Psilocybin, the mind-affecting ingredient of magic mushrooms, produces significant effects on the brain and body. Carlos Castaneda and other early imbibers claim the drug’s ethereal euphoria ferried them to hitherto undiscovered realms of the subconscious. While it has no officially recognized medical application as a Schedule I drug, many modern users mostly claim that the drug has a palliative effect have on anxiety disorders, depressive disorders and the humdrum of daily existence.
Highs usually last for a couple of hours but it is not uncommon for the effects to last up to 12 hours. Starting at the top, effects on the mind and body include:
- 1. Distortion of time and a sense of heightened creativity. Psilocybin interacts with serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of mood. Lack of serotonin can lead to depression. Psilocybin was thought to bind to serotonin receptors in the brain, altering brain chemistry and producing the aforementioned effects. Recent research calls into question this theory. Scientists now believe psilocin restricts blood flow to specific regions of the brain. Less blood flow equates to a greater high (or trip). Regardless of which theory holds more water, the effect on the brain is the same.
- 2. Transcending cancer. Besides the debilitating physical effects of cancer, individuals with the disease often live in a constant state of anxiety. Physicians note psilocybin provides these individuals with a different perspective. Think of it as an existential primer on the nature of being. The hallucinogen does nothing to arrest the progress of cancer, but it may allow patients the freedom to wrestle their identity away from the disease. They are not cancer; they are individuals with cancer. Physicians remark this innocuous distinction has the power to transform the individual’s psyche.
In contrast though, not all individuals – with or without cancer – experience out-of-body sensations or deep introspection. Some have the opposite reaction, reporting increased agitation and anxiety.
- 3. Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD). Individuals who regularly ingest hallucinogens may experience symptoms after the drugs wear off. These feelings are typically not euphoric; they are dysphoric. A person experiencing HPPD will have feelings of distress. He or she may have problems at work or at social events. These symptoms can last for months or years; it some cases, the condition is irreversible.
While magic mushrooms are non-addictive, this does not mean they are benign. Any drug has the potential for harm and these are no different.
Sovereign Health does not participate in the politics of drugs. We concern ourselves solely with helping individuals who for whom drugs have become a prison. Our treatment program restores the individual to sanity by guiding them through the process of detox and helping them find the recovery they need. We treat the physical addiction and the underlying causes that fuel it. Contact our 24/7 helpline for more information.
About the author:
Darren Fraser is a content writer for Sovereign Health Group. He worked two and half years as reporter and researcher for The Yomiuri Shimbun until they realized he did not read, speak or write Japanese and fired him. Undeterred, he channels his love of research into unearthing stories that provide hope to those dealing with addiction and mental illness. Darren loves the Montreal Canadiens hockey club and horror films and would prefer to enjoy these from the comforts of his family’s farm in Quebec. For more information about this media, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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