Can You Overdose on Mushrooms? - The Discovery House
Can You Overdose on Mushrooms?

Can You Overdose on Mushrooms?

The legal status of psilocybin mushrooms in the United States is a moving target, as laws surrounding the use of mushrooms and efforts to legalize them seem to be ever-changing. 

Some states, like Colorado, made the use of psilocybin and psilocin, both psychedelic compounds, legal in 2022. This thumbs-up gave both institutions and private individuals the right to grow and use magic mushrooms but not to sell them or use them in school or while driving.

It’s best to keep an eye on mushroom-related news to follow which places are banning or approving the use of shrooms, as this is a mercurial topic that is winning over some lawmakers while also making headway as a legitimate medical treatment option under professional supervision. 

In places where shrooms remain illegal, getting caught with a stash can lead to various punishments that include fines and imprisonment.

Table of Contents

Neuroscience Behind Psychedelics: How Mushrooms Affect the Brain

An Overview of Psychedelic Mushrooms

While psilocybin overdose is highly unlikely, researchers did find that the compound can have some negative effects on the brain. 

Mushroom hallucinogens can alter delta, theta, alpha, and gamma brain waves. This interferes with the ability of different brain regions to communicate with each other, which influences how we experience and interact with the world around us, how we make decisions, and how memories are formed and recalled.

Are Magic Mushrooms Addictive?

It might be interesting to learn that shrooms have a low risk of physical dependency. Unlike hard drugs (like heroin and opioids) that quickly become physically and mentally addictive, psilocybin is often known to cause a deep psychological dependence. 

A little bit can take the edge off a tough day, but as tolerance grows, you might start consuming more, or you become dependent on how the mushrooms make you feel. This can cause problems in your personal and professional lives. 

How Is Psilocybin Dependence Treated?

Can you overdose on mushrooms? It’s unlikely. Still, the fear of an overdose drives many to seek treatment for a variety of drug addictions. Those who wish to reduce or stop their mushroom intake altogether can get the support they need in various ways. 

Residential Care: Since there is little evidence to suggest that users will suffer from physical withdrawal symptoms, booking oneself into a rehabilitation center is not usually the first step. However, some people who use shrooms compulsively can benefit from in-patient care, where they are removed from things that might cause a relapse.

Dual Treatment: If someone has a shroom dependency in addition to a mental health disorder like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, both diagnoses must receive proper treatment. 

Support From Family and Other Addicts: Social support is a very powerful way to help someone recover from a magic mushroom dependency. This can be support from family and friends, a therapist, and support groups.

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is another popular and versatile option that shroom users turn to when they want to kick the habit. Individuals can opt for private one-on-one sessions with a therapist, group therapy, or both. 

At the end of the day, questions like “Can you overdose on shrooms?” or “Can you die from shrooms?” can be answered with “highly unlikely.” However, magic mushrooms can cause a lot of problems when not used in small amounts under professional supervision. 

That being said, many users are successful in their quest to quit their shroom addiction, provided they get all the support and treatment that they need. When you want to kick the habit, know that there is hope and help available.

Even though a mushroom overdose is rarely fatal, it can be extremely uncomfortable and scary. Signs of overdose include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Slowed sense of time
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Excessive perspiration 
  • Coma

These symptoms may be severe. Symptoms of overdose usually last for six to eight hours but some effects can take several days to go away.

paranoia caused by mushrooms

Bad Trips on Mushrooms

Bad Trips on Mushrooms

You have probably heard about a bad trip. This is an unpleasant experience after taking mushrooms. As you will soon see, a person can have a bad trip even without taking excessive amounts. Let’s look at some aspects of a bad trip on mushrooms. The experience may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Panic
  • Hallucinations
  • Fear
  • Violent behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts

First-time users are more likely to experience bad trips especially if they are depressed or anxious about taking the drug. Taking a large dose the first time can also increase the likelihood of an unpleasant experience. Using mushrooms in unfamiliar or chaotic environments can result in a bad trip as well.

The effects of psilocybin are generally unpredictable, and they vary widely from one person to another. A lot depends on the mindset of the individual taking the drug and the setting in which they take it. This is because psilocybin affects one’s thoughts, perception, and one’s state of consciousness.

If you’re calm and relaxed, you’re more likely to have a pleasant experience. However, if you feel angry, depressed, or upset, you would be strongly discouraged from trying mushrooms. 

Meanwhile, taking the drug in a quiet room in the company of one person will have a different effect to using it while surrounded by a large, noisy crowd. Experienced users tend to prefer quiet, dark settings but many people use mushrooms while partying. The loud noises and flashing lights can lead to unpleasant side effects.

Both researchers and people who use mushrooms say the user’s intention also affects their experience. People who use shrooms recreationally may feel giddy or increasingly empathetic. However, those who are seeking enlightenment may become introspective. This link between intention and experience explains why people who take mushrooms unknowingly tend to become afraid and then experience more severe effects.

To reduce the negative effects of mushroom ingestion, seasoned users say it is best to use the drug with someone you trust in a place where you feel comfortable. However, it is important to note that any form of psychedelic mushroom room can result in uncomfortable or even dangerous effects.

Can You Trip and Never Come Back?

Some people worry that if they experience a bad trip, they will never be the same again. You may have heard stories to this effect. Most people who experience psychotic symptoms after using mushrooms don’t experience any lasting effects.

However, psychedelic drugs can be more dangerous for people with a history of schizophrenia or other mental health problems. If you have a psychological disorder and you have been using shrooms or other psychedelic drugs, you may need to seek professional help. Talk to your primary care physician or an addiction specialist for guidance.

tripping from mushrooms

The Dangers of Consuming the Wrong Type of Mushroom

You are reading this article because you want to find out if you can overdose on mushrooms. However, you are more likely to die if you accidentally consume a poisonous mushroom rather than a psychedelic one. There are many poisonous mushrooms in the wild. In fact, toxic mushrooms may outnumber hallucinogenic varieties by as much as ten to one.

Poisonous mushrooms may look like psilocybin mushrooms, and some may also produce hallucinogenic effects. However, using a potentially lethal mushroom can cause severe damage to your organs even if you survive.

The symptoms associated with mushroom poisoning differ from species to species, but they may include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Abdominal pain
  • Slow heart rate
  • Mucus in the lungs
  • Low blood sugar
  • Kidney failure

The most dangerous species include Gyromitra, Amanita, and Cortinarius. Amanita phalloides or the death cap looks like a psilocybin mushroom and often grows in the same places. However, it is highly toxic.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this variety is responsible for the most deaths in people who consumed foraged mushrooms worldwide. It is also known to cause serious illness including liver damage.

Since mushrooms are commonly used for food, some people pick wild varieties in forests or anywhere it’s moist enough for them to grow, not thinking that they could be dangerous. However, others get excited when they come across a patch of what appears to be psilocybin mushrooms.

consuming wrong mushroom

The Risk of Taking Mushrooms Laced with Another Drug

Even if you opt not to forage and you purchase from street dealers, you could still be in danger. Another of the risks of ‘shrooming’ is that instead of psychedelic mushrooms, you may be sold store-bought mushrooms laced with LSD or phencyclidine (also known as PCP or angel dust). Many of the illicit substances sold as magic mushrooms do not contain any psilocybin or only contain small amounts.

In rare cases, the use of psilocybin and other hallucinogens can lead to psychosis that continues even after the individual stops using them. They may experience paranoia, mood changes, disorganized thinking, and visual distortions.

It is also possible to develop hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, although this too is rare. With this condition, sensory disturbances continue after the effects of the drug have worn off. Symptoms of this disorder include halos around objects, trails of moving objects, intensified colors, and afterimages.

An afterimage is an image that continues to appear in one’s eyes (either frequently or infrequently) even though they are no longer exposed to the original image in front of them. Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder can last for weeks, months, or even years.

mushroom laced with LSD

What is the Addictive Potential of Mushrooms?

Psychedelic mushrooms are not thought to be physically or psychologically addictive. However, like other hallucinogens, users are likely to develop tolerance. Even people who only use mushrooms occasionally may need higher and higher doses to get the same effect. Increasing your dosage increases the risk of negative effects and overdose.

Even though psilocybin is not known to cause withdrawal symptoms, users may still experience a “come down” when it wears off. They may experience exhaustion, anxiety, depression, and headaches. 

As with people who abuse any other type of drug, people who abuse mushrooms or other psychedelic drugs should seek expert help. That is because mushroom abuse can lead to negative consequences and a person who continues to consume mushrooms anyway is probably unable to control their use.

mushroom side effects is exhaustion

Treatment for Psychedelic Abuse

Treatment for Psychedelic Abuse

Even though there is no evidence that people can become addicted to mushrooms, compulsive use of psychedelic mushrooms can lead to significant impairment and distress. Therefore, people who abuse psilocybin may benefit from psychotherapy and other interventions.

Participating in individual therapy, group therapy, or a combination of the two allows them to identify and manage the issues that led to their psilocybin abuse in the first place. By undergoing therapy, you learn to cope in situations that would previously have triggered your use and thereby prevent relapse. Counseling can also help with stress management.

Dual diagnosis treatment is also necessary for people who have co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia. Such individuals need to have both issues addressed simultaneously to reduce the risk of relapse.

People who abuse mushrooms may benefit from community mental health support, drug education, peer support, and vocational rehabilitation.

Talk to the Professionals at The Discovery House

You now have the answer to the question “can you overdose on mushrooms?” and you know some of the other dangers associated with mushrooms. If you are concerned about your mushroom use or that of a loved one, reach out to The Discovery House for help.

If substance abuse goes undiagnosed and untreated, it can result in serious long-term consequences. In contrast, the sooner you or your loved one seek professional help, the more likely it is that you return to a healthy and productive life.

Instead of turning to mushrooms when you are stressed, anxious, or depressed, it’s better to seek healthier coping mechanisms. If you have questions about the treatment programs we offer or any aspect of substance abuse, contact us today.

We offer highly personalized services that cater to everyone’s specific needs. Our highly trained staff are ready to answer your questions and talk about how we can help you.