Abuse Mescaline and Peyote Abuse


Head | Emergency Medicine | Abuse Mescaline and Peyote Abuse (Disease)


Description

Mescaline is a hallucinogenic drug obtained from the Mexican peyote cactus. Mescaline or 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine is a naturally occurring psychedelic alkaloid of the phenethylamine class, known for its mind-altering effects similar to those of LSD and psilocybin.

Causes and risk factors

Tolerance to mescaline develops rapidly with continued abuse, but it is not considered physiologically addictive and withdrawal symptoms do not occur. Psychoactive and hallucinogenic drugs can cause subjective changes in perception, thought, emotion, and consciousness. Unlike stimulants or opioids, hallucinogens such as mescaline do not merely amplify familiar states of mind, but rather induce experiences that are qualitatively different from those of ordinary consciousness. These experiences are often compared to non-ordinary forms of consciousness such as trance, meditation, and dreams. Mescaline produces recurring visual patterns observed during the experience including stripes, checkerboards, angular spikes, multicolored dots, and very simple fractals, which can turn very complex. Additionally, mescaline elicits a pattern of sympathetic arousal, with the peripheral nervous system being a major target for this drug. Effects of mescaline typically last for 12-18 hours.

Intoxication effects and potential health consequences are: altered states of perception and feeling; nausea, increased body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure; loss of appetite, sleeplessness, numbness, weakness, tremors; chronic mental disorders, persisting perception disorder (flashbacks). Considering the human dose of mescaline is around 200-500mg orally, one would have to try very hard to experience an overdose or take a fatal dose of mescaline, neither of which is at all likely to happen accidentally.

Diagnosis and treatment

The most effective treatments for drug abuse and addiction in general are cognitive-behavioral interventions that are designed to help modify the patient’s thinking, expectancies, and behaviors related to their drug use and to increase skills in coping with life stressors....