Peyote is a small, slow-growing cactus that has been used for thousands of years by Native North Americans. It contains a psychoactive substance called mescaline that causes a wide range of physical and emotional effects.
These effects are the reason the plant is currently endangered. When properly harvested, the plant does not die. Instead, the harvester removes the psychoactive “buttons” and brews a strong, bitter tea. Although the taste of the tea prevents many people from experiencing the powerful Peyote trip, it is addictive.
Peyote grows best in the desert-like conditions of southwest Texas and Mexico. Like other naturally occurring psychoactive plants such as magic mushrooms, it is impossible to tell how strong peyote is from looking at it. Using peyote can result in a terrifying, sickening experience that can last for up to 12 hours.
The Origins of Peyote
Researchers have discovered peyote at Native North American architectural digs dating back over 5,000 years. The Huichol, Tonkawa, Apache and Mescalero tribes of North America are just some of the groups who used peyote during religious, healing and spiritual rituals. These tribes shared their knowledge with the Native Americans of the Northern Plains, where peyote grew in popularity in the Native American Church. Members called peyote the “sacred medicine,” and although concerns arose in the late 19th century about the safety of the psychoactive drug, it is still in use today.
It remains unclear how the drug spread to non-Native cultures. Peyote-fueled drug trips influenced the members of the Beat Generation. Author Ken Kesey and poet Allen Ginsburg are two who named peyote and other psychedelic drugs as influencing popular Beat works. Authoritative bodies have been reluctant to completely prohibit peyote, given its current uses and cultural significance. Nevertheless, peyote produces powerful side effects, and addiction is possible.
Peyote Side Effects
The most well-known effects of peyote include hallucinations and a trance-like state. Peyote hallucinations may include visual and auditory effects. The trance-like state resulting from peyote abuse causes many to call it a deeply spiritual or metaphysical experience. Although Native American tribes also used peyote for diverse medical purposes — such as to treat toothaches, diabetes, blindness and childbirth pain — there is no clinical evidence to support its effectiveness. It is also used for asthma and hysteria.
Physically, peyote causes numbness, muscle twitching and weakness, poor coordination, shakiness, dilated pupils and dizziness. Peyote also suppresses appetite, raises body temperature, and causes intense nausea and vomiting. Users typically feel disconnected from reality and may experience frightening effects such as panic, confusion or depression. Tolerance builds quickly.
Frequent peyote abuse is not associated with physical addiction, but it can be associated with psychological addiction. Users may also find themselves addicted to a substance that they think is peyote, but is actually something else — this may occur because the slow growth and limited growing area of peyote severely restrict its distribution. To meet demand, it is common for dealers to sell another drug such as LSD or PCP as peyote. PCP in particular is extremely dangerous.
Am I Addicted to Peyote?
If you take peyote, and you are worried about addiction, we can help. Ask yourself:
- Am I growing increasingly more obsessed with finding and taking peyote?
- Do I feel uncomfortable, depressed or anxious when I am not high on drugs?
- Have I started ignoring friends and family to spend more time taking drugs?
- Have I noticed problems at work, with friends or family, or with my reputation?
- Have I missed important events or obligations because of drug use?
- Have I tried to quit before, but always go back to using?
If this sounds familiar, we can help.
You don’t have to live a life in which using drugs is the only thing that matters. Call us now for more information about peyote and find your path to freedom, starting today.
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