Mushrooms and Other Hallucinogens

Naturally Occurring Hallucinogens

Today, there seems to be a growing misconception that most hallucinogenic drugs aren’t particularly harmful to users. There are several reasons for this misconception. Namely, many types of hallucinogenic drugs are naturally occurring, such as psilocybin (hallucinogenic mushrooms) and peyote. However, just because these substances are natural, it does not mean that they cannot be abused and cause damage to their users. Most types of naturally occurring hallucinogens are on the controlled substance list in the United States.

Mushrooms and other hallucinogens addiction

Dangerous Effects of Hallucinogenic Drugs

Several dangerous effects come from using mushrooms, or other hallucinogenic drugs. In the short-term, these effects include an impaired grasp on reality, which causes extreme shifts in perception, hence the hallucinations. This isn’t particularly surprising, as it is the main reason that individuals will take such substances. However, hallucinogens can also cause impairment of reflexes, sudden changes in body temperature, impulsive decision-making, and a warped sense of space and time. While some of these physical effects can be dangerous for people who already have physical issues, the primary danger of hallucinogens is that people who are experiencing a trip oftentimes make unsafe decisions, which can lead to accidental death.

As for the long-term effects of hallucinogenic abuse, continuous users of hallucinogenic drugs often experience memory loss, and can also experience depression and anxiety. This is due to the fact that these substances throw off the chemical balance of how your brain perceives reality. Once the trip wears off, this can be quite damaging to a person’s psyche.

Dangers Hallucinogen Abuse

While hallucinogenic drugs aren’t as physically harmful as many other drugs, there are real and present dangers that come with using them. Achieving the hallucinogenic aspects of these drugs comes side effects that impair your reflexes and decision-making abilities. Because of this fact, many injuries and fatalities that stem from hallucinogenic drug use are due to the actions of users who have distorted their perception of reality, and thus make unsafe decisions and have accidents.

If you continue to use hallucinogenic drugs for a long time, it can also have a negative and strong impact on your brain’s chemistry, and can lead to cognitive deterioration. Chronic hallucinogenic drug abuse frequently leads to memory loss, and can also lead to the development of anxiety and depressive disorders.

Hallucinogen Culture in the U.S.

Due to the distortions of reality that come from using hallucinogenic drugs, psilocybin and similar drugs are quite popular amongst party scenes and rave culture in the United States. These substances’ growing popularity amongst these groups has contributed to the myth, stated above, that naturally occurring hallucinogens are particularly harmless. While they may not be as extreme in danger, compared to other substances, mushrooms and other hallucinogens still contain dangerous effects, when continuously used.

Hallucinogenic Usage in the U.S.

Hallucinogenic drugs have had a strong following of users in the United States since the 1960’s, when they first became popular, amid a multitude of counter culture subcultures. Today, hallucinogen usage has remained about the same. As of 2013, roughly 230,000 Americans use acid (LSD) every month. The United States, in particular, tends to have a higher rate of hallucinogenic drug abuse among teenagers than other regions in the world. For example, 6% of high school students in the United States report using LSD at some point during their high school years, compared to 2% in Europe.