Monday, 29 October 2012


Psychological and physical dependency does not occur with mushrooms and there are no
withdrawal symptoms.
Somatic health risks
Acute toxicity of psilocybin is believed to be low so fatal intoxications related to consumptions of
hallucinogenic mushrooms are rare. One, allegedly toxicologically confirmed, death case directly
attributed to ingestion of a large amount of mushrooms in recent years is reported to have occurred
in France (Erowid). The Czech Republic reported one death case, a suicide in 2004, in which the
presence of 'hallucinogenic mushrooms' was detected and mentioned in the autopsy report.
The reported number of people seeking medical assistance because of intoxications from
hallucinogenic mushrooms is very low. The Czech Republic, reported 4 and 10 cases, in 2003 and
2004 respectively, of people who sought assistance following the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms.
In Poland, one toxicological centre reported psilocybin/psilocin intoxications — 2 cases in 2003
and 3 cases in 2004. Slovenia reported 2 intoxications in 2005. The number of cases reported by
the Swedish Poisons Information Centre remained relatively low and stable in the last five years at
around 30 to 40 calls annually. However, the coverage and capacity of the reporting systems and
case definitions across the EU vary substantially which makes it difficult to interpret findings or draw
firm conclusions (reporting form, 2005, Detecting, tracking and understanding emerging trends).
Intoxication with hallucinogenic mushrooms is not always easily diagnosed unless there is
information about recent ingestion from the user or from friends or family. First aid usually aims at
reassuring and preventing users from possibly harming themselves or others and assisting them to
an appropriate medical unit. Benzodiazepines are reported to be the safest medication of choice,
effective for most patients (WebMD).
There is no systematic research, but so far there is no evidence of chronic toxicity. Not enough data
is available about mutagenicity and teratogenicity to draw any conclusion. There is no irreversible
organ damage by psilocybin reported (CAM, 2000).
Mental health risks
Use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is more commonly linked to mental health risks. Although there is
no evidence of what proportion of users experience a 'bad trip', it is these users who are most likely
to contact emergency care systems. In such cases, the intoxicated individuals are usually extremely
anxious, severely agitated, confused and disoriented, with impaired concentration and judgement.
In serious cases, acute psychotic episodes may occur, including bizarre and frightening images,
severe paranoia and total loss of reality, which may lead to accidents, self-injury or suicide attempts.
A UK clubbing magazine survey conducted in 2005 found that nearly a quarter of those who had
used hallucinogenic mushrooms in the last year had experienced a panic attack (Mixmag,
A bad trip is usually followed by faintness, sadness and depression, paranoid interpretations etc.