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Is Peyote Addictive? – Things to Consider

By understanding how peyote interacts with the brain's chemical system, you can see how a hallucinogen use disorder may develop.

Peyote use remains an ongoing part of Native American religious practices in Mexico. Derived from the “buttons” or small protrusions found on a spineless cactus of the same name, peyote’s psychedelic effects result from mescaline, it’s principle active ingredient.

Is peyote addictive? Like most other hallucinogen-type drugs, there’s no real risk of developing a physical dependence on this drug; however, addiction per se has to do with effects had on the mind. In this respect, peyote can be addictive when used on an ongoing basis.

Other characteristics of peyote may also draw cause for concern when asking is peyote addictive as other harmful effects can result from its addictive component.

Peyote Effects

According to the University of Maryland, mescaline, peyote’s active compound, is a phenethylamine, which belongs to the same drug class as MDMA and 2C-B. Mescaline’s primary effect works to distort a person’s perception of reality to the point where he or she sees and hears things that aren’t real. In effect, a dose as small as .3 to .5 grams can cause hallucinations that last for up to 12 hours.

Call our toll-free helpline at 800-609-2774 for information on rehab programs that treat peyote addiction.

Is Peyote Addictive? – Considerations

Is Peyote Addictive

Peyote abuse can cause a distorted sense of time and space.

Brain Chemical Similarities

Peyote’s active ingredient, mescaline, shares certain similarities in chemical makeup with serotonin, one of the brain’s primary neurotransmitter chemicals. According to Columbia University, these conditions enable peyote to easily integrate within the brain’s chemical system.

In effect, the brain treats peyote as it does its own neurotransmitter materials and so adjusts its own chemical activities to accommodate peyote’s effects. These conditions enable the brain to tolerate increasing amounts of peyote over time.

Psychological Effects

More than anything else, the psychological effects of a drug determine its addiction potential. With regular drug use, the areas of the brain that regulate thinking and emotions start to tolerate peyote’s effects to the point where a person feels as if he or she needs the drug to cope with daily life pressures. Under these conditions, the answer to is peyote addictive is yes.

Other psychological effects associated with ongoing peyote use include:

  • Problems concentrating or maintain a line of thought
  • Ongoing feelings of detachment from one’s surroundings
  • Confusing past experiences with the present
  • Distorted sense of time and space

Things You Should Know About Peyote Abuse

Hallucinogen Use Disorder

With long-term peyote abuse, users can develop a condition known as hallucinogen use disorder. Hallucinogen use disorder develops out of persisting brain chemical imbalances left behind by chronic drug use. In terms of is peyote addictive, once hallucinogen use disorder takes root a person has indeed developed an addiction problem.

According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, signs of hallucinogen use disorder include:

  • Inability to stop using the drug at will
  • Flashback episodes of prior hallucinations
  • Craving hallucinatory experiences
  • Continuing to use the drug in spite of negative consequences
  • Cravings for the drug

Overall, peyote’s addiction potential can cause considerable disruption within a person’s daily life regardless of whether a person develops a full-blown addiction or not. If you’re having difficulty controlling your use of peyote and need information on available treatment options, feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-609-2774.

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