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Hallucinations and "Shrooms"

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Jesika Lopez

Bio 202


Paper 3

Hallucinations and the use of “Shrooms”

Hallucinations are distortions in a person’s perceptions of their own reality.  This type of experience brings an interesting aspect to the conversation on vision and what the mind creates as a picture.  Hallucinations are not only what is present to be seen in a typical picture of reality but also, it creates new fictional images to the picture already in the head of the consumer.  Hallucinations have been defined as the “perception of a nonexistent object or event’ or ‘sensory experiences that are not caused by stimulation of the relevant sensory organs” (   Hallucinations are an overall body experience involving the mind and the physical body.  In many cases these hallucinations involve a heightened experience in their smell, touch, sight, taste, and feeling.  According to Health, hallucinations can be triggered by multiple factors such: drugs, stress, sleep deprivation and/or exhaustion, mediation and/or sensory deprivation, electrical or neurochemical activity in the brain, mental illness, brain damage or disease (   However, the type of hallucinations created by recreational drugs are most interesting because they are a result of an external substance brought into the body, usually by personal choice.  Whereas, most of the other triggers listed involve the psychological or personal factors that can contribute to these experiences, and thus are not only unpredictable but also somewhat uncontrollable.  When someone uses any recreational drug, such as a hallucinogen, the person uses the drug expecting to get that physical effect and expect hallucinations to occur.


Hallucinogens are a type of drug that are known to alter the consumers’ mood and cause delusions or fantasy-like episodes in the user’s mind.  Users often report seeing things that are not there, hearing sounds that are not made by anything or anyone around the, and feeling sensations that seem real to them.  For example: someone can see a crack in the ceiling that isn’t there and feel threatened by it because it talks to him and so he begins to argue with the crack he sees.  Someone can see leprechauns or blueberries chasing them, and so on.   The effects of each hallucinogenic drug differ from person to person.  “This is mainly due to the significant differences in strength, amount, and chemical makeup of active ingredients” (  Besides creating a temporary illusionary world, the drugs also affect the body in many ways. “They increase blood pressure, dilate pupils, elevate the heart rate, and produce sweating, a loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors” (   One specific hallucinogen that is interesting in the way it affects the mind of the consumer are Magic Mushrooms or popularly known as “Shrooms”.  

Magic Mushrooms

                  Magic mushrooms or “shrooms”, are non-poisonous mushrooms found in some areas of South America, Mexico and the United States.  They contain two chemicals called “psilocybin and psilocin”, which are the conscious altering substances.  As is explained in the Guide 4 Living website, shrooms create a “psychedelic trip…[which] usually kicks in after about 20 minutes and the trip can last for around six to nine hours” (  Psychedelic means that it is the “generating of hallucinations, distortions of perception, altered states of awareness, and occasionally states resembling psychosis” (  Because these chemicals alter the perceptions of sight and sound, colors look brighter and sounds are clearer.   With shrooms, the users’ initial mood before taking the drug is very important.  If the person goes into their trip with a negative attitude they are most likely to have a scary “bad” trip, while if they go in thinking positive with a good attitude, they are more likely to have a more exciting happy experience.  “Psychedelic drugs such as magic mushrooms...intensify the user’s feelings at the time” (  Shrooms are known to sometimes cause nausea, sickness, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.  Psychologically it can make the user feel paranoid. 

                  According to, psilocybin disturbs the interaction of nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin.  It contains properties that produce alterations of autonomic function, motor reflexes, behavior, and perception (    It is interesting that this drug affects the neurotransmitters serotonin because this would suggest that serotonin levels affect clearness or accurateness of the picture in the head.  Serotonin levels either affect the picture by adding to it with hallucinations and adding to the picture, or it might blur the vision or create fear and paranoia during depression when people see in a negative vision of things. 


“Hallucinogens, LSD and PCP Facts”. Above the Influence. 24 April, 2010.

“Hallucinogens Facts & Figures”.  Office of National Drug Control Policy.  24 April, 2010

“NIDA InfoFacts: Hallucinogens-LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP”.   NIDA National Institute on Drug Abuse. 23 April, 2010.

“Psychedelic”. 23 April, 2010

 “What are Hallucinations”. 26 April, 2010.

 “The Effects of Magic Mushrooms”. Guide 4 Living. 26 April, 2010.

“What causes hallucinations?”  Health-Cares.Net. 27 April, 2010.







Kaiti's picture


Ive always wanted to try shrooms. (: