Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) is native to the Chihuahan Desert,
including portions of the Rio Grande Valley in Southern Texas, and as
far south as the state of San Luis Potosi in Mexico. A small, round
cactus with fuzzy tufts instead of sharp spines, it rarely rises more
than an inch or so above the soil surface. The largest part of the
cactus is underground in the long, carrot-like root. The above ground
portion, known as the “button”, contains the psychoactive
ingredient. It is cut and can be consumed fresh or dried.
Mescaline is the psychoactive ingredient in Peyote cactus.
Peyote has a long history of medicinal and sacramental use, generally
thought to be about 7000 years. Trade in, and knowledge of, the
psychoactive cactus was well established prior to the European conquest
of Mexico. At that time, Spanish Inquisitors declared its use to be a
crime against God. Native users, believing that the cactus would provide
them with divine guidance and inspiration, became targets of ruthless
evangelism. Peyote has been an item of commerce for a very long time.
Most recently it has been commercially harvested in the state of Texas,
though its sale is now restricted by law to the approximately 255,000
members of the Native American Church (NAC).
Generally, from 4-20 buttons, are eaten or made into tea. 500 mg is
considered a standard hallucinogenic dose of mescaline.
The effects of Peyote have been described as very dream-like, drifting,
almost a delirium-type state during the first couple of hours. The
sensation is similar to LSD but less edgy. While hallucinations, both
auditory and visual, occur, many users say that a peyote high lends
itself more to inner reflection and contemplation. Much depends on the
potency of the peyote and the blend of mescaline and the fifty some odd
alkaloids contained in cactus.
Physical Dependence: None
Psychological Dependence: Moderate
Source: The Merck Manual: Sixteenth Edition, published 1992
Mescaline is a mild to moderately habit-forming substance with no
physical addiction. It should be noted, though, that virtually any
substance can be addictive, to a greater or lesser degree, depending on
the user. It is a generally accepted notion among treatment
professionals that the addiction, whether physical or psychological, is
the problem, not the specific substance. Below are some treatment
programs that may be useful for mescaline users as well as others
seeking help with an addiction:
- Narcotics Anonymous