Magic mushrooms, commonly known as ‘psilocybin’, ‘Liberty caps’, ‘shrooms’ and ‘liberties’ are hallucinogenic fungi that grow wild used for recreational use, normally lasting up to 9 hours depending on the numbers taken.
Different mushrooms effect you differently, however the most common ‘Liberty caps’ are similar to those from a mild LSD dose and can change due to the mood, situation and expectation of the user.
Start low and go slow- The potency of mushrooms varies. Titrating a dose can be exceedingly challenging, especially if mushrooms have been dried or cooked. Depending on the type and size of the mushrooms, as well as how they are consumed, a moderate dose range of 10 to 30 could prove to be either very potent or very weak, therefore take a small number to start with and do’t use more within the first hour. Allow them to start working.
Mushroom tea – Be careful with mushroom tea. It will get stronger the longer it brews. This means the dregs are stronger than the first cup.
Do not mix- Don’t use other psychoactive compounds along with mushrooms.
Be careful of fakes– Ideally look for mushrooms with a friend who knows what they are looking for or buy a good book and learn how to identify mushrooms otherwise you are at risk of mushroom poisoning. Some mushrooms are poisonous leading to stomach upsets, coma and possible death.
Clean your mushrooms– Make sure you wash your mushrooms well before consuming, otherwise you can risk infections and other virus from the ground.
Test your mushrooms- Be careful about getting mushrooms from other people- they may have made a mistake. You can order online mushroom testing kits.
Trip safely- Don’t use when feeling tired, anxious or in a low mood. Use in a safe place with trusted friends and have trusted friends that can guide you if the trip becomes scary. The more mushrooms you take, the increased risk of a bad trip.
Look after your friends– Tell someone who is having a poor trip that the affects of the drugs they took will pass soon. Be reassuring and calm. Seek medical help if you feel out of your depth or if you are unable to calm them down.
Recovery time– Make sure you allow yourself lots of time for recovery. After taking magic mushrooms, delayed headaches can happen and individual who has taken mushrooms may experience feelings of depression and anxiety.
Flashbacks– Magic mushroom users may occasionally have flashbacks to earlier magic mushroom experiences. This may be unsettling, especially if it brings back unsettling memories or hallucinations.
When you take large doses of magic mushrooms it is possible to experience an overdose of sorts. While they are not commonly fatal, if a large amount or a strong batch of mushrooms is consumed, the person may experience:
What to do in the event of an overdose
Mental health- There is a risk to mental health problems, especially if you already suffer with depression or anxiety. Reducing your usage will decrease the chance of experiencing bad trips and flashbacks.
Physical health– Decreasing the risk of chance to get poisoned by magic mushrooms that can lead to cramps, abdominal pain and other issues.
Reach out for support.Services like Barod provide free, confidential one-to-one support for anyone affected by substance use. We also facilitate mutual aid groups, such as SMART Recovery, where people can gain peer support, from people who may find themselves in a similar situation. While accessing services may not always be possible for some, we’d still recommend reaching out to someone you feel could help you achieve your goals.
Look out for any ‘triggers’. It might be when you drink, or when you’re with certain people, for example.
Track your usage. Using tools such as mood diary can help you identify any potential patterns to your magic mushroom use. Without knowing it, you could use magic mushroom more at a certain time of the day or week, or when you are with certain people. Therefore, this provides you with a starting point of where you can start to cut down.
Start to make a plan. If you can figure out your triggers, you can start to make a plan. You might want to cut some triggers out completely or avoid combinations that give you cravings. Changing your habits or breaking off contact with certain friends can be difficult, but it often helps in the long term.
Identify and develop strategies for managing triggers. If you take magic mushrooms when feeling stressed or anxious, apply different coping strategies that can apply comfort to you.
Plan ahead. Take a limited amount of cash out with you, and leave your bank card at home. This means you’re less likely to spend money on cocaine. Ask your friends to help you stick to your money limit.
Make a list. Some people find it useful to make a list of all the reasons they don’t want to take magic mushrooms. ‘I’ll have a better relationship with my friends and family’, for example. Use the list to help you stay focused.
We provide support to anyone affected by magic mushroom use, including those affected by a loved one’s use. Below is the list of areas we currently cover. Just click on the service for more information including their contact details. Alternatively, access our Live Webchat Service and speak to one of our trained support workers.
CAVDAS (Adults) and CAVDAS Young Persons – Covering Cardiff and the Vale.
Sometimes it is hard to know where to start when you are concerned about a loved one and their substance use, especially how to start and have a conversation with them about their use. Here are some tips we have put together which may make having that conservation a little easier.
Stay Calm – when talking to a loved one about their substance use it can often be a very emotive subject and they may become defensive and angry. Stay calm in order to reduce the conversation escalating into an argument. It is very difficult to argue with a calm person.
Time – choose a time that is good for both of you. If they are intoxicated or have had a bad day this may not be the best time to talk about their substance use. Choose a time when you are both calm and don’t have any distractions around so you can have a meaningful conversation.
Listen – it is important to allow your loved one to talk – that is the whole point of a conversation. Listen carefully to what they are saying and don’t interrupt.
Don’t be judgmental – your loved one probably knows that their substance use is having an impact on the people around them and often feel a great sense of guilt and shame. You may not agree with their actions but try not to judge or accuse them as they probably already feel judged by the people around them and may become defensive.
Ask open questions – ask questions where it is difficult to give one word answers. This can help a conversation flow and avoids an easy “yes” or “no” answer.
Positives – your loved one is probably very aware of all the negative things they may be doing. Try and let them know of the positives they are doing. Everyone likes to know when they are doing something good and it encourages us to keep doing that positive thing.
Knowledge – research information on drugs and alcohol. It may help you understand some of their behaviours and recognise when they are intoxicated and what support is available.
Get support – Barod offer support for loved ones who may be concerned or affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use as well as support for loved ones who are using substances.
Sometimes a loved one may not be ready to have a conversation about their substance use. It is important to let them know you are there and ready to have that conversation. Don’t be disheartened if they don’t wish to talk about their substance use straight away, the fact you have approached the subject in a non judgmental and supportive way shows them you care.