Are Magic Mushrooms Addictive?
3 min

Are Magic Mushrooms Addictive?

3 min

Ever wonder why you can’t trip on magic mushrooms day after day? Keep reading to find out what centuries of use has taught us about shrooms and addiction.

When you think of magic mushrooms, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Usually, it's the surreal visuals, distorted sense of time, and, in some cases, the life-affirming experience. Very rarely do you hear people talk about addiction in relation to these magic fungi.

Let's Cut to the Chase: Are Magic Mushrooms Addictive?

Let's Cut to the Chase: Are Magic Mushrooms Addictive?

Now, that's not to say magic mushrooms aren't harmful or addictive in any capacity. It's entirely possible to get addicted to any substance regardless of its effect (google "strangest addictions" for a rabbit hole of internet content). But, what we've uncovered so far is that magic mushrooms aren't physically addictive like most conventional drugs. Before we explain why, let's cover the basics of addiction.

What Causes a Drug to Be Addictive?

Addiction—a desire to use a product, substance, or activity, regardless of the consequences—falls into one of two categories: physical or psychological. The former is when our body becomes so reliant on a substance that it can't function without it. Unfortunately, repeated use leads to changes on a biological level.

Psychological addiction differs because it's not the substance or chemical we're addicted to, but the feeling it provides. Both forms of addiction can be just as debilitating, but it's usually physical addiction that accompanies repeated use of common drugs—taking a substance over and over again leaves our body unable to cope without it.

In Short: No, Magic Mushrooms Aren’t Addictive

Fortunately, our body has developed an ingenious way of controlling the chemical changes triggered when taking magic mushrooms. Rather than becoming dependent on the changes prompted by psilocybin—the active ingredient in magic mushrooms—our body starts to block them! If you've ever tried to take magic mushrooms repeatedly, you'll have quickly noticed that the second or third time, there's little to no effect. You can keep munching on all the shrooms you want, but your body physically won't let you trip.

While we can rule out physical addiction, there is a possibility you might become psychologically addicted to magic mushrooms. The entheogenic qualities of shrooms make them highly desirable, and, for some, it can be an experience too good to give up.

Related article

What Are Entheogens?

Desired Effects of Magic Mushrooms

Desired Effects of Magic Mushrooms

With the possibility of psychological dependency, it's crucial you're aware of the effects that our mystical mushroom friends can have. A positive, well-informed psychedelic experience is one of the best ways to enjoy magic mushrooms without becoming reliant on them.

Possible effects of magic mushrooms include:

  • Enhanced emotions
  • Improved sociability and empathy
  • Cognitive euphoria (a fancy term for happiness)
  • Thought connectivity
  • Creativity boost

Related article

5 Surprising Benefits of Magic Mushrooms

Though the list above is merely a snapshot of potential outcomes, it's hardly surprising we revere shrooms for their spiritual enlightenment and encouragement of a worry-free existence. With the chaos of modern living, we could probably all do with some light magic mushroom relief!

Psychological Addiction

Psychological Addiction - Magic Mushrooms

As we've outlined above, it's possible for someone to get addicted to just about anything. From eating toilet rolls to smelling a doll’s head (yes, these are real addictions), it's the way activities make us feel that drives an emotional response we can't give up. Psychological addiction is about our desire to feel a certain way, and how we chase the activity or substance that drives it. But, scientists aren't exactly sure why some people become addicted to a particular object or activity, and others don't.

Symptoms of Psychological Addiction

What does appear unanimous across individuals, however, are the symptoms of psychological addiction. If you find yourself feeling or experiencing symptoms from the list below, it's time to re-evaluate your relationship with a substance or activity.

  • Appetite loss
  • Intense cravings (for a particular substance or activity)
  • Feeling restless or experiencing insomnia (when a substance or activity isn't available)
  • Mood swings
  • Becoming upset at the thought of being without a substance or activity

How to Treat Psychological Dependency

The good news is, psychological dependency is easier to treat than its physical counterpart, in most cases. Short of trying to break your dependency through willpower alone, several tools and initiatives are available for support. Assistance ranges from behavioural therapy to counselling and detox rehabilitation programmes. There is also a wealth of groups and online forums, so you needn't try and break your dependency alone.

Magic Mushroom Withdrawal

Magic Mushroom Withdrawal

Fortunately, there appears to be little evidence to suggest that magic mushrooms induce symptoms of withdrawal. Heavy users may re-live portions of a previous trip via flashbacks, but these are more likely to result from external issues, rather than the mushrooms themselves. The bottom line—if you stop consuming magic mushrooms, you aren't going to be hit with an uncontrollable and unmanageable urge to traverse the cosmos.

Should You Be Worried About Taking Magic Mushrooms?

Related article

Magic Mushrooms Are The Safest Drug

Now, for the million-dollar question; should you be worried about taking magic mushrooms? Honestly, it would be irresponsible to say they're entirely devoid of potential downsides or adverse effects. But, when you consider the body's ability to manage the chemical side of things, an "everything in moderation" approach is a sure-fire way to tap into their vast spiritual enlightenment—without becoming dependent.

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl has been writing about cannabis, the wellness potential of cannabinoids, and the positive influence of nature for over a decade. Working with several cannabinoid-centric publications, he publishes a variety of digital content, supported by strong technical knowledge and thorough research.
Research Shroomshop
Search in categories