Drug awareness week

CATEGORY
Disruptors / Hallucinogenic Stimulants

COMMON NAMES
Mushies, mush, mushrooms, shroomz

THEIR HISTORY
Different kinds of magic mushrooms grow in North and South America, Martinique, other Caribbean islands, and Europe. Magic mushrooms are believed to have played a cultural role in certain societies as far back as 2000 B.C. or earlier. Nowadays, they grow in the wild, but are also farmed.

THEIR APPEARANCE
As you would guess from their name, they’re mushrooms. But they are difficult to identify and trying to pick them in the wild is dangerous, since they can be confused with poisonous mushrooms. They are eaten fresh or dried. They are sometimes used to make tea, but more often they are cooked, smoked, or simply chewed and swallowed.

THEIR FAMILY
Magic mushrooms are members of the hallucinogen family, which means they alter sensory experiences and the perception of reality.

THEIR EFFECTS
Magic mushrooms’ effects last from 4 to 6 hours. Users have hallucinations and may alternate uncontrollably between laughing and crying. These effects vary on the type of mushroom and how it was grown.

THEIR FLIPSIDE
Magic mushrooms often cause stomach aches, diarrhoea, heart palpitations, and rapid breathing. There is also a risk of poisoning or intoxication. It takes a while for the effects to kick in, it’s easy to take too much and end up at the hospital.

Magic mushrooms are not known to cause physical or psychological addiction. However, they do lead to a very strong tolerance, which means the body gets used to them and requires higher and higher doses to get the same effects. And the more one takes, the higher the risk of intoxication.

THEIR ENEMIES
Remember that any drug mixture can cause serious complications, because the effects add up before you even realize it!

Scientific review:
Maryse Rioux, Pharmacist
Lecturer, Certificate in Drug Addiction, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke

 
© Gouvernement du Québec, 2014

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