What is Mescaline? Effects & Hazards

What is mescaline? Read on to learn more about this substance, its potential side effects, and available treatment options.

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What is Mescaline?

Drug abuse is a major global concern, and it has negatively impacted the health and wellness of many global communities. This negative impact has been further worsened by the fact that people abuse several different substances, one of which includes mescaline.

Mescaline is a psychedelic drug with very pronounced hallucinogenic effects. Some common street names for mescaline include Big Chief, buttons, and cactus. The mescaline drug is obtained from plants such as the spineless cactus (Lophophora williamsii), the San Pedro cactus, the Peruvian torch cactus, and several other cacti plants. It is derived from the same plant as peyote. 1
what is mescaline

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Mescaline Origin and Accessibility

Although the mescaline drug is primarily obtained from natural sources, it can also be created in a lab. Mescaline is commonly occurring and easily accessible, which is one of the main reasons why mescaline drug abuse is increasingly common.

How is Mescaline Used or Abused?

Another reason mescaline addiction is getting increasingly popular is that there are several ways the drug can be ingested. One common approach is by chewing the disc-shaped buttons from the cactus.

Another approach people take to achieve that mescaline high is to soak these “buttons” in water to make a narcotic tea. Some people smoke mescaline with other substances, like tobacco and marijuana, to get more powerful effects. Some others also grind the plant into powder to make mescaline pills. 2

Signs of Mescaline Use

Like every other substance of abuse, mescaline will leave telltale signs that are easy to notice if you know what to look out for. Some signs that people are abusing mescaline include the following:
  • Changes in mood
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Flushed skin
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Increased energy levels
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Poor coordination
  • Presence of drug paraphernalia

Is Mescaline Addictive?

Mescaline does not cause addiction in the “conventional” sense. What this means is that mescaline effects do not include physical dependence. However, repeated mescaline dosage can result in psychological addiction. This is because the body becomes tolerant to its effects. As a result, people seeking to get high on mescaline are unable to get the effects they want with their previous dosage. Therefore, they’ll continually increase their mescaline dose to get that mescaline effect they crave.
Over time, this behavior can become a habit and the body is then dependent on the effects of mescaline. While mescaline isn’t addictive in the way that other substances of abuse are, its repeated use is still habit-forming, and it can lead to addiction. When people addicted to mescaline repeatedly increase the amounts that they take, mescaline overdose also becomes a real possibility. Mescaline’s effects on the brain can be such that individuals addicted to the drug cannot stop using it. This is largely because mescaline drug effects include the release of serotonin and dopamine. 3

Mescaline Side Effects

Note that while mescaline may not be as addictive as some other substances of abuse, its use is still associated with some negative side effects. Mescaline side effects can be divided into two main categories: physical and psychological.

Physical Effects

The physical side effects of mescaline use include:
  • Raised body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy sweating
  • Flushed skin
  • Lack of coordination    
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
Most of these physical effects are short-term effects. However, these short-term effects of mescaline can become very severe quickly if mescaline addiction treatment isn’t carried out as soon as possible. Also, everyone will experience these side effects in varying ways, meaning that they may be worse for some than they are for others.

Psychological Effects

The psychological effects of mescaline can include:
  • Altered vision and perception of colors and sound
  • Altered perception of the body in space and time
  • Extreme visual images
  • Extreme emotions
  • Preoccupation with details
  • Lost sense of reality
  • Inability to focus or concentrate

Risks of Mescaline Use

Aside from the fact that mescaline is associated with several undesirable side effects and the risk of overdose, repeated mescaline use also carries several health risks. These risks include:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Rising body temperature
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Numbness  

Can You Overdose on Mescaline?

Although mescaline poisoning is uncommon, it does occur. If an individual repeatedly increases the amount of mescaline dosage that they take, they may eventually get to the point where they take too much, leading to an overdose.
What is Mescaline

What Drugs Interact with Mescaline?

Drugs with central nervous system activity and drugs used for treating mental illness conditions like antidepressants and antipsychotics can interact with mescaline. Medications for treating bipolar disorders also have a high potential of adversely interacting with mescaline, and they usually have dangerous impacts on body serotonin levels.

How Long Does Mescaline Stay in Your System?

After it is ingested, mescaline effects will begin to manifest after about sixty minutes, and these effects could last for as long as 10-12 hours. Note, however, that mescaline effects usually vary from person to person, so while it may be eliminated faster from the body of some people, it can remain for a long period in the bodies of others. Mescaline generally remains in your body system for several days after you ingest it. 4

Can Mescaline Be Detected in a Drug Test?

Mescaline is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning its use in any form is illegal. As such, there are mescaline drug tests that are used to detect if an individual has used mescaline recently. One commonly used mescaline drug test is the hair follicle test, which is capable of detecting mescaline use up to 90 days after it was ingested.

Get Treatment for Mescaline Side Effects and Abuse at Profound Treatment

Are you currently dealing with mescaline dependence? If you are and you’re looking for effective treatment to help you beat mescaline addiction for good, then Profound Treatment can help. At Profound Treatment, you’ll have access to the best addiction treatment managed by experienced and licensed treatment professionals.

In addition to offering effective mescaline addiction treatment, we also offer treatment for addiction to other substances like alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and so on. Reach out today, and let’s get you on the path to recovery.

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