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Magic mushrooms are a hallucinogenic fungus that people take to get high. They’re a psychedelic, which means they interfere with a person's perception of reality.

This can help if:

  • you want to know about magic mushrooms
  • you want to know what to do if someone has a bad ‘trip’
  • you're curious about hallucinogens.
Magic mushrooms

What are magic mushrooms?

‘Magic’ mushrooms are a type of fungus containing hallucinogenic chemicals (psilocybin) that grows in the wild. They work by disrupting how your nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin interact throughout the brain and spinal cord. By changing the normal functioning of serotonin in the brain, mushrooms distort the way you process information and make you hallucinate.

What do magic mushrooms do to you?

Magic mushrooms change how you experience reality. There's no way to tell ahead of time if the changes will be enjoyable or not. The changes will begin shortly after you take the mushrooms, and may last for approximately four to six hours. You might experience:

  • more intense or ‘mixed’ sights, sounds, feelings and tastes
  • changes in how you sense time and space
  • feelings of wellbeing, but also mood swings.

Physically, you could experience:

  • raised blood pressure and body temperature in the short term
  • numbness, twitching or poor physical coordination
  • nausea.

Other issues with magic mushrooms

  • It’s easy to build up a tolerance quickly (which means you need to take more and more to get the same effect). Taking more to get high magnifies the risks involved and can lead to bad ‘trips’, self-harm and dangerous behaviour. Deaths from using magic mushrooms generally occur due to suicide, accidents and dangerous behaviour while under the influence of the drug.
  • It’s important not to mix magic mushrooms with alcohol or other drugs. Magic mushrooms are already unpredictable, even without other complications. Mixing them with other mind-altering substances could put you in an emergency situation.
  • There are deadly mushrooms and toadstools in Australia that also grow in the wild. Eating the wrong type of mushroom can kill you, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference between types of mushrooms.
  • It’s easy to have a bad ‘trip’ on mushrooms, where you end up feeling panicked and afraid. This will pass. Try to stay in a calm and relaxed environment and wait for the effect to wear off.

What can I do now?

  • Read about drug addiction.
  • Try ReachOut NextStep and find help that’s right for you.
  • Talk to a doctor or a mental health professional if you’re worried about your drug use.