What first comes to mind when you think of magic mushrooms? Usually people think of surreal visuals, a disturbed sense of time, and sometimes a life-affirming experience. Rarely do you hear anyone talk about addictions related to these magical fungi.
Are magic mushrooms addictive?
With the above, however, we are not claiming that magic mushrooms are harmless or not addictive. It is absolutely possible to become addicted to any drug, regardless of its effects. Just Google “strange addictions” for a huge amount of information. But what we have discovered so far is that magic mushrooms are not physically addictive. This is true of most conventional drugs, however. Before we go on to explain why, a little about the basics of addiction.
What makes some drugs addictive?
An addiction is a desire to continue using or engaging in a product, drug or activity, regardless of the consequences. In doing so, we can divide addictions into two categories: physical or psychological. In physical addiction, the body has become so dependent on a substance that it cannot function without it. Unfortunately, repeated use leads to changes on a biological level. A psychological addiction is different. You are not addicted to a (chemical) substance, but to the exhilarating feeling that it provides. Both forms of addiction are equally devastating. Yet physical addiction in particular leads to repeated use of a drug. In doing so, the continual use causes the body to be unable to live without it.
In short: no, mushrooms are not addictive
Our body has figured out a brilliant way to control the chemical changes after using magic mushrooms. In this way, it does not become dependent on the effects induced by psilocybin (the active ingredient), but begins to block them! If you have ever used magic mushrooms repeatedly, you probably know that on the second or third try you hardly notice any effect, if any at all. You can chew on as many shrooms as you want, but your body won’t trip. So we can rule out a physical addiction, but it is possible to become psychologically addicted to shrooms. Thanks to the entheogenic properties of shrooms, they are highly sought after. And for some, that experience is too pleasurable to give up.
Desired effects of magic mushrooms
Because there’s a chance of psychological dependence, it’s important to know the effects of our mystical mushroom friends. A positive, well-informed psychedelic experience is one of the best ways to enjoy magic mushrooms without becoming dependent. Possible effects of magic mushrooms are:
- Strengthened emotions
- Improved social behavior and empathy
- Cognitive euphoria (an expensive word for happiness)
- Connection of thoughts
- Stimulation of creativity
The above list is just a sampling of the possible effects. Not surprisingly, people revere shrooms for the spiritual enlightenment and encouragement of a carefree existence they provide. With today’s chaotic life, we could probably all use some help from the shroom!
As described above, you can become addicted to almost anything. From eating toilet rolls to smelling doll heads (yes, these are real addictions), the feeling of the activity drives an emotional response that we want to continue to experience. A psychological addiction is about the desire to feel a certain way. And that sensation is caused by an activity or certain drug. But scientists don’t know exactly why some people become addicted to a particular object or activity while others do not.
Symptoms of mental addiction
The symptoms of mental addiction seem to be fairly unanimous. Do you recognize the characteristics or feelings from the list below? If so, it may be time to take a closer look at your relationship with a particular drug or activity.
- Loss of appetite
- Intense craving (for a particular drug or activity)
- Restlessness or insomnia (when a drug or activity is not available)
- Mood swings
- Getting upset at the thought of doing without a particular drug or activity
How do you treat psychological dependence?
The good news is that psychological dependence is usually easier to treat than its physical counterpart. In doing so, you can try to break your dependency purely on willpower, but there are also other initiatives and tools to support you. These range from behavioral therapy to counseling to detox and rehabilitation programs. There are also many groups and forums online, so you are not alone.
Habituation symptoms caused by magic mushrooms
Fortunately, there seems to be very little evidence that magic mushrooms cause withdrawal symptoms. Heavy users may well relive parts of a trip via flashbacks, but these are more likely the result of external problems than the shrooms themselves. In short, if you stop using magic mushrooms, you will not feel an uncontrollable or uncontrollable urge to trip.
Should you be concerned about using magic mushrooms?
Now the key question: should you be worried about using magic mushrooms? Honestly, we can’t say that there are no potential downsides or unwanted side effects at all. But since you can’t become physically addicted to them, an “everything in moderation” approach works fine for experiencing spiritual enlightenment without becoming dependent.