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Mescaline Addiction Treatment in Illinois

Mescaline is one of the well-known psychedelic drugs that pose a serious risk of abuse and addiction.

Mescaline is one of the well-known psychedelic drugs that pose a serious risk of abuse and addiction. In 2015, 8 million people reported taking mescaline at one point in their lives, and 5.5 million individuals confirmed using peyote – a two-fold growth compared to 2014 statistics.

Not only does mescaline addiction project several mental health issues, but its unpredictable effects make it that much more dangerous.

Understanding what mescaline is and how it impacts the mind is the first step to overcoming its addiction. Our guide also explains how mescaline addiction occurs, its symptoms/signs, and the available treatment options.

What Is Mescaline? How Does It Work?

Mescaline belongs to the category of psychedelic drugs. It’s one of the most popular naturally occurring hallucinogens, sourced from a small, spine-free cactus known as peyote.

Mescaline is the active constituent in peyote cactus extract. The plant has been part of religious rituals in northern Mexico and some regions across the US Southwest.

Commonly called Mesc, Buttons, Peyoto, and Cactus, people abuse mescaline by chewing the fresh or dried tops of the plant, soaking them to make a psychoactive liquid, or ground to produce a powder. This powder can be smoked or loaded into capsules and swallowed.

Mescaline interferes with chemicals in the brain, altering the user’s cognitive functions, mood, and perception of reality. It affects the person’s senses and distorts their interpretation of time, making them feel, see, and hear things that don’t exist or are different from their true nature.

Can You Safely Use Mescaline?

The dose, the environment of use, as well as the person’s health condition and mental state, are all factors that affect the safety of mescaline use.

Mescaline is considered generally safe if taken occasionally at low to moderate doses. The danger starts when a person uses higher doses at a close frequency.

What Are the Effects of Mescaline?

Following consumption, mescaline produces its psychedelic effects within 1 to 2 hours and can last up to 12 hours. These are referred to as short-term effects and they vary depending on:

  • The person’s history of mescaline use
  • The amount of the drug taken
  • The form and potency of the drug
  • The person’s weight and health status
  • The setting where the drug is consumed

That said, common effects of mescaline include:

  • Euphoria
  • Seeing geometric patterns and bright light
  • Distortion of time and space
  • Confused senses
  • Illusions
  • Altered body image
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty thinking, focusing, and maintaining concentration
  • Intense emotions
  • Feelings of spirituality
  • Intensified self-awareness
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dilation of the pupils
  • Intense nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Impaired coordination
  • Muscle weakness

Does Mescaline Cause Addiction?

Mescaline is an illegal Schedule I substance, meaning that it has no current FDA-approved medical use and that its potential for abuse is high.

Taking mescaline repeatedly and experiencing the associated euphoria, escape from reality, intense emotions, and altered consciousness can cause psychological dependence.

As such, wanting to keep taking mescaline isn’t a physical need without which the body can’t function properly, but rather a desire to experience its effects again and again.

Since mescaline addiction is psychological, the withdrawal symptoms are also mental. These include anxiety, anger, depression, and obsessive behavior.

With long-term use, mescaline can lead to dangerous side effects paranoia, psychosis, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts.

Mescaline Addiction Treatment Options

The following are the most common and effective treatment options to consider against mescaline addiction:

Medical Detox

Detoxification aims to eliminate the drug and its traces from the patient’s body. It’s done by gradually tapering the patient off the drug until it’s no longer present in their system.

Reducing the dose of mescaline to less than what the body is used to –especially after long-term use– will most likely trigger withdrawal-like symptoms. Medical detox uses certain medications to ease those symptoms and facilitate quitting.

However, to avoid complications, administering these medications must be under medical supervision.

While it’s not common for patients struggling with mescaline addiction to go through a detox process, it may still be necessary in some cases, especially if it’s accompanied by abuse of other drugs.

A doctor’s assessment before treatment will determine the best course of action.

Inpatient/Residential Treatment

Patients who join residential programs stay for at least 2 to 3 months in specialized facilities –such as recovery centers or clinics– where 24-hour supervised care is provided.

Only cases of severe mescaline addiction will require this intensity of support, which is rather uncommon for this psychedelic drug.


Partial hospitalization programs are a middle ground between residential and outpatient programs. They can be a good option for moderate to less severe cases of mescaline addiction.

In a PHP, the patient receives a treatment structure similar to a residential program with, but without staying at the facility overnight.

These programs usually require participants to come down to the facility at least 5 days a week and attend 4 to 6 hours of therapy sessions each day.

IOPs and Outpatient Programs

IOPs (intensive outpatient programs) are halfway in intensity between PHPs and outpatient programs.

They offer consistent support and a higher level of flexibility, requiring patients to visit the treatment facility for therapy sessions but at a lower frequency than PHPs. IOP patients are free to leave once they complete the day’s agenda.

Because IOPs are structured yet provide significant freedom, they’re a great chance for patients to practice getting back to their normal lives and implementing the coping they’ve learned.

Even less structured and supervised are outpatient programs, designed to incorporate the highest level of flexibility with just enough support to help maintain abstinence.

Recovered patients get to live at home and go about their normal personal and professional lives while checking in at the facility for therapy sessions once or twice a week.

This sort of treatment program is one of the most used in cases of mescaline abuse due to the non-physical nature of its addiction.

Therapy and Counseling

Behavioral therapy is the fundamental component of a mescaline addiction treatment plan as it deals with the psychological aspects of substance abuse disorder, which is the main characteristic of mescaline addiction.

Therapy also promotes extended recovery by preventing instances of relapse.

The following are examples of the most effective and commonly used therapy approaches:

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

This type of behavioral therapy helps patients form links between their actions and their feelings/thoughts. It teaches them how to identify adverse emotions and thought patterns that trigger destructive behaviors such as drug use.

CBT offers patients a pathway to understanding the reasons behind their addiction and gets them to develop positive patterns in place of negative ones.

DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy)

A type of CBT, DBT deals with pinpointing the triggers of the patients’ cravings and destructive habits. It can help them control impulses and build effective coping mechanisms that curb the likelihood of relapse.

CM (Contingency Management)

This is another form of behavioral therapy that uses positive reinforcement to encourage the patient to stay clean.

Rewarding favorable behaviors can be quite effective against more psychological types of addiction such as mescaline addiction, especially when combined with other techniques such as MI or CBT.

MI (Motivational Interviewing)

A strong sense of motivation is vital for achieving recovery and staying clean. MI therapy deals with this aspect of the patient’s mentality, helping them find and maintain enough motivation to modify their habits and stick to the change.

Individual Therapy

In these psychotherapy sessions, professionals work one-on-one with patients to explore their minds on a deeper level to learn the core causes of their addiction.

Also referred to as individual counseling, talk therapy, or psychotherapy, patients are provided with a safe, private environment to open up about their emotions, thoughts, traumas, and everything in between.

Group Therapy

This type of therapy occurs in groups with a facilitator present. Patients struggling with similar addiction problems are encouraged to interact and share their experiences.

This presence of relatable peers and enabling discussions among them creates an effective support system and fosters a sense of belonging.

Holistic therapy

This branch of behavioral therapy involves a range of non-conventional approaches that aim to boost the patient’s connection with their surroundings, reduce their stress levels, and improve their overall physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

In other words, it treats the person as a whole, which is in line with trying to replace the patient’s dependency on mescaline with healthier practices. Examples of holistic therapy include physical exercise, pet therapy, meditation, massage, and wilderness therapy.

Conclusion: Taking Control

Mescaline may not be addictive in the traditional sense, but its health risks can be devastating.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with mescaline addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us immediately. At Illinois Recovery Center, we’ll get you on track to recovery with a personalized treatment plan and help you become the best version of yourself.


Published on: 2024-05-07
Updated on: 2024-05-07