Also Known As: Peyote, Peyote Buttons
Mescaline is a psychedelic or hallucinogenic drug whose use leads to altered perceptions. Mescaline has been used for thousands of years and is best known as a drug used by some Native Americans in Mexico as part of their religious ceremonies.
Mescaline comes from button-shaped ‘seeds’ found in the Peyote cactus and also from some other members of the Cactaceae plant family and from Fabaceae bean family.
‘Peyote buttons’ are most often chewed but they can also be mixed with water to make a hallucinogenic drink. On account of its bitter taste, sometimes mescaline is made into a powder and put into capsules and swallowed.
Mescaline is considered a hallucinogen or psychedelic drug and its effects include:
- An altered state of consciousness – with altered thinking and changes in time perception – which is often described as happy, positive, enjoyable and ‘illuminating’
- Feeling like you are in a dream-like state
- Prominent changes in visual perceptions with intense visual distortions and possibly hallucinations (where you see things that aren’t there). These can happen with your eyes open or closed. Less common are auditory hallucinations (hearing things that aren’t there).
- Some people can experience vomiting and/or headaches.
The risks of mescaline use include:
- Moderate to severe vomiting and/or headaches
- It can make you dizzy, anxious, increase your heart beat and give you diarrhoea
- People have been known to harm themselves while under the effects of hallucinogens. Hence, it is particularly advisable for people already in a bad mood, feeling depressed or worried to avoid taking mescaline in such a state.
- If you panic, or don’t feel safe and comfortable with the people you’re with, the experience of a mescaline trip can be confusing or sometimes very scary. Whilst good trips can be pleasant and amusing at the time, bad trips can be terrifying.
- Because the perception of your body and the world around you can be distorted, and you may also be quite distracted, you may well not be in complete control of what you’re doing and so at risk of hurting yourself or others, particularly in any unsafe environments.
Mescaline is not physically addictive, but like other hallucinogenic drugs you can become tolerant to their effects. This means you need to take more of it to get the same effect as before.
Mescaline powder is a Class A drug, which means that it’s illegal to have, give away or sell. Possession can get you up to seven years in jail. Supplying someone else, including your friends, can get you life and an unlimited fine.
Dried ‘Peyote buttons’ are not illegal.