About Psilocybin Mushrooms

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How can you be safer when using psilocybin mushrooms?

It is very uncommon to have an overdose on real psilocybin mushrooms. Bad experiences on these drugs tend to affect your mental health more than your body itself. As these drugs affect people differently at different doses it is always a good idea to think about the ways you can be safer when using. 

Be sure you don't have a poisonous mushroom. Foraging for psilocybin mushrooms can be dangerous as there are many poisonous mushrooms that look similar and may be taken accidentally. There are lots of helpful websites and forums that provide tips on how to identify psilocybin mushrooms (such as The Shroomery), and it is important to do your research before you take them. Compare the mushrooms you plan to take with a high-quality field guide photo and consider all the features of it – stem, cap, colour and size. It is also important to know the signs of poisoning from mushrooms, which can start very soon after ingesting or take as long as 24 hours to start. Symptoms include vomiting, stomach cramps, seizures, diarrhoea, chest pain, racing heart, trouble breathing, severe shaking and many other effects. If things do not feel right, seek medical attention immediately.

Be cautious of other psychoactive non-psilocybin mushrooms. 
There are mushrooms that are not psilocybin but do have some psychoactive affects, such as Amanita muscaria (fly agaric), which are recommended not to take as it is easy to prepare them incorrectly and become very unwell.

Make sure you are in a good mindset before you use. 
What you experience on psilocybin mushrooms has a lot to do with what state of mind you are in, what kind of environment you are in and who you are with. Many people who take mushrooms say that it is important to make sure that you are in a good headspace before using them and not feeling depressed or anxious. Similarly, it is also thought that it is important to be in a relaxing environment, such as out in nature and around people you trust and feel comfortable with. Psychedelic drugs can make you become introspective, and this can be an emotionally intense experience that can have lasting changes on the way you think and see yourself, others and the world.

Check your psilocybin to make sure it isn't mixed with other drugs. 
Psilocybin mushrooms are plant material, so they cannot be tested at a drug checking clinic with a spectrometer. However, if you have powdered or dried psilocybin, a drug checking spectrometer may be able to tell you if this is a different powdered drug, such as an amphetamine. Psilocybin mushrooms can sometimes be tested with the Ehrlich reagent for adulterants. You can buy this test yourself from places like Cosmic and The Hemp Store, or these tests are available at drug checking clinics. 

For more information on how to be safer when using drugs and alcohol, see Safer using

To order self-help workbooks and other free resources for safer use, see Resources.

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