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Mushrooms and Mushroom Abuse

Mushroom Statistics

Mushroom addiction has been identified for a long time, but no effective treatment is available for this problem. What causes the craving for these substances and how to treat it is still unknown. Many treatment programs that are based on behavior modification have not been successful. Therefore, there is a need to develop an effective treatment program for mushroom addiction.

This article assesses the effectiveness of a combined behavioral and pharmacological treatment for the problem of mushroom addiction.

Which Mushrooms Cause Abuse?

Psilocybin belongs to the family of psychedelics, classified as psychoactive substances or hallucinogens. The substantial aesthetic impacts they cause include illusions and alterations in the sense of time. However, other tactile and cognitive changes are the most common reasons for prescribing these medications.

Hence, mushroom usage in psychotherapy and research commonly induces hallucinations and euphoria.

The Austrian psychiatrist and psychotherapist Otto Rank initiated using these drugs in therapy in the early 20th century. Rank believed that psychedelic drugs could promote a cathartic experience, leading to a significant and complete change in personality.

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How Do Mushrooms Effect The Brain?

This is important because it will help understand the brain's function in addiction.

The drug binds to the serotonin receptors and causes the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in the brain's reward system.

This, in turn, produces feelings of euphoria, which is why we commonly term it a "mushroom high." The serotonin receptors distribute throughout the brain, including the limbic system, the brain's emotional center.

Accordingly, the pleasure centers of the brain are stimulated. The result is a pleasurable state of mind, which is very different from the euphoria when a person drinks alcohol.

The drug's effectiveness may last up to six hours, and the person will feel the need to take more and more. We call this effect a "crash" or a "come down." This is due to the depletion of dopamine in the brain.

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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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Psilocybin Abuse and Statistics

The following table provides statistics for Psilocybin abuse by year, state, and country.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the rate of abuse and dependence on Psilocybin was 1.2 per 100,000 people in 2007.

In 2015, an estimated 0.4% of adults in the United States had abused Psilocybin or about 2.2 million people.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that in 2014, there were about 1.4 million emergency room visits for the abuse of mushrooms. In 2014, more than 500,000 people between 18 to 25 used magic mushrooms. In addition, approximately 535,000 people aged 26 and older were using hallucinogens in 2014.

Psilocybin mushrooms can create an altered state of consciousness, which is why they are used in psychotherapy and research.

FDA disapproves of Psilocybin, and there are no FDA-approved medications to treat Psilocybin addiction. In addition, the research on Psilocybin and its effects on the brain is still in its early stages.

However, this substance abuse is increasing and becoming a significant public health concern.

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Mushroom statistics
Which mushrooms cause abuse?
How do mushrooms effect the brain
Psilocybin abuse and stats
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