Psychedelic substances, such as magic mushrooms, have a substantial history and spiritual uses across multiple societies. While there are many reasons why an individual may take psychedelics, it’s important to recognize and understand the addiction potential of magic mushrooms.
In this article, we will answer the question: Are shrooms addictive? We will also discuss what shrooms are, if psychedelics are addictive, how to know if you are addicted to shrooms, and if shrooms can treat other addictions.
What Are Shrooms?
The term ‘shroom’ comes from magic mushrooms, a type of hallucinogenic mushroom that contains psilocybin. These are naturally occurring fungi that are known for their psychoactive properties, leading to altered perceptions, sensations, and states of consciousness when ingested.
While these psilocybin mushrooms have been found all over the world, there are specific communities that use these mushrooms for specific purposes. Some indigenous societies have used these mushrooms for centuries, such as the indigenous communities of Mesoamerica. These communities primarily used mushrooms like Psilocybe mexicana in religious ceremonies to induce altered states of consciousness and connect with the divine. With this type of history and cultural importance, it has brought up the topic of the addiction potential of shrooms.
Are Psychedelics Addictive?
Before diving into the addictiveness of shrooms, it’s important to understand if psychedelic substances, in general, can be addictive. There are many different types of psychedelics, such as LSD, DMT, MDMA, mescaline, peyote, ayahuasca, and psilocybin. These substances primarily interact with serotonin receptors in the brain, leading to profound changes in perception, mood, and cognition. Unlike addictive drugs that often trigger intense dopamine levels associated with compulsive use, psychedelics do not activate the brain’s reward pathways in the same manner.
While psychedelics do not activate the same reward system as other addictive substances, individuals may still become addicted to the psychological effects of them. This psychological dependence is a desire to frequently experience altered states of consciousness or escape from reality. However, these psychological effects seem to be less intense than substances like opioids, where most individuals experience intense cravings.
Are Shrooms Addictive?
The answer to this question requires a nuanced understanding of the addiction potential of shrooms. As with other psychedelics, the potential for mushroom addiction depends largely on the individual developing a psychological dependence.
According to various research conducted over the years, individuals may develop a pattern of regular shroom use, but the risk of developing true addiction is small. A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2018 assessed the abuse potential of psilocybin in controlled settings and concluded that it does not lead to compulsive drug-seeking behavior or the physical dependence characteristic of other addictive substances.
How Do You Know If You’re Addicted to Shrooms?
While shrooms have lower addiction potential, it is still important to recognize magic mushroom abuse. Magic mushroom addiction may look different for every individual. However, there are some common signs to watch out for. These signs may include:
- Compulsive Use: A hallmark of addiction is the inability to control substance use despite negative consequences. If you find yourself consuming shrooms regularly and in increasing amounts, even when it interferes with work, relationships, or responsibilities, it may be a sign of addiction.
- Cravings and Failed Attempts to Quit: Feeling intense cravings for shrooms or constantly thinking about when you’ll use them next could indicate a psychological dependence on the substance. Additionally, if you’ve tried to cut back or quit using shrooms but find it challenging or impossible to do so, this may suggest a level of addiction.
- Withdrawal Symptoms: While shrooms themselves do not typically cause physical withdrawal symptoms, psychological discomfort, mood changes, or anxiety when not using them could indicate a psychological dependence.
- Tolerance Development: Over time, repeated use of shrooms can lead to tolerance, where you need increasing amounts to achieve the same effects. This can be an early sign of potential addiction.
Can Shrooms Be Used to Treat Addiction?
While many individuals are concerned if they can become addicted to shrooms themselves, shrooms are also being used to treat other substance use disorders. Traditional approaches to addiction treatment often focus on abstinence, behavioral therapies, and medication-assisted treatment. However, psychedelic-assisted therapy challenges these traditional approaches by utilizing substances like psilocybin to induce transformative experiences that can lead to lasting psychological changes.
Psilocybin-assisted therapy involves a guided session where an individual ingests a measured dose of shrooms in a controlled and medically supervised environment. After ingesting the psilocybin, the individual can experience enhanced self-awareness, emotional processing, and a shift in perspective. This addiction treatment approach aims to address the underlying psychological and emotional factors contributing to the addiction.
Continue Reading: What Is MAT And How Does It Work?
Addiction Treatment Services for Young Adults in Los Angeles
Addiction can take on many forms and may look different for each individual. When understanding if you or a loved one have developed an addiction, it’s essential to find the proper addiction treatment services. While there are many treatment centers available, centers that provided holistic, individualized, and comprehensive treatment options will provide well-rounded treatment to ensure recovery.
At Launch Centers, located in Los Angeles, CA, we provide holistic, trauma-informed, and individualized mental health and addiction treatment services to young adults. We offer addiction treatment programs for various substance abuse, including psychedelic mushroom addiction. To combat these addictions, we offer intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, life skills training, and a variety of therapeutic modalities.
If you or a loved one are suffering from mental health conditions or substance use disorders, contact our team of specialists today to learn more about our programs.