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The Dangers Of Mushroom Use In Teens



Psilocybin mushrooms are often referred to as ‘shrooms,’ and are hallucinogenic mushrooms that when ingested alter a young person’s consciousness and state of mind. Psilocybin is the active chemical in psychedelic mushrooms. They come from a specific type of mushroom that can be found in tropical and subtropical regions of the United States, South America, and Mexico. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies psilocybin as a Schedule I substance, which are defined as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” The average half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half, of psilocin is 50 minutes, as is noted by the International Encyclopedia of Adverse Drug Reactions and Interactions. There are many different strains of psilocybin mushrooms, and each has its own level of potency. Psilocybe cubensis is the most common type of shrooms available and happens to be quite potent. A typical dose of dried psilocybe cubensis mushrooms is approximately 3.5 grams, which is equal to 1/8th of an ounce. Research suggests that hallucinogens (e.g., shrooms) work by temporarily interrupting communication between one’s neurotransmitters that regulate one’s basic functions (e.g., body temperature, muscle control, sensory perception) in addition to the regulation of one’s mood, sexual behavior, hunger, and sleep. Ingesting mushrooms essentially interferes with the way a young person’s brain would otherwise function. Hence, habitual abuse of shrooms in teenagers can lead to a slew of unwanted physiological consequences and possible irreversible damage. 

Effects of Mushrooms

As is true with abuse of any substance, there are a myriad of possible effects a young person may experience. Some of the possible effects of psilocybin mushroom abuse can include, but are not limited to the following, provided by Medical News Today:

  • Impaired motor skills
  • Hypothermia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Flashbacks
  • Vomiting
  • Pleasant emotions
  • Severe depression
  • Increased heart rate
  • Panic attacks
  • Schizophrenia
  • Unpleasant emotions
  • Rapid breathing
  • Psychosis
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Emotional swings
  • Paranoid delusions

The physiological effects of psilocybin mushroom abuse can be extensive. Some of these side effects can last for the entire duration of one’s mushroom trip. It is important to note that it is possible for some of the more severe side effects to persist for weeks or even years after the mushroom abuser has quit using the drug.

Psychological Overdose

It is rare for a young person to physically overdose on any of the currently identified species of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. It is possible for teenagers that abuse mushrooms to experience a psychological overdose. Symptoms of a mushroom psychosocial overdose could include any combination of the following examples, provided by UC Santa Cruz:

  • Psychosis
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Intense panic attacks
  • Lightheadedness
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Excessive perspiration 
  • Slowed sense of time
  • Facial flushing
  • Delusional thinking

There are many poisonous and potentially lethal mushrooms that could be misidentified as psychedelic mushrooms. Consuming these can result in unintentional poisoning, leading to severe injury to vital organs, and in some cases death. 

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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