Mescaline: Therapeutic use
Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 5:26 pm
There is no recognized Therapeutic use for peyote or mescaline. However, interest in mescaline as a medicine appeared almost as soon as it was discovered. A look through bibliographic citations and literature shows publications on peyote or mescaline dating from 1894 through nearly every decade to present day.
In the 1960s, interest in the Therapeutic use of psychedelics was at its height. The experimental psychiatric community and others were looking at mescaline and other hallucinogens as possible ways to treat a wide array of psychiatric disorders such as depression, obsessive-compulsive behavior and autism. Once the drugs became illegal, legitimate study for all intents and purposes was halted. However, personal exploration and research continued illegally in some sectors.
In the 1990s there was a resurgence in interest in studying the effects of peyote, especially among the Native American population who have used it for so long. Testimony before the Congress of the United States and elsewhere that the use of peyote in the spiritual practices of the NAC has helped Native Americans combat the problems of alcoholism and that it appears relatively safe has revived the interest of the research community.
Outside of clinical research, use of peyote as a means to self-discovery is of great interest to both members of the NAC and lay people alike. A group in the San Francisco Bay area, the Council on Spiritual Practices (CSP), refers to peyote and other hallucinogenic plants as “entheogens” instead of hallucinogens. Entheogen comes from a Greek base meaning “God-facilitating substance.”
Those who seek what they call a responsible religious use of entheogens are also trying to answer the questions about their inherent dangers. Researchers at Duke University are studying the PET scans of mescaline users to see what happens during spiritual use.