Magic mushroom-related complaints rise among youth – however, more states continue decriminalizing it!

Magic mushrooms or Psilocybin
Magic mushrooms or Psilocybin. Credit | Adobe Stock

United States: Psilocybin, also referred to as “magic mushrooms” poison center calls resulting specifically from youth, have experienced a significant increase following decriminalization in US cities and states.

Recent findings suggest a higher occurrence rate of such cases among the youth.

The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Adolescent Health on February 26.

Rising Cases related to Psilocybin or magic mushrooms

The youth aged 13 to 19 who sought medical help due to Psilocybin rose more than tripled over the same years, increasing from 152 to 464 calls annually, as per the National Poison Data System, while the numbers had no increase in the adult population, as US News reported.

Moreover, young adults ages 20 to 25 have almost tripled their calls when compared to a similar period in 2020, according to the data, from 125 to 294 calls.

Decriminalization of Psilocybin by various states in the US

Visual Representation – Decriminalization of Psilocybin. Credit | AP photo

Local and state efforts at psilocybin decriminalization started in May 2019. Researchers said this in background notes. Last year, Oregon and Colorado followed other cities like Detroit, Seattle, and Washington DC by decriminalizing magic mushrooms.

The number of young patients ages 13 to 25 who phoned due to psilocybin use during the years between 2013 and 2018 remained unchanged.

According to experts, this is a troubling trend as Psilocybin remained banned for those under 21 even in cities and states, including those states where its usage has been decriminalized.

According to the researcher Dr. Christopher Holstege, director of the University of Virginia Health’s Blue Ridge Poison Center, “It is markedly concerning to me that children are gaining access to these products,” as US News reported.

Holstege added, “We have limited data on the potential long-term consequences on the developing brains of children when exposed to such compounds that impact the brain’s neurotransmission.”

And, “We also do not understand fully why some individuals have markedly adverse complications to psilocybin, known as ‘bad trips,’ that can lead to harm to the individual taking or others who may be victims of violent behavior.”

Psilocybin poisoning is impacting teenagers mostly

Medical treatment is most often required in poisoning due to Psilocybin. As per the poison center numbers, there are about 75 percent of teenagers, and 72 percent of young adults need some sort of health care assistance.

As per the researchers, the most commonly observed effects of the drugs during the complaint calls were – complaints of experiencing hallucinations or delusions in 37 percent of the calls, feeling agitation in 28 percent of the calls, 20 percent of the complaints about experiencing abnormally fast heartbeat, and 16 percent of them experienced confusion.

Moreover, significant psychological side effects of Psilocybin may include anxiety, disorientation, fear, sadness, paranoia, and panic attacks just in moderate doses, investigators observed.

According to US News reports, Rita Farah, a researcher and an epidemiologist with the Blue Ridge Poison Center, said, “As psilocybin may become more widely available, it is important for parents to be aware that psilocybin is also available in edible forms such as chocolate and gummies,” and, “And we learned from our experience with edible cannabis that young children can mistake edibles for candy.”