Magic mushrooms-Fast facts for schools
Some people report other-worldly experiences where they are blissfully at one with the universe whilst others report frightening nightmare like experiences from which they cannot wake.
‘Mushrooms’ or ‘Magic mushrooms’ refers to several types of illegal mushrooms that contain the hallucinogen psilocybin.
Hallucinogens can make a young person see, hear, taste or smell things that are not really there or experience them differently to the way they are in reality.
Shrooms, mushies, magics, golden tops, blue meanies, liberty caps.
HOW COMMON IS USAGE?
At YoDAA we do get calls from a small number of young people who use mushrooms, especially in the Autumn and Winter months when they are more readily available. In 2010, 8.8 per cent of Australians aged over 14 years had used hallucinogens (National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 2010).
HOW CAN I TELL IF A YOUNG PERSON IS USING?
People have been using mushrooms for thousands of years for their hallucinogenic effects.
Some people report other-worldly experiences where they are blissfully at one with the universe whilst others report frightening nightmare like experiences from which they cannot wake. A young person using mushrooms may have an altered sense of reality, time and space. Effects are usually felt within 30 minutes to two hours and can last between two and six hours.
Wrongly identified mushrooms can be fatal. Symptoms of poisoning include stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhoea or unconsciousness. An ambulance should be called if any of these symptoms occur.
HOW CAN I TELL IF SOMEONE IS USING OR DEALING AT MY SCHOOL?
Mushrooms can be picked fresh or purchased in dried or powdered forms. There is also a small market for synthetic mushrooms.
Mushrooms are typically eaten fresh or dried, cooked in foods or brewed into a ‘tea.’ They can also be ground into small particles and smoked with tobacco or cannabis.
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CLASSROOM
Hallucinogens (of which mushrooms are one) distort reality so young people using mushrooms may interact with the world in a way that seems odd or uncharacteristic. If you suspect intoxication with mushrooms, removing the young person to a calm, quiet environment where they can be monitored until the effects wear off would be preferable to trying to engage them in classwork whilst substance effected.
Didn’t find what you are looking for? We’ve just given you the most relevant fast facts for school teachers. For a more comprehensive guide we recommend the ADF’s fact sheet.