Magic Mushrooms (hallucinogens)

There are several varieties of magic mushrooms: "golden tops", "blue meanies" and "liberty caps" found in Australia that have the active hallucinogenic ingredient psilocybin.

Magic mushrooms look much like ordinary dried mushrooms, or they come as a powdered material in capsules. Synthetic psilocybin appears as a white crystalline powder that may be formulated into tablets or capsules, or dissolved in a liquid. Magic mushrooms are usually eaten fresh, cooked or brewed into a "tea". Occasionally, they may be mixed with tobacco or cannabis and smoked.

It is easy to mistake poisonous mushrooms for those containing psilocybin. Certain kinds of poisonous mushrooms can cause death or permanent liver damage within hours of ingestion.

Effects 

The effects of hallucinogens can last several hours and vary considerably depending on the specific type of hallucinogen. The effects of magic mushrooms and other hallucinogens also depend on the environment in which the drug is taken and the mood and expectations of the person taking it. Some of the typical effects of hallucinogens include:

  • blurred vision
  • increased breathing rate
  • euphoria
  • sense of relaxation and well-being
  • hallucinations and distorted sensory processing, including visual, auditory, body, time and space perception
  • disorganised thoughts, confusion and difficulty concentrating, thinking or maintaining attention
  • anxiety, agitation, paranoia and feelings of panic
  • dizziness

Treatment options

Treatment is more effective if tailored to suit a person's circumstances, and usually involves a combination of  counselling, group therapy, pharmacotherapy and withdrawal programs.

Source of information: DrugInfo Clearinghouse - Australian Drug Foundation 

Information page about hallucinogens including magic mushrooms by the Australian Drug Foundation - Drug Info Clearinghouse

The Australian Drug Foundation is a national service aimed at helping to prevent alcohol and other drug problems, and reduce alcohol and other drug harms in the community. The ADF's information page about hallucinogens has details on the effects, withdrawal and treatment of magic mushrooms.

http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/drug-facts/hallucinogens

Hallucinogens fact sheet produced by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC)

NDARC conducts research and related activities that increases the effectiveness of Australian and international treatment and other intervention responses to alcohol and other drug related harm. NDARC's fact sheet on hallucinogens (including magic mushrooms) has information about effects and prevalence.

https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/resource/hallucinogens

Information page about magic mushrooms by DanceSafe

DanceSafe is a US based nonprofit, harm reduction organisation promoting health and safety within the rave and nightclub community. Their information page about magic mushrooms has details of health risks associated with hallucinogens.

http://www.dancesafe.org/magic-mushrooms/

If someone is having a "bad trip" they need to be reassured and calmed until the immediate effects have passed, although this can take many hours.

Move and speak calmly and in a confident manner, address the person by name and tell them who you are. Make sure the person and all the people around them are safe and, if possible, don't leave them alone.

What to do in a crisis

If someone has an adverse reaction while using hallucinogens, it is very important that they receive professional help as soon as possible. A quick response can save their life.

Call an ambulance by dialling 000. Don't delay because you think you or your friend might get into trouble. Ambulance officers are not obliged to involve the police.

Stay with the person until the ambulance arrives.

Reference: DrugInfo Clearinghouse - Australian Drug Foundation

DanceSafe

DanceSafe is a US based nonprofit, harm reduction organisation promoting health and safety within the rave and nightclub community.

http://www.dancesafe.org/

DrugInfo Clearinghouse - Australian Drug Foundation

DrugInfo Clearinghouse is a service provided by the Australian Drug Foundation. It functions as a drug prevention network providing information about alcohol, other drugs, and drug prevention.

http://druginfo.adf.org.au/

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC)

NDARC conducts research and related activities that increases the effectiveness of Australian and international treatment and intervention responses to alcohol and other drug related harm.

http://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/

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