What Are the Long-Term Effects of Using Psychedelic Mushrooms?
Although psilocybin, shrooms, magic mushrooms, and psychedelic mushrooms are common terms referring to the same group of hallucinogenic fungi, there are more than 75 known species containing psilocybin or psilocin, the chemicals that trigger hallucinations and euphoria in people who ingest these mushroom species.
Mushrooms with hallucinogenic properties have been used for religious rituals and recreation for thousands of years, but only in the last few decades have scientists started to understand the impact these substances can have on the human body.
How Long Do the Effects of Mushrooms Last?
Psychedelic mushrooms take effect within 20 minutes after they’ve been ingested. They can be eaten alone or consumed with other food, or they may be brewed like tea and drank.
Their effects can last for up to 6 hours – long enough for intense changes to body and brain chemistry to have harmful effects that can lead to chronic health conditions.
Physical Harm from Psychedelic Mushrooms
Many of psilocybin’s physical effects are short-term, but in people with pre-existing conditions, these effects may become harmful. Short-term effects include:
- Altered perception of time.
- Problems separating reality from fantasy.
- Symptoms of psychosis.
- Muscle weakness.
- Impaired coordination.
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Changes to heart rate and blood pressure can trigger heart attacks, strokes, or pulmonary embolisms in people who have underlying heart conditions. If a person abuses psilocybin or psilocin mushrooms often enough, they may cause a heart problem that did not exist before. Other drugs, like cocaine or amphetamines, can induce heart damage because they also increase heartbeat and blood pressure, and when they’re frequently abused, these changes can cause heart failure.
Changes to judgment, understanding of reality, muscle control, and physical coordination can all cause a person to suffer a harmful accident. Brain trauma, broken bones, or damage to other organs of the body can lead to permanent disability.
One long-lasting physical effect from using psychedelic mushrooms is cross-tolerance. These drugs work on the brain in the same way as some other hallucinogens, including LSD and marijuana, so someone who abuses a lot of shrooms will experience a high tolerance to related substances. The tolerance to several related substances may lead to future issues with substance abuse or pharmacological treatments for mental or physical disorders.
The Psychological Impact of Psychedelic Mushrooms
The main effects of shrooms are psychological, often associated with literally expanding consciousness. However, the dramatic changes to brain state and neuron interactions can trigger long-lasting and even chronic effects.
One of the most frightening effects is intense panic and paranoia. People who abuse mushrooms may experience a panic attack, feel like they are being watched, or have a break from reality that leads them to display psychotic symptoms. They may harm themselves or others with violent outbursts. They may end up in the hospital with lasting damage from accidental harm during a psychotic episode.
Psychosis induced by psilocybin is very similar to symptoms of schizophrenia, and someone who is at risk for developing schizophrenia may trigger this mental condition by abusing psychedelic drugs. The intense changes to brain chemistry may make some conditions like anxiety or bipolar disorders worse; however, magic mushrooms have been associated, in some very small medical studies, with reduced depression. Persistent psychosis is characterized by:
- Visual disturbances.
- Disorganized thinking.
- Mood changes.
Like other hallucinogens, especially LSD, shrooms can cause flashbacks, even after one use. Flashbacks may be mild experiences, including changing lights or colors, or they could involve intense panic, dissociation, and even hallucinations. While they last only a minute or two, they can be very disruptive.
The Progression of Chronic Health Effects from Psychedelic Mushrooms
Changes to the body occur slowly without an underlying health condition. Exposure to substances that cause high blood pressure over time will lead to chronic high blood pressure, for example. However, this can take months or even years to induce.
Mental state changes, however, may occur after just one instance of abusing magic mushrooms, or they may never occur. The emotional and psychological changes associated with psilocybin are unpredictable, which is part of what makes this drug dangerous.
Treatment for Addiction
In many cases, people who use psilocybin also use other substances and may need help for polydrug use or addiction. If you’re dependent on other drugs and are also using mushrooms, you may end up having a complicated withdrawal syndrome that requires supervision in a medical detox environment. After detox, you will also likely need ongoing support in an inpatient or outpatient evidence-based rehabilitation program.
If you or someone you love is struggling with the devastating side effects of addiction and are unsure of where to turn, call us today at or check if your insurance will cover treatment with this quick, easy and secure . Desert Hope, American Addiction Centers’ rehab center near Las Vegas strip, is ready to help you get the treatment you need today, offering both inpatient/residential and outpatient treatment programs, as well as medical detox where you’ll receive 24/hour medical supervision in a safe and comfortable environment.
Our admissions navigators are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about how to pay for rehab for or how to get admitted into our Nevada rehab. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re struggling. Recovery is possible. We’re here for you.