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Psilocybin vs Methamphetamine | Differences, Similarities, Side Effects, and more!

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Methamphetamine and psilocybin are two substances that are often discussed in the world of drug use and addiction. Both substances have been used recreationally, medically, and recreationally for many years. 

However, there are distinct differences between these two drugs, from their effects to their legal status. This article will delve into those differences, exploring the similarities and differences between these two substances, their side effects, and more.

What is Psilocybin?

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in certain types of mushrooms, also known as “magic mushrooms.” Psilocybin is known to produce altered states of consciousness, which may include visuals, enhanced senses, and out-of-body experiences. It is believed to work by binding to the serotonin receptors in the brain, leading to changes in the way the brain perceives reality. 

When ingested, it produces psychological and physiological effects similar to those produced by other psychedelic drugs such as LSD and mescaline. These effects can include visual and auditory hallucinations, altered perception of time and space, enhanced creativity, and increased empathy. 

Chemical Composition of Psilocybin

Psilocybin C12H17N2O4P is a naturally occurring psychoactive compound produced by the mushroom genus Psilocybe, and is the main constituent responsible for the psychedelic effects of certain “magic mushrooms.” Its chemical structure is a tryptamine, composed of an indole ring connected to an ethylamine group.

Its chemical formula is C12H17N2O4P.

What is Methamphetamine? 

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. It is also known as “meth,” “crystal meth,” and “ice.” It comes in a variety of forms and is typically found as a white, odorless, bitter-tasting powder or a pill. 

It is a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for misuse, with severe psychological and physical dependence. Methamphetamine is often abused for its ability to produce intense feelings of pleasure and increased energy. It is a highly addictive and dangerous drug that can have long-term physical and psychological effects.

Chemical Composition of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and dangerous drug that has a chemical composition of C10H15N.

Psilocybin vs. Methamphetamine: Fact Sheet



Generic Name magic mushroom meth
Drug Type psychedelic CNS stimulant
Active Ingredients  psilocybin pseudoephedrine
Used as treatment for: Depression and PTSD (currently under study) ADHD
Available Form(s) Dried mushrooms, powder, and pills Powder and crystals
Is it a controlled substance? Yes, Schedule I Yes, Schedule II
Legal Status Illegal Illegal
Risk of Withdrawal Effects Yes Yes
Risk of Addiction Yes Yes

Methamphetamine Dosage and Side Effects:

Methamphetamine is a drug typically prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is usually prescribed in doses of 10-30 milligrams (mg) taken once or twice a day, depending on the individual’s needs. 

Common side effects of methamphetamine include insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, dizziness, changes in appetite and weight, headaches, and dry mouth. Taking higher doses or taking the drug for an extended period of time can increase the risk of addiction and other adverse side effects such as seizures, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and psychotic episodes. 

Long-term use of methamphetamine can also lead to severe mental and physical health problems, including depression and heart problems.

Psilocybin Dosage and Side Effects:

Psilocybin is a naturally-occurring psychedelic substance found in some mushrooms. It has a wide range of effects, depending on the amount taken and the user’s individual sensitivity. While there is no set dose for it, the most common dose range is between 3-10 milligrams. Higher doses may produce more intense effects. 

Common side effects include nausea, stomach discomfort, increased heart rate, and dizziness. In rare cases, people may experience more intense effects such as anxiety, panic, or paranoia. It is important to start with a low dose and work your way up to reduce any potential risks.


Methamphetamine vs. Psilocybin: Can You Withdrawal for Either? 

 It is possible to go through withdrawal for both methamphetamine and psilocybin. Withdrawal from methamphetamine is often characterized by intense cravings for the drug, depression, and fatigue. Psilocybin withdrawal is generally less severe and can include anxiety, irritability, and decreased appetite. 

The specific symptoms of withdrawal vary from person to person and may be dependent on the length of time the drug was used and the dose is taken. It is best to seek professional help if you are considering getting off methamphetamine or psilocybin, as withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even dangerous.

Psilocybin vs Methamphetamine: Prevalence in the United States

Psilocybin and methamphetamine are two of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the United States. According to recent data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 19.8 million Americans aged 12 and older have used psilocybin in the past year, while an estimated 9.2 million Americans have used methamphetamine in the same period. 

Despite the prevalence of both substances, methamphetamine use is more concentrated among certain age groups, with an estimated 20.6 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds reporting past-year use compared to only 11.2 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds. 

In contrast, psilocybin use is more equally distributed among age groups, with an estimated 20.7 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds reporting past-year use compared to 20.9 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds.

Bottom Line: Psilocybin versus Methamphetamine

In conclusion, both psilocybin and methamphetamine have the potential to be abused and can have serious consequences on an individual’s health and well-being. However, the effects of each drug are vastly different, and the consequences of using one over the other can be drastic. 

Psilocybin is considered a relatively safe drug, with no known long-term adverse effects, while methamphetamine is highly addictive and can significantly damage physical and mental health. The decision to use either drug should be carefully considered, and users should be aware of the possible consequences of their actions.

FAQs on Methamphetamine and Psilocybin 

Methamphetamine and Psilocybin: Which is more addictive?

Both substances can be addictive, though methamphetamine is considered to be more addictive due to its intense and rapid effects. The potential for long-term changes to the brain’s reward system can lead to addiction with regular use.

Can one overdose on methamphetamine?

Yes, it is highly possible to overdose on methamphetamine, especially when someone uses the drug in combination with alcohol, nicotine, or opioids. Since these drugs interact differently with our bodies than methamphetamine.

What are some warning signs of methamphetamine addiction?

Methamphetamine addiction can be hard to spot, but people struggling with methamphetamine addiction may become isolated, have trouble sleeping, lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, appear agitated or angry, and have drastic changes in their physical appearance, health, and mood. 


Warren Phillips

Warren is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Clinically, Warren has developed a therapeutic skillset that utilizes a strengths-based perspective, Twelve Step philosophies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

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