Reports on the use of “magic mushrooms” as a new source of drug or illegal drug substitute being used by high school learners have been brought to the attention of the Department of Education (DepEd). This poses a concern as this type of mushroom can be easy to find in the countryside and can be accessible to anyone. This can be dangerous as it affects the health of those who ingest the hallucinogenic substance present in it.
Magic mushroom is the term given to mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance included in the 1971 United Nations Single Convention on Psychotropic Substances, under Schedule 1 Drug – it has a high potential for misuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment – and enumerated in Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Like any hallucinogen, psilocybin found in magic mushrooms has the ability to distort one’s perception of reality. They are known to cause nausea, yawning, feeling relaxed or drowsy, introspective experience, nervousness, paranoia, panic, hallucinations, and psychosis.
It is emphasized that DepEd, as a member-agency of the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) and Interagency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD), is committed to strengthening Preventive Drug Education, which includes the following topics:
- Classification of Drugs
- Stimulants (e.g. cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine)
- Opiods (e.g. heroine, morphine, opium)
- Depressants (e.g. alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines)
- Hallucinogens (e.g. LSD, mescaline peyote, ecstasy, magic mushrooms)
- Prevention of drug misuse and abuse
- Harmful side effects and long-term consequences of drug use Signs and symptoms of drug use
- Referral of cases to appropriate authorities for provision of intervention
All concerned are reminded to ensure that these topics are emphasized in all classroom instructions.
DepEd also reiterates the following Memoranda/Orders issued to ensure the effective implementation of the National Drug Education Program (NDEP), which aims to develop well-rounded learners equipped with resistance skills against risky behaviors that could lead to substance use and abuse:
- DepEd Memorandum No. 200, s. 2016- Strengthening the National Drug Education Program in Schools
- DepEd Order No. 30, s. 2018- Preventive Drug Education Program and Policy on Curriculum and Instruction
- DepEd Memorandum No. 120, s. 2018- Implementation of Detailed Lesson Plan on Preventive Drug Education
The Department is reminding the school authorities to supervise and give full support to the activities under the NDEP such as (1) Curriculum and Instruction; (2) Co-curricular end Ancillary Services; (3) Staff Development; (4) Parent Education and Community Outreach; and Evaluation.
It is also expected that the school authorities closely coordinate with the Barangay Anti-Drug Council (BADAC)/ Municipal Anti-Drug Council (MADAC)/ Provincial Anti-Drug Council (PADAC) and local health units for reported cases of drug use in their localities to ensure appropriate action.
Strict compliance with this Memorandum is desired.