Hallucinogenic mushrooms

NB! Drugs effects vary according to the psychological state and the health of the person concerned, the context in which the drug is taken as well as the quality of the drug and the quantity consumed.

Description

Hallucinogen mushrooms, of which the active principle is psilocybin, are usually eaten raw or mixed with other foods, or they are infused or cooked. They are sometimes sniffed or smoked, after they have been dried and made into powder.

Hallucinogenic mushrooms are psychoactive substances which are:

  • illegal
  • natural
  • hallucinogenic.

Desired effects

  • Perception distortions (time and space), hallucinations and stimulation of the senses
  • A slight feeling of relaxation and dizziness
  • Desire to communicate, to have fun, to socialise

Physical symptoms

  • Increase in heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and body temperature
  • Dilation of pupils

Immediate risks

  • Panic reactions and states close to psychosis (“bad trip”), agitation, anxiety, depersonalisation
  • Irrational acts (suicide, accidental death)
  • Dizziness, nausea, shivering, muscular weakness, light-headedness, abdominal discomfort
  • Loss of coordination, of the notion of time and distance and the sense of reality
  • Risk related to collecting the mushrooms: confusing varieties and swallowing poisonous mushrooms
  • Risk of overdose: loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, death

Long-term risks

The risks are greater in persons already suffering from psychiatric problems:

  • anxiety, depression, disorientation, panic attacks, inability to distinguish between illusion and reality
  • flash-back hallucinations.

Sciensano collects data and analyses the consumption of drugs, the drug market, the consequences for health, requests for treatment and the policies implemented with regard to drugs in Belgium.

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