Colorado has certainly become the pioneer state for decriminalizing drugs. After legalizing marijuana back in 2014, the state’s largest city turned its sights to psilocybin mushrooms, decriminalizing “shrooms” in early May.
Selling this psychedelic drug will still be a crime, possession of the drug will no longer result in tickets, arrests or jail time. While Denver’s decriminalization initiative includes a review panel to study the drugs’ effects and a PR strategy to educate the public about using shrooms, the question still remains:
Are these hallucinogenic mushrooms actually safe to use?
The short answer is that, like any other drug, you can become addicted to psilocybin mushrooms. But let’s dive a little bit deeper and explore what psilocybin is, it’s various uses and the effects hallucinogenic mushrooms can have on a user.
What is Psilocybin?
Psilocybin is an indole chemical compound found in over 180 species of mushrooms in Mexico, Central America and the United States, and is an active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.
For centuries, psilocybin has been used in rituals where many people have reported having “significant spiritual experiences”. Recent medical studies have also found some hopeful benefits of using psilocybin to treat other illnesses or mental health issues.
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Medical Breakthroughs with Psilocybin
Detailed in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in December 2016, two small studies found that psilocybin can actually have a positive effect on cancer patients. It’s common for people being treated for cancer to fall into “existential distress”, where they believe there’s no longer meaning to life. Psilocybin has reportedly been able to succeed where antidepressants have not, helping to relieve feelings of depression and anxiety.
Since then, psilocybin has continued to be praised in modern medicine, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declaring that psilocybin-assisted therapy is an exciting, innovative next step in treating depression.
Despite positive uses for the drug though, psilocybin comes with many short-term and long-term effects that can trigger addiction.
Effects of Abusing Psilocybin
“Magic” mushrooms are just like any other hallucinogen, triggering both visual and auditory hallucinations. But this drug goes beyond that, causing more serious physical and psychological effects.
Psilocybin mushrooms can cause nausea, muscle weakness and loss of coordination, as well as sleep deprivation, extreme mood swings, increased body temperature and changes in sensory perceptions.
Research has shown that users can build a tolerance to psilocybin, requiring larger and larger doses to feel its effects. In more of these extreme and long-term cases, symptoms can include paranoia, increased blood pressure, psychosis and even overdose.
If you or a loved one has continued to experience both short-term and long-term effects of psilocybin mushrooms and have struggled to stop using the drug, it’s best to find an addiction treatment center that can help.
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At The Raleigh House, we provide premiere substance use disorder and co-occurring conditions treatment. Our wellness lodge called The Ranch is unlike any addiction treatment facility in the Denver area, giving you a safe, comfortable and supportive environment near the mountains for you to recover from hallucinogen addiction.