For centuries, mescaline (also known as peyote) was used medicinally. It’s said to possess mind-expanding and spiritual properties. According to history, the Aztecs and other Native American tribes considered it “divine,” and it soon spread throughout North America. The drug was first synthesized in the early 1900s.
In the U.S., mescaline is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, which means it can’t be legally prescribed. However, Native Americans still have the right to use the drug for religious purposes. Because the DEA has pronounced that mescaline has no medicinal uses, there is little reason for it to be studied today. Nevertheless, many young people still enjoy the effects of mescaline, which can rapidly lead to drug tolerance.
The traditional preparation of the drug is to take off the top of the cactus, which leaves the large taproot and a green ring of photosynthesizing area. The heads are then dried up to make disc-shaped buttons, which are chewed or soaked in water. Since the drug’s taste is bitter, it’s typically ground into powder and taken in capsule form.
Mescaline induces a psychedelic state similar to LSD or psilocybin (mushrooms). Other effects include psychedelic hallucinations, altered thought patterns, and changes in sense of time and self-awareness. Specifically, colors appear to be more very distinct, bright, and intense.
These visual patterns are recurring and include stripes, multicolored dots, and simple fractals that eventually become very complex.
Mescaline acts similarly to other psychedelic agents, in that it binds to and activates serotonin. However, mescaline involves the excitation of neurons in the prefrontal cortex, which activates serotonins.
While a substance use disorder for drugs like mescaline are much less likely, they do occur. The problem with mescaline is that a tolerance to the drug can rapidly develop. Although the drug isn’t associated with the development of physical dependence, some studies correlate specific risks with using the drug. For instance, there are some recorded cases of birth defects caused by mescaline use during pregnancy. It’s also possible to overdose on mescaline and suffer adverse physical effects from it.
A small percentage of users develop a hallucinogen use disorder. These people often experience flashbacks and feel like they’re under the influence of the drug after months of abstinence. Therefore, if you’re trapped in a cycle of addiction, you must reach out to get help today, in order to prevent these kinds of ramifications.
While mescaline may lack physical withdrawal symptoms, underlying reasons are pushing the user to partake in mescaline use on a consistent basis. These factors cannot be ignored, and the focus must be placed on getting help to treat all the factors involved.
Many mescaline abusers are using and abusing other substances.
If so, the first level in the continuum of care is recommended. Medical detoxification is the first and most intensive part of treatment. In detox, medical professionals will continually monitor your health 24/7 throughout your stay.
You could be in detox for three to seven days, depending on the severity of your addiction and other medical problems that may be present. During your stay, you will become prepared for the level of care you’ll complete after detox.
During detox, addiction specialists assess the client and determine the next level of care, which could involve residential treatment or outpatient services.
Outpatient will consist of therapies that are geared toward getting to the root of the addiction and understanding why you started using in the first place. This approach can be helpful in relearning how to conduct life without relying on drug use.
Is your loved one struggling with mescaline abuse or addiction? Are you? If so, it’s important for you to treat it with the seriousness it requires and get help before it’s too late.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). How Widespread Is the Abuse of Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs? from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/why-do-people-take-hallucinogens
Drug Scheduling. (n.d.). from https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling
The Vaults of Erowid. (n.d.). from https://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/pharmacology/pharmacology_article1.shtml