Withdrawal from mushrooms generally takes a few days, and symptoms are usually more psychological than physical since physical dependence is not common with psilocybin mushrooms (also known as magic mushrooms or shrooms).
What Is Psilocybin Mushroom Withdrawal?
Psilocybin mushrooms do not cause physical dependence in the same way that other substances of abuse do, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids. Partially due to the intensity of the experience on mushrooms, people do not commonly engage in compulsive use.
Repeated use can trigger tolerance, however. This means people will have to take increasingly higher doses to experience the effects of the drug.
Psilocybin is usually associated with a low risk of overdose and withdrawal, although there are cases where such events have occurred. There have also been a few cases of deaths associated with psilocybin overdose.
Most often, withdrawal symptoms from the use of “magic mushrooms” involve psychological symptoms that persist for a few days. Some people report lingering effects for months or even years.
What Causes Withdrawal From Psilocybin Mushrooms?
Withdrawal occurs as the body readjusts to the absence of a drug that has been taken in abundance and/or for an extended period of time. Many of the symptoms are psychological and emotional in nature as the brain restores its neurotransmitter levels, predominantly serotonin. Withdrawal from psilocybin is generally considered to be mild in comparison with withdrawal from other drugs, such as opioids or benzodiazepines.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Withdrawal From Magic Mushrooms?
Some of the most common symptoms of psilocybin mushroom withdrawal include the following:
- Difficulty sleeping and insomnia
- Changes in mood and affect
- Cravings to use the drug again
- Nightmares and hallucinations
Factors That Influence the Intensity of Withdrawal Symptoms
The intensity of the symptoms you experience when undergoing withdrawal from psilocybin mushrooms will vary based on a range of factors, including these:
- The frequency and duration by which you have used the drug
- The amount you have taken
- Your personal brain chemistry
- Any pre-existing mental health issues you may have
- Your social support system
- Your environment and lifestyle behaviors, such as diet and exercise
- Any previous experiences you may have with withdrawal
How Long Does Withdrawal Last?
Withdrawal symptoms following the cessation of psilocybin use can vary, but they generally last from a few days to one week for most people. You may experience the following symptoms during the time frames below:
During the first day or two, you will likely feel anxious and may also have difficulty falling and remaining asleep, as well as controlling your mood.
During days three to five, you may also begin to experience depression and lethargy, as you recuperate and adjust to the absence of psilocybin in your system. It is also common to experience vivid dreams and nightmares during this time period.
By days six to seven, the most severe symptoms will likely have declined. However, you may also continue to experience cognitive difficulties, and you may also struggle with cravings for the drug.
About one week after your last use, most symptoms will have passed. If you still experience symptoms, seek medical attention because it may be an indication that you are struggling with a more severe underlying condition.
Detoxing From Psilocybin Mushrooms
You can choose to detox in a medically controlled setting. This can alleviate symptoms of withdrawal and greatly reduce the risk of relapse. When you have psychological and medical support throughout the process, it increases the likelihood that you will successfully complete withdrawal without returning to drug use.
If you choose medical detox, you may be prescribed medications to address certain withdrawal symptoms, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or anti-nausea medications. In an addiction treatment program, you may also begin to receive therapy during this time, where you will address factors that contributed to your mushroom abuse.
If you detox at home on your own, make sure you have a strong support system in place, including professionals you can turn to if things get tough. It’s a good idea to consult a physician prior to your detox.
During this vulnerable time, follow these steps to ensure greater chances of success:
- Get adequate rest. If you can’t sleep, talk to your doctor about potential solutions.
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Limit sugar intake to avoid blood sugar spikes.
- Remain hydrated. This ensures your body will be able to function well, and you’ll feel better.
- Engage in gentle exercise. Moving your body can help you to feel better and take your mind off mushroom use.
- Talk to a professional. A therapist can be a key part of this process, as they help you process feelings in early recovery. They can also help you design a plan for sustaining your recovery going forward.
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