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Psilocybin


Psilocybin is a chemical obtained from certain types of fresh or dried mushrooms.

Origin

Psilocybin mushrooms are found in Mexico, Central America, and the United States.

Street names

  • Magic Mushrooms, Mushrooms, and Shrooms

Appearance

Mushrooms containing psilocybin are available fresh or dried and have long, slender stems topped by caps with dark gills on the underside. Fresh mushrooms have white or whitish-gray stems; the caps are dark brown around the edges and light brown or white in the center. Dried mushrooms are usually rusty brown with isolated areas of off-white.

Methods of abuse

Psilocybin mushrooms are ingested orally. They may also be brewed as a tea or added to other foods to mask their bitter flavor.

Mental effects

The psychological consequences of psilocybin use include hallucinations and an inability to discern fantasy from reality. Panic reactions and psychosis also may occur, particularly if a user ingests a large dose.

Physical effects

  • Nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, and lack of coordination

Overdose effects

  • Longer, more intense “trip” episodes, psychosis, and possible death

Abuse of psilocybin mushrooms could also lead to poisoning if one of the many varieties of poisonous mushrooms is incorrectly identified as a psilocybin mushroom.

Drugs with similar effects

Psilocybin effects are similar to other hallucinogens, such as mescaline and peyote.

Legal status in the United States

Psilocybin is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

Source: DEA Drug Fact Sheet - Psilocybin
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