Volume 96, Issue 60
Thursday, January 16, 2003

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Mushrooms

What is it?

Popularly known as "magic mushrooms" or "shrooms," some mushrooms contain Psilocybin and/or Psilocin – chemicals similar to seratonin.

How do you use it?

Shrooms can be consumed in their dried form or as a white powder. Or, if you're in a Martha Stewart mood, they can be added to brownies or cake mix.

Prospective users should choose to take the drug in an area that they feel secure.

What are the effects on the body?

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health claims that prolonged use of shrooms can lead to a greater tolerance to the drug and psychological dependency.

Jenna Allen, health education coordinator at Western's Student Health Services, provided information claiming the physical effects of shrooms can include "numbness, vomiting, muscle weakness, tension, 'flashbacks,' and high temperatures and seizures in children."

How does it feel?

Shrooms inhibit concentration, increase heart rate and cause hallucinations that can occur 30-60 minutes after consumption. The hallucinations can last up to four hours.

"One night at my boyfriend's apartment, we were all convinced that the TV anchor was an alien because his eyes became reptilian – it was so weird," one former shroom user explained.

However, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, "Sometimes, for no obvious reason, hallucinogen users take a 'bad trip' [and] suddenly feel paranoid and intensely anxious about losing control.

–Ila Seegobin

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2002 THE GAZETTE