Mescaline: Usage trends
Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 5:26 pm
It is extremely difficult to determine the extent of peyote and mescaline use. After 1998, it seemed to disappear from the various governmental indicators for drug use. If it shows up at all, it is usually lumped under the heading of “other hallucinogens,” not including LSD, which usually has its own category.
According to the DEA, as of October 2001, of the approximate 14 million Americans over age 12 who used illicit drugs, 22.3% used LSD. There is no mention of mescaline use in that survey.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Director’s Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse in September 2000, did list mescaline use as being “common among adolescents and young adults in Boston. Peyote is readily available in Phoenix.” However, there was no indication how many people this might involve or their ages or Usage trends.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) suggests that local DEA offices may have statistical breakdowns for mescaline and peyote use separate from other hallucinogens and LSD.
Scope and severity
Mescaline is not a very popular street drug as exemplified by a DEA report that shows that from 1980 to 1987, 19.4 lbs (9 kg) of peyote were confiscated in drug raids compared to more than 15 million lbs (7 million kg) of marijuana confiscated during the same time period. They report no trafficking of peyote.
In Texas, where the peyote cactus grows, its distribution to members of the NAC throughout the United States is controlled by Texas laws and regulations.
Age, ethnic, and gender trends
Again, there is no breakdown for mescaline use. A few interesting statistics from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) show that about one-third of college campuses reported an increase in hallucinogen use in the mid-1990s — mostly LSD and psilocybin. According to the NIJ, “Campus sources identified hallucinogen users today as mainstream students, not the more marginal hippie students of the 1960s. Private and public campuses are equally likely to report hallucinogen use; religious schools are most likely to report little or no use. Larger campuses and institutions in urban areas report the widest range of drug use.”
While use of hallucinogens appeared to increase during the early to mid-1990s, possibly due to the growth of “raves,” NIDA reported a slight decline in their use among eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders from 1998 to 2000.
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