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DRUG INFORMATION THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE

Drug INFORMATION home | Mushrooms | The Basics | Effects | Dangers
Addiction & Tolerance | Mixing With Other Drugs | FAQ/ Frequently Asked Questions | Drug Tests | Legality | Helpful Links |

Please note: There have been very few scientific studies into the effects of combining psychoactive drugs. The information presented here is anecdotal. It is based on the subjective reports of experienced users. Different people will respond differently to different drugs and drug combination. Know your body, use your head.


Mushrooms


The Basics: What it is;

Magic mushrooms are naturally occurring, non-poisonous fungi which contain varying amounts of the conscious-altering substances psilocybin and psilocin.
When eaten or drunk in a tea, they combine readily and hungrily with the brain to evoke a powerful psychedelic trip experience, shorter-lived but similar in tone and effect to LSD.
There are over 90 species of magic mushrooms world-wide. Common varieties include UK and Northern Europe's 'Liberty Caps' (Psilocybe semilanceata) and North America's Psilocybe cubensis.
The world's most famous magic mushroom is the European Fly Agaric (amanita muscaria), the red-and-white spotted toadstool which often pops up in children's literature. However, it contains ibotenic acid and muscimol not psilocybin and has very different effects.


Appearance
Mushrooms are light to dark brown in colour and come in fresh, dried or powdered forms. All of them taste disgusting.
They smell distinctively 'mushroomy' and are impossible to confuse with any other powdered drug.
They usually sell for around € 6 per gram.

Effects:
The mushroom effect is described as a 'trip' because it is a long (4-6 hours) and powerful experience which takes you beyond normal perception and then back again.At low doses, mushrooms induce a tingling body feeling and sense of euphoria and lightness. You may feel happy and giggly. Colours seem more vibrant, music sounds richer.
Simply put, it alters and expands consciousness by loosening or - at higher doses- completely erasing the normal filters and screens between your conscious mind and the outside world.
With these filters down, more information rushes in and you became aware of things normally filtered out out by your mind. You sense more, think more, feel more. Visual, auditory, sensory, emotional. The intricate details on surfaces, the richness of sound, the brightness of colours, and the complexity of your own mental processes.

Coming Up
The effects begin to be felt between 20 minutes to an hour after ingestion. The first signs are a sense of euphoria and expectation, along with a tingling body feeling.
Once started, the effects usually take between 30-45 minutes to 'come up' and reach their peak.
It is common to feel some nausea during this stage. It can be reduced by having an empty stomach.
Peak
The peak effect lasts for for one to two hours. A clear symptom is rich visual hallucinations. Colours seem more vibrant. Surfaces may ripple and shimmer. You may notice tiny details on objects. Music sounds richer and louder.
At the same time, you may feel blissful, have flashes of insight into yourself or the world, experience severe time-distortion, or feel yourself dissolving or see objects merging into one another.
Coming Down
The trip wears off gradually after 4 to 6 hours, although you may continue to feel tender and altered until you get a full night's sleep.

After Effects
Psychologically, any insights or feelings you have had whilst bemushroomed will stay with you. A positive experience can give you a glow lasting hours, days or even weeks afterwards.
At the same time, bad trips, like any traumatic experience, are likely to stay with you for a while afterwards. Fear and anxiety for a few days is not uncommon but these will fade.

Psychedelic effects:

The four levels of psychedelic intensity
Four levels or intensity of effect have been observed in the psychedelic experience.
The strongest factor in determining level is dosage but relaxation, experience and environment also play a part.
Some experienced people report a "rabbit hole effect," the ability to traverse to different levels irrelevant of dosage.
Baseline
How you feel before taking a drug
Off Baseline
Very mild effect. Relaxation. Giggling. Like being stoned but with enhanced visual perception: colours may seem brighter, patterns on the surface of things more eye-grabbing.
Also: a feeling of lightness and euphoria, and a slight tingling in the body. Music sounds better.
Plus One (+1)
Stronger visual hallucinations. Bright colours stand out, objects appear to ripple or breathe. Coloured patterns behind the eyes are vivid, more active. Moments of reflection and distractive thought patterns. Thoughts and thinking become enhanced. Creative urges. Euphoria. Connection with others, empathy. Sense of time distorted or lost.
Plus two (+2)
Very obvious visual effects. Curved or warped patterns. Familiar objects appear strange as surface details distract the eye. Imagination and 'mind's eye' images vivid, three dimensional. Some confusions of the senses.
Some awareness of background mental processes: such as balance systems or auditory visual perception. Deep store memory becomes accessible. Images or experiences may rise to the fore. Music is powerful and can affect mood. Sense of time lost.
Plus Three (+3)
Very strong hallucinations such as objects morphing into other objects. Intense depersonalisation - the barriers between you and the universe begin to break down. You feel you have connection with everything around you. You can experience contradictory feelings simultaneously. Some loss of reality. Time meaningless. Senses blend into one. Feeling of being born. Multiple splitting of the ego. Powerful awareness of your own mental processes and senses. Highly symbolic visions when eyes are closed.
Plus Four (+4)
A very rare experience. Total loss of visual connection with reality. The senses cease to function in the normal way. Total loss of self. Merging with space, other objects, or the universe. The loss of reality becomes so severe that it defies explanation. Pure white light. Difficult to put into words.


Dosage: How much should you take?

Psilocybin content varies widely from species to species and from mushroom to mushroom. As a rough guide, however, a reasonable dose is equivalent to two grams dried or 20 grams fresh.
First time, aim low. You can always increase the amount another time, but you can't undo a far-too-large dose. Be wary of over-confidence. Each psychedelic trip is different and each level of the experience has its own intensity and pitfalls. Even if you know the lay of the land, tread carefully.


Dangers/CAUTIONS
Mushrooms have no known adverse side-effects, other than leaving you feeling fatigued and probably surrounded by a load of mad paintings and some half-eaten chocolate bars.
However, Magic Mushrooms and other psychedelics are powerful mental amplifiers. If you are feeling depressed, anxious, sick at the world, at the quality of modern television, at rampant consumerism, at life in general, do not take psychedelics.
Mushroom effects and your reaction to them are strongly determined by set and setting. Set is your mindset when taking the drug; setting is where you are.
The magic mushroom effect makes you enormously sensitive to your environment so you should always be in a safe, comfortable environment, preferably with a friend you trust.



Don't Do It Alone:
Tripping alone for the first time is not recommended. An experienced and trusted friend should either join you, or should abstain and act as a sober sitter or guide to just be around and to help you if you start suffering a bad trip.
Flashbacks:
Flashbacks days or even months afterwards are often cited as a common side-effect of hallucinogenic drugs. There's little evidence that these are a given. Anecdotal studies have shown that only about 15% of users report any phenomenon close to a 'flashback'.

Addiction & Tolerance:
Mushrooms are not physically addictive, nor would you want to take them on a regular basis. As with any mind-altering substance, though, their psychological effects can be compelling and therefore hard to resist.
As with any drug beware of doing too much, too frequently and letting it define you. Be careful.
Tolerance:
Tolerance builds up rapidly with mushrooms. For 24 hours after a trip you have to take twice as much to repeat the same effect. Tolerance lasts about three to four days.
There is also some cross-tolerance with other psychedelic drugs of the tryptamine family (such LSD and DMT) but not E or Ketamine.

Mixing with other drugs:
Mushrooms are powerful psychedelics and should not, as a rule, be mixed with other mind-altering drugs, especially not by the inexperienced or the far from home.
Please note: There have been very few scientific studies into the effects of combining psychoactive drugs. The information presented here is anecdotal. It is based on the subjective reports of experienced users. Different people will respond differently to different drugs and drug combination. Know your body.

Alcohol - Takes the edge off the effect and can help you to relax; drunkenness disappears during the trip; large amounts increase the nausea; do not drink on the comedown (alcohol is a depressant)
Amphetamines - Increased weirdness; energising; paranoia usually increased; comedown can be rocky
Cannabis - Pulls the experience in the come-up; heightens the peak; brings back the effect during comedown
Ecstasy - (MDMA) known as 'candy-flipping'; the E good feeling can reduce chance of a bad trip but pay attention to E's safety requirements
Heroin - No information available
LSD - Cross tolerance usually present; not much point in taking other psychedelics at the same time
Tobacco - Up to you, no dangers, but you may be more aware of the damage it's doing to your lungs
Valium - The police in the UK are fond of administering this sedative to bad trippers.  In the US they uisually just beet you harder 'caus after all, you are the scum of the earth for taking drugs.

Drugtests: Detection Times;
Psilocybin is not usually tested for in standard or advanced drug tests.
65% of psilocybin is excreted in the urine within eight hours of ingestion. 15-20% stays detectable in the body for several weeks.

Legality: In the UK and US;
Magic Mushrooms occupy a strange grey area in UK law. They are legal as long as they are fresh and unprocessed.
You cannot be arrested or prosecuted for possessing freshly picked or cultivated mushrooms.
Drying, powdering or preparing them in any way for consumption turns them into a Class A drug.
In the US, mushrooms and psilocybin are categorised under schedule 1 along with LSD, cannabis, and heroin.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions:

» Are magic mushrooms poisonous?
» Will a urine drug test detect mushroom use?
» How long will mushrooms be detectable on a hair test?
» Are freshly picked mushrooms stronger than dried ones?
» So mushrooms are legal in the UK then?
» What's to stop me going to Amsterdam and bringing some fresh mushrooms back with me?
» Is there a good way of disguising the taste?
» How do you stop the nausea?
» Can you smoke mushrooms?
» What is a bad trip and how do I avoid one?
» What should I do to help someone having a bad trip?
» What are flashbacks?
» How many mushrooms should you take?
» I took a load of mushrooms (7 grams) recently and had the baddest trip ever. I thought of things like God and death. Is this normal?
» I took shrooms 4 times in last 3 weeks. First time was unforgettable but 3 other times I didn t trip at all. What is it with me?
» How do I identify non-poisonous mushrooms?
» I have recently stopped eating mushrooms. They have made me pass out twice now and I have seen others do the same. It is not a pleasant experience. what causes this black out?


» Are magic mushrooms poisonous?
No. Psilocybin mushrooms are not toxic. The National Institute For Occupational Safety And Heath (NIOSH) in the US Psilocybin (641) is rated less toxic than Aspirin (199) and Nicotine (21).
However, the main danger is in mistakenly picking poisonous, non-magic mushrooms. Do not gather mushrooms unless you know what you are doing. You can find a guide here

» Will a urine drug test detect mushroom use?
Standard drug tests do not test for the presence of psilocybin

.

» How long will mushrooms (psilocybin) be detectable on a hair test?
Technically between 3 to 5 months after use, but psilocybin is not usually tested for in standard (cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, PCP) or advanced drugs tests (barbituriates, benzodiazepines like Valium).
You can find detail drug tests info here http://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/testing/testing_info1.shtml
» Are freshly picked mushrooms stronger than dried ones?
Difficult to say. Growing conditions, age, and species can all affect the amounts of psilocybin and psilocin in mushrooms. Psilocin breaks down easily and doesn't survive the drying process. Psilocybin is much hardier (it survived over 115 years in one tested sample). Psycho activity depends on the ratios of the two in the mushrooms, which varies from species to species.

» So mushrooms are legal in the UK then?
Yes and no. Fresh mushrooms unprepared for use, that is not dried or powdered, are legal yes. As soon as they are prepared they become class A substances in the same league as LSD, cocaine and heroin.

» What's to stop me going to Amsterdam and bringing some fresh mushrooms back with me?
Only fresh 'liberty cap' magic mushrooms (psilocybe semilanceata) are legal in the UK because they are indigenous to the UK. Taking them over the a border or bringing them from another country is, however, illegal.

» Is there a good way of disguising the taste?
Mushrooms can be made more palatable by washed them down with water or orange juice, or making into a tea with ginger and honey. . Honey disguises the taste. Ginger quells nausea.

» How do you stop the nausea?
Nausea is a common effect during the 'coming-up' stage of the experience (first 20 minutes to an hour). Some people are more susceptible than others. Making the mushrooms into a tea can reduce nausea as can an empty stomach.
Shamanic tribes who use mushrooms in their rituals abstain from foods containing caffeine, alcohol, sugar and fats for days beforehand.

» Can you smoke mushrooms?
No - it doesn't work. High temperatures destroy psilocybin, the active ingredient. Plans for that 'magic pizza', 'magic soup' or 'magic omelette' should be shelved.

» What is a bad trip and how do I avoid one?
A bad trip occurs when the euphoria of an mushrooms trip changes into something more sinister and frightening.
It can be triggered by a threatening or adverse environment, the surfacing of difficult unconscious memories or material, a sense of being overwhelmed by the power of the drug and by attempting to resist its effects, or by problems between you and anyone you may be sharing the experience with. First time users are more likely to have bad trips.
Bad trips are characterised by intense feelings of paranoia, sensations of dying, fear, and anxiety. This maybe accompanied by threatening or frightening visual hallucinations: spiders, blood, insects, monsters, skulls etc. It is a deeply uncomfortable and traumatic state but can be avoided or changed by taking careful precautions. See our bad trip guide.

» What should I do to help someone having a bad trip?
Change something. The music, the setting, the lighting. Reassure them that they have taken a drug and the effects will wear off. Give them a time scale and a sense of when it will end. Above all be calm and do not panic. See our bad trip guide for more details.

» What are 'flashbacks'?
Flashbacks are the involuntary reliving of an LSD trip or state of mind days, week, or even months after an experience. Often used by anti-drugs organisations to spread fear, there is much debate as to whether flashbacks actually exist. Few users report them and no conclusive studies have been done.

» How many mushrooms should you take?
Psilocybin content varies widely from species to species and from mushroom to mushroom. There are no hard and fast rules regarding dosage. As a rough guide, however, a medium dose is equivalent to three grams dried, or 30 grams fresh.
First time, aim low. You can always increase the amount another time, but you can't undo a far-too-large dose. Be wary of over-confidence. Each psychedelic trip is different and each level of the experience has its own intensity and pitfalls. Even if you know the lay of the land, tread carefully.

» I took a load of mushrooms (7 grams) recently and had the baddest trip ever. I thought of things like God and death. Is this normal?
7 grams is a huge dose. Mushrooms are pretty powerful psychedelic substances and, like LSD, they can dissolve the filter or 'ego' between you and the outside world, leaving you open to a flood of new feelings, sensations and thoughts - both positive and negative. It's not unusual to have insights about yourself, the universe, God, and death in this state. Psilocybin (the active ingredient in mushrooms) was used by psychologists in the 1960s to induce a mystical religious experiences and help people over ruts in their lives.
A good book about this subject is High Priest by Timothy Leary. It's a bit over-written in places but there's solid info in there. You can also read other peoples' mushroom experiences here.

» I took shrooms 4 times in last 3 weeks. First time was unforgettable but 3 other times I didn t trip at all. What is it with me?
It's not you. It's your body. Tolerance to mushrooms and the active ingredient psilocybin is almost immediate and will last for three to four days. You will have to take twice the amount of mushrooms the next day to achieve the same effect.
» How do I identify non-poisonous mushrooms?
Try this guide here http://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/safe-pik/safe-pik.shtml

» I have recently stopped eating mushrooms. They have made me pass out twice now and I have seen others do the same. It is not a pleasant experience. what causes this black out?
It's possible that too high a dose of psilocybin could lead to a catatonic state but there is nothing in literature about black outs. How much are you taking? If you are taking relatively small amounts, it's likely your body is telling you something and you've made the right decision to stop. If you are taking large amounts (4 or 5 grams dried or more), it may be that your dose is just too high.

Please note: There have been very few scientific studies into the effects of combining psychoactive drugs. The information presented here is anecdotal. It is based on the subjective reports of experienced users. Different people will respond differently to different drugs and drug combination. Know your body.

Some resource Links that may be useful:
http://www.lindesmith.org
http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/

University of Amsterdam Center For Drug Research  http://www.cedro-uva.org

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