Is Peyote Addictive?

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Mescaline, a hallucinogenic compound found in the peyote cactus, may not lead to addiction but is both dangerous and illegal. Thankfully, treatment options are available for those struggling with Mescaline misuse.

Peyote, a cactus known for its hallucinogenic component mescaline, has a history that stretches back to Aztec times. The U.S. government classified it as a Schedule I controlled substance in 1967. Mescaline, the key active ingredient in peyote, induces hallucinations, making people perceive things that are not there. Historically, peyote has played a significant role in spiritual and religious ceremonies, especially among Native Americans in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. The drug also used recreationally for its psychedelic effects. Read on to discover:

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  • Is peyote an addictive drug?
  • How addictive is peyote?
  • How to connect with addiction treatment near you.

Peyote Addiction

Peyote addiction is described clinically in DSM-5-TR as other hallucinogen use disorder. The symptoms are as follows:

  1. Using the hallucinogen in larger amounts or for longer than planned.
  2. Wanting to or unsuccessfully trying to reduce or control use.
  3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the effects of the drug.
  4. Strong cravings to use the drug.
  5. Failing to fulfill responsibilities at work, school, or home due t hallucinogen use.
  6. Continuing to use the drug despite it causing or worsening problems in relationships or with other people.
  7. Giving up or cutting back on important activities because of the drug.
  8. Using the drug in dangerous situations, like while driving.
  9. Continuing to use the drug even though it is causing or inflaming physical or mental health issues.
  10. Developing tolerance, needing more of the drug to get the same effect, or feeling less effect from the same amount.

Withdrawal symptoms for hallucinogens are not well-established, so this is not a criterion for diagnosis.

Addictive Qualities of Peyote

Peyote does not typically induce physical dependence like many other drugs. Those who use peyote generally do not develop a physical addiction, meaning they are unlikely to experience physical withdrawal symptoms commonly associated with addictive substances. That said, like with many psychoactive substances, there can be a risk of psychological dependence developing. This dependence is more about the person’s mental and emotional attachment to the experience provided by peyote rather than a physical need for the substance.

Over time, people might need to increase the dosage to achieve the same hallucinogenic effects, indicating the development of tolerance.

Some people may find themselves using peyote compulsively, continuously seeking its effects even when it leads to adverse outcomes.

The unique hallucinogenic effects of peyote can be appealing, leading many people to repeatedly seek these experiences, sometimes at the expense of other life aspects,

The addictive qualities of peyote mainly stem from its psychological impact rather than physical addiction.

Treatment for Peyote Addiction

Treatment for peyote addiction, primarily addressing psychological dependence, involves several approaches:

  • Support groups: Participation in support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) can provide communal support and shared experiences to aid in recovery.
  • Inpatient or outpatient treatment programs: Inpatient or outpatient treatment programs can offer structured therapy and support tailored to substance misuse.
  • Behavioral interventions: These are key components in treating peyote addiction. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) group therapy, and other counseling methods can help address the psychological aspects of addiction.
  • Family therapy: Involving family members in the treatment process can be beneficial, providing additional support and understanding of the addiction and recovery process.
  • Holistic treatments: Activities like meditation, yoga, and art therapy can be complementary treatments, helping people cope with stress and emotional challenges related to addiction.
  • Psychological support for HPPD (hallucinogen persisting perception disorder): In cases where users experience ongoing visual disturbances or flashbacks, specialized psychological support and therapy may be necessary to treat HPPD.
  • Relapse prevention: These programs can help people understand the effects of peyote and the risks associated with its use, contributing to relapse prevention.

Effective treatment should be tailored to individual needs and circumstances. Call 949.694.8305 for immediate assistance. 

Get Treatment for Drug Addiction at California Detox

Hallucinogen addiction might be less common than other substance use disorders, but it’s still possible to develop problematic patterns of usage with this class of drugs. We can help you fight back at California Detox.

Engage with supervised detoxification at our Laguna Beach treatment center to ensure a safe and smooth withdrawal process. After a week or so of medical monitoring, you can move into ongoing inpatient treatment at our beachside facility.

All California Detox addiction treatment programs offer personalized treatment that blends holistic and science-based interventions that may include:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Psychotherapies
  • Individual counseling
  • Holistic treatments
  • Aftercare planning

For help moving beyond peyote addiction, call 949.694.8305.


Peyote is not generally considered highly addictive, as people do not typically develop a strong compulsion to use the substance repeatedly – this is the defining characteristic of addiction.
Peyote is not associated with the development of physical dependence, which means that there withdrawal symptoms will not manifest upon discontinuation.


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