Magic mushrooms are either eaten raw, mixed with food, or made into a brew
and swallowed. There are several varieties of magic mushroom, but the
type most commonly found in the UK is the Liberty Cap, which contains the drug
WHAT IS PSILOCYBIN?
Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic or psychedelic drug, with effects
similar to those of LSD.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF MAGIC MUSHROOMS?
As with all drugs, the effects produced are dependent on the dose
used, the personality of the user and the setting in which the drug is taken.
Usually a dose of 20-30 mushrooms will cause a strong `trip'.
At low doses, magic mushrooms may produce feelings of relaxation, not
dissimilar to those of cannabis. At higher doses, the experience is thought
to be closer to that of LSD. Users may experience an intensification of
colour, hallucinations and a sense of well-being.
A magic mushroom `trip' tends to last about four hours as opposed
to eight hours or more with LSD.
HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH TO TAKE?
There is no predictable way of estimating the amount of psilocybin in
each mushroom. The amount is determined by the strain, size and age of the
mushroom, and how they have been stored.
People determined to use should start with a small amount and work up
SLOWLY. (This will both avoid having too strong a trip, and minimise the
likelihood of poisoning.)
ARE MAGIC MUSHROOMS DANGEROUS?
The biggest danger associated with magic mushrooms use is probably
misidentification. Some mushrooms are poisonous and cause stomach pains,
vomiting and diarrhoea.
Don't use mushrooms alone. Have a friend on hand for reassurance in
case of panic during your `trip', or to help to take care of you if you do
accidentally eat poisonous mushrooms.
Magic mushrooms can cause panic attacks.
Because they can impair judgement accidents can occur.
Do not drive while under the influence.
If you do feel sick shortly after taking magic mushrooms, go straight
to hospital. Take a sample of the mushrooms with you to help with
ARE MAGIC MUSHROOMS ILLEGAL?
Although it is against the law to possess psilocybin, the possession
and use of magic mushrooms in their natural form is not illegal.
However, magic mushrooms become illegal if they are `prepared' or
`processed' for use. Police have brought prosecutions against people in the
past who have intentionally dried, crushed or made a `brew' from them.