Shrooms, also known as psilocybin or “magic mushrooms,” belong to the hallucinogen class of drugs, most known for their ability to alter a person’s sense of reality. In spite of their nature-made origins, the harmful side effects of shrooms can cause serious health complications and even death in some cases.
According to Brown University Health Education, shrooms most resemble LSD in terms of what users can expect. Like other hallucinogen drugs, the effects of shrooms can vary with users experiencing a wide range of different experiences, including:
- A distorted sense and time and space
Many of the harmful side effects of shrooms stem from the changes that take place within the brain’s chemical system. Learning to recognize the harmful side effects of shrooms can help users avoid some of the more serious health problems these drugs can cause.
Side Effect Profile
According to Columbia Health, the intensity of effects brought on by shrooms corresponds to the dosage amount taken. In smaller doses, users may experience:
- A disconnect from the body to the point where a person can observe him or herself
- Brilliant colors and light
- Images, visions
Larger dosage amounts produce a range of physical sensations, such as:
- Sweating or chills
- Numbness of the face
Likewise, the harmful side effects of shrooms can vary depending on the dosage amount ingested. Side effects commonly experienced include:
- Mild to extreme anxiety
- Loss of consciousness
- Attention deficits
- Severe headaches
- Intense fear
Environmental factors can greatly affect the type of “high” or “trip” experienced when taking hallucinogens. For this reason, harmful side effect of shrooms may take the form of frightening hallucinations, also known as “bad trips.”
Bad trips are most likely to develop in cases where a person feels sad or angry when doing shrooms. Settings that hold bad memories may also trigger a bad trip. Doing shrooms with people you don’t like or trust can also bring on a bad trip.
In effect, the harmful side effects of shrooms increase a person’s sensitivity to his or her environment. In cases where a drug high is especially intense, the risk of experiencing flashbacks of a bad trip increases considerably. Flashbacks can develop at any given time with some people having flashbacks for up to a year after using shrooms.
One of the most common harmful side effects of shrooms occurs when a person mistakes a poisonous mushroom for a psilocybin shroom. Not only do poisonous mushrooms look similar to psilocybin, but also produce hallucinogenic effects.
With the poisonous varieties, harmful effects of shrooms take the form of:
- stomach cramps
People who struggle with pre-existing mental health problems face an even greater risk of experiencing harmful side effects of shrooms. Under these conditions, a person may experience extreme anxiety and paranoia to the point of having a psychotic break. In some cases, these effects can be permanent depending on the degree of mental illness present.
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