- What Is Peyote?
- Why Do People Start Taking Peyote?
- How Is Peyote Used?
- What Is the Peyote High Like?
- What Are the Potential Side Effects of Peyote Use?
- Why Stop Using?
- What Are the Practical Dangers of Use?
- What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Peyote Abuse?
- What Are the Effects of Addiction and Tolerance?
- What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Peyote Withdrawal?
- What Are the Options for Peyote Detox?
- What Are the Options for Peyote Addiction Treatment?
Peyote addiction treatment focuses on the psychological dependency that can develop with prolonged use of the drug. Although peyote is not physically addictive, it is habit-forming and can negatively impact a person’s life. Abusers are in danger of relying more heavily on the altered reality that the drug induces than on the shared reality of everyday life. This reliance on an altered mental state can affect a person’s emotional state, motivation, and ambition, while damaging relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.
Evaluating options for peyote detox and rehabilitation is often made more complex by the medical industry’s primary focus on treatment for drugs that are physically addictive and cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Peyote rehab options can run the gamut from treatment programs that focus on peyote and its derivative, mescaline, to programs that focus more generally on behavior modification to control negative habits. The decision regarding initial treatment must be made with the individual needs of the abuser in mind. If you need help finding the right treatment program or counselor so you or a loved one can break the cycle of peyote abuse, our treatment advisors are available 24 hours a day to point you in the right direction.
What Is Peyote?
Peyote is a hallucinogen, commonly referred to as a psychedelic drug. It changes the chemistry in the brain to induce an altered mental state in the user, known as a “trip.” The substance is cultivated from the peyote cactus plant that grows in the wild in the southwestern United States. Protruding nubs or “buttons” are pulled from the crown of the plant and ingested to experience various psychedelic effects. The main chemical compound in peyote is mescaline, an amphetamine. Mescaline can be extracted from peyote or produced synthetically.
Neither peyote nor mescaline is prescribed for medical use in the United States. Both are Schedule I hallucinogens under the Controlled Substances Act, so it is illegal to sell, possess, or ingest either drug.
FactCommon street names for peyote include nubs, tops, half moons, bad seeds, and P.
Why Do People Start Taking Peyote?
Hallucinogenic use can be seductive. These substances alter perception and distort what the user sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels, usually in what the user feels is a more positive, intense way. The drug affects the body’s neurotransmitters, which are responsible for general and sexual behavior, mood, hunger, temperature, and muscle control.
These sorts of psychedelic drugs offer an escape from realty and the introduction into a world where every experience seems more intense. Psychoactive drugs are commonly thought to expand the mind, and throughout history these sorts of substances have achieved cultural and religious significance as a way to spark creativity and access higher planes of existence.
Peyote, for example, has been used ceremoniously by the native peoples of the United States and Mexico for thousands of years. Peyote use is so ingrained in Native American culture that tribal use is the only legally accepted application of peyote allowed under the Controlled Substances Act. In the 1960s and 1970s, public use of hallucinogens in the United States became a cultural phenomenon. These days, psychedelics, such as ecstasy, are part of the club scene culture and are frequently abused by teens and college students.
“Millions of Americans report using a psychedelic drug at least once in their lives, while hundreds of thousands of teens use psychedelics monthly.”Millions of Americans report using a psychedelic drug at least once in their lives, while hundreds of thousands of teens use psychedelics monthly. Since mind-altering drugs like peyote are not highly addictive and ordinarily do not produce severe withdrawal symptoms when discontinued after regular use, many people feel the drug’s benefits outweigh any negative aspects. Peyote is a toxic substance, however, and the impact that peyote abuse can have on a person’s life is significant.
Peyote is the second most commonly abused hallucinogenic drug in the United States.
FactLSD is the most commonly used hallucinogen, with peyote, PCP, mescaline, magic mushrooms, ecstasy, and marijuana following in order of usage.
FactPeyote is one of the oldest psychedelics known to have been used by native peoples. They considered the plant to be magical and divine. Peyote is still considered sacred by members of the Native American Church.
How Is Peyote Used?
Peyote cactus buttons are cut from the plant and dried. The buttons are either chewed or ground into a powder and smoked with other substances, such as tobacco. Peyote can also be soaked in water to produce a liquid. The intoxicating dose is about three to six buttons, which amounts to 0.3 to 0.5 grams of mescaline, and the high lasts about 12 hours.
What Is the Peyote High Like?
People use peyote to induce an altered or dream-like mental state. No two trips are the same, and different people often experience variable effects. A person’s height, weight, age, metabolism, medical condition, and mental health are just some of the factors that can effect a person’s high from peyote. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the user will have a good experience while high on peyote. Every once in a while, the user experiences a “bad trip” that involves negative or violent sensory impressions. One bad trip can affect a person’s mental and emotional stability for years after.
It takes approximately one to two hours for peyote to start producing its intoxicating effects. Peyote has a bitter taste when ingested, and the bad taste initially causes nausea and vomiting. Many users will induce vomiting to get rid of the nausea, so that they aren’t sick for hours while waiting for the high to kick in. Some users brew peyote in a tea or put ground peyote in a capsule to make the drug easier to ingest without getting sick.
Once the effects of the drug kick in, many people will start perspiring heavily, and their pupils will dilate. Users often report feeling weightless, as their senses expand and distort. Sensory stimulation may become confused, allowing music to be interpreted as a tactile experience, for example. The user spends approximately 12 hours in a dream-like state, completely removed from reality.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of Peyote Use?
People can experience negative side effects of peyote use. The substance is toxic to the body, which is why ingestion causes nausea and vomiting. In reality, the user is introducing a poison into his or her system, and such action can have physical and mental consequences.
Common physical side effects:
- Stomach pain
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased temperature
- Loss of appetite
Common psychological side effects:
- Altered perception
Why Stop Using?
Although peyote use does not cause severe physical addiction, it does affect the user’s brain chemistry. Many users feel this is a benefit, but an altered-mental state that is only valid for the individual isolates the user from the world around him or her. Over time, this isolation can develop into a psychosis, sapping the person’s desire to do anything other than live in that imaginary place. The dream-state becomes preferable to the trial of real life, until the person wakes up one day and finds that he or she is unable to cope effectively with reality.
“Intoxication can lead to impaired judgment, risky sexual behavior, accidents, and in some cases, depression and suicide.”Many people feel that hallucinogens, like peyote and marijuana, are not dangerous. They may not be physically dangerous, but the impact that drug use can have on a person’s life cannot be discounted. Drug use can affect a person’s job prospects, home life, and relationships. Intoxication can lead to impaired judgment, risky sexual behavior, accidents, and in some cases, depression and suicide.
What Are the Practical Dangers of Use?
Peyote users rarely abuse the drug in isolation. Users are often on multiple drugs that can include tobacco, marijuana and alcohol. The addition of these substances increases the likelihood of negative consequences from peyote use. Moreover, peyote and mescaline are not sold by drug companies. Mescaline, in particular, is made in street labs. The informal nature of the drug’s preparation means that a dose can be mixed with a number of other dangerous substances, such as cocaine or heroin.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Peyote Abuse?
Any toxic substance can poison the body if taken in large enough doses or over an extended period of time. Large doses of peyote lower a person’s blood glucose levels, which can cause bloody diarrhea. In this case, the user can fall into unconsciousness.
Signs that a person has taken a lethal dose of peyote include arrested breathing, convulsions, and heart failure. It is hard to overdose on peyote, but if you suspect that a person has taken a lethal amount of the drug, seek medical attention immediately.
What Are the Effects of Addiction and Tolerance?
Peyote is not physically addictive, but it is habit-forming. A person can develop a tolerance for the drug after three to six days of use; however, discontinuing the drug for a few days will ordinarily restore sensitivity.
The primary concern with peyote abuse is psychological dependency. Like any addiction that is centered on a person’s willpower, peyote addiction is particular to the individual user. Some people can use peyote religiously for years, and then one day stop cold turkey. Others need help and support to break their addiction. Peyote addiction treatment options are available for those people who need help achieving sobriety.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Peyote Withdrawal?
Most regular peyote users can discontinue the drug without any withdrawal symptoms. People who have been abusing the drug may experience depression, sleeplessness, with judgment and perception of reality, and loss of appetite. In some cases, these symptoms are best monitored in a medical facility, where doctors can administer a sedative to help alleviate the symptoms.
Potential withdrawal symptoms:
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of coordination
- High blood pressure
What Are the Options for Peyote Detox?
Heavy abusers of peyote may need a period of time under medical supervision to flush the toxin out of their systems. There is no specific detoxification protocol for hallucinogens, but doctors will often use sedatives to calm the body and mind. Supervised peyote detox is the best option for people who experience psychological disturbances when discontinuing the drug. Typically, medical detoxification is available on an inpatient and outpatient basis.
What Are the Options for Peyote Addiction Treatment?
There are significant distinctions between physical and psychological addiction, and while medical professionals primarily focus on the life-threatening consequences of drugs that are highly physically addictive, treatment for psychological dependencies is also important. The advantage of a psychological addiction is that the abuser has time to grapple with his or her dependency. There isn’t an immediate danger that drug use will result in sudden death.
Finding the Right Detox CenterFinding the right detox center can be a tricky task if you are looking to help someone, whether it is yourself or a loved one, to get clean from drugs or alcohol. Different centers have different strengths and weaknesses, so you may need a little help to find the right one for you. Read More
Psychological addictions develop through positive reinforcement. Peyote abusers can’t stop using, because the experience feels so good. Peyote addiction treatment primarily focuses on behavior modification, so the abuser can break the habit and make healthy lifestyle choices. Breaking habits is an exercise in willpower, so the typical treatment approach involves individual and group therapy and continuing support to encourage new behavior and discourage relapse.
Individual counseling for peyote addiction is available on an inpatient and outpatient basis through residential treatment facilities. These facilities have their own treatment methodology and can provide support from 21 to as many as 90 days. It is commonly believed that longer stays in treatment help prevent relapse, because the patient has more time to adopt new behaviors while still in a supportive environment. Many people prefer the inpatient treatment option, because it allows the patient to focus exclusively on recovery.
Peyote abusers can also often self-direct their treatment by selecting an individual counselor to meet with regularly. Often, a person combines this type of treatment with a 12-step program to provide ongoing support. Special behavior modification therapies, such as hypnotherapy, are available through residential facilities and through private practice.
In some areas of the country, it may be difficult to find a convenient option that is specifically designed for peyote addiction treatment. People have had success substituting therapists with general training in behavior modification and experience helping people break more common habits for a peyote addiction specialist.