effects of shrooms, and these studies show that they are physically non-addictive. This means that the body does not crave for the effects of magic mushrooms.
Fatal risks of magic mushroom overdose
Although there are cases of death that are linked to magic mushroom ingestion, most of them are caused by the secondary effects triggered by some of the symptoms of consuming shrooms such as depression, suicidal ideation, panic, and hallucinations. Again, these incidents rarely happen but are not improbable. The intake of psychedelic drugs may produce unpredictable effects.
It is quite difficult to detect overdose when it comes to the use of magic mushrooms. The intensity of the psychological effects of shrooms varies from person to person. There are people who only take a small amount but exhibit powerful reactions, while there are also those that show moderate effects despite already exhausting a large amount.
Consecutive intake of shrooms leads to tolerance. When the body builds up a tolerance, it requires more dosage of the substance to “peak” and reach the desired “high”. This tolerance may result in abuse and a potential overdose.
Typical signs of magic mushroom overdose are:
- Extended “trip”
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Experiencing diarrhea after about 5 hours of ingestion
- Severe dehydration
- Extreme sweating and/or salivation
- A decrease in blood pressure
- Irregular pulse rate
- And on rare occasions, total psychological collapse
Other signs may also include difficulty in breathing and losing consciousness.
In most cases, an overdose does not necessarily require medical attention. Panic and anxiety can be treated with the help of medications. However, when more alarming signs are observed, immediate medical attention and professional help should be sought.
While it has been said that magic mushrooms are not physically addictive, the same cannot be said for its effects mentally. Those who experience a psychological dependency on shrooms are advised to undergo counseling and therapy to prevent future overdoses.
Accidentally ingesting toxic mushrooms
Most recorded cases of fatal experiences related to shrooms involved mushroom poisoning due to misidentification. Poisonous mushrooms can easily be mistaken for magic mushrooms because of the close similarity of their appearances. People who go magic mushroom picking should take extra caution and check the mushrooms with utmost vigilance before using them.
Taking magic mushrooms with other drugs
The magic mushroom can be deadly when they mix with prescription drugs, especially medications that are intended for heart and respiratory ailments. The unstable effects of magic mushrooms mixed with these drugs can present unpredictable danger.
Another scenario that should be avoided is combining shrooms with alcohol. The individual effects of both substances together can result in life-threatening consequences.
Many magic mushroom users choose to cultivate and dry shrooms within the comforts of their own homes. However, when shrooms are improperly harvested or dried, they tend to accumulate mold rapidly. Ingesting moldy mushrooms can give rise to bacterial poisoning, which can be deadly especially when not given proper medical attention.
Shroom pickers should exercise watchfulness when going on picking trips. Amateur pickers are recommended to bring someone with sustainable knowledge about the character and appearance of shrooms.
Users should not go on “trips” alone. It is wise to always have a “sitter” around in case some things go wrong. It is also important to take shrooms with the right mood and in a safe environment. These two factors are instrumental in ensuring a safe experience.
Magic mushrooms are rated as Schedule 1 drug in the United States and Schedule 3 in Canada. This denotes that despite the small number of reported deaths related to the use of magic mushrooms, they pose a high risk of abuse.
When used with control and restraint, shrooms offer positive experiences and immense health benefits. They have been attributed to alleviating several mental disorders and improving people’s dispositions and overall outlook in life.