Peyote is an unassuming cactus found in the deserts of the Southwestern United States and all throughout Mexico. It is a small, spineless cactus resembling a squash-like vegetable, occasionally growing a flower bud on it's top, producing a chili-like fruit. The active ingredient in the peyote cactus is mescaline, which produces hallucinogenic effects.
The short and long term effects of peyote can differ from user to user depending on the amount consumed especially if mescaline is not removed and administered synthetically. Typically, Peyote is cut from the root then dried for chewing or soaking in water for a hallucinogenic tea. The short term effects of this hallucinogenic drug are immediate nausea and vomiting followed by: Increased heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, loss of appetite, nervousness or paranoia, and body tremors. Depending on the amount used, it's potency and expectations users may experience positive and enjoyable highs and hallucinations, while other may experience a severe loss of control, fearful anxiety and death.
The Long term effects of peyote can include hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), which are flashbacks of hallucinations experienced while high. These can occur long after using peyote. The cause of this condition is unknown and may be experienced after a single use of the drug.
The use of peyote as a hallucinogen has been known since earliest recorded time in the Americas. Indigenous peoples from southwestern United States and Northern Mexico were know to use peyote in traditional religious ceremonies. More recent use was spurred in the 1800's when many native peoples sought to revive old traditions. They began to use peyote in ceremonies and also used the drug to combat alcoholism. The most recent resurgence of peyote and/or mescaline use began in the 1970's as mention of it's use and highs were found in the works of authors like Carlos Castaneda and Hunter S. Thompson.
Peyote continues to...
Cited: Donatelle, J., Rebecca, (2007). Health: The Basics, San Francisco, Pearson Education, Inc.
The Partnership For A Drug Free America, (2006). Peyote. Retrieved March 2, 2007, from http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/drug_guide/Peyote.
Wikipedia, (2007) Peyote. Retrieved March 4, 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peyote.
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