An American man (30) spent 22 days in the hospital, with eight of those in ICU, after he brewed a tea from hallucinogenic mushrooms – also known as “magic mushrooms” or simply “shrooms” – and injected it into his veins. This resulted in the fungus spreading through his body and growing in his blood.
According to LiveScience, the man underwent multisystem organ failure after injecting the concoction. He reportedly did so to relieve the symptoms of his bipolar disorder and to treat his opioid dependence.
His family members noted that he had recently stopped using his prescribed bipolar medications and was “cycling between depressive and manic states” shortly before brewing the shroom tea.
The man is believed to have done research on the potential therapeutic effects of hallucinogens such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms before the incident, and this inspired him to brew and inject the tea.
He filtered the tea through a cotton swab before injecting it into his body. In the days that followed, he became lethargic and very nauseous before his skin started turning yellow. He soon developed diarrhea and began vomiting blood.
His family rushed him to the emergency room after finding him in this state, and doctors ruled that he could not properly answer the vital questions they asked him as a result of his “altered mental state”. When a number of his organs, including his liver and kidneys, began failing, he was transferred to the ICU.
His blood tested positive for a bacterial infection, and traces of the microbe Brevibacillus and a fungal infection from Psilocybe cubensis — meaning the magic mushroom he injected was now growing in his blood.
In addition to antibiotic and antifungal drugs, the man needed to be placed on a ventilator after he experienced acute respiratory failure, which happens when fluid builds up in the air sacs of the lungs. The patient survived this ordeal, however, and was later discharged from the hospital.
Since being released from the hospital, he is still being treated with a long-term regimen of antibiotics and anti-fungal drugs.
The case didn’t reveal whether injecting shroom tea caused persistent psychoactive effects, which happens when people inject enough of the fungus orally. For example, in rare cases, people can develop a condition called hallucinogen-induced persisting perception disorder (HPPD), where they experience vivid flashbacks of their trip long after the fact.