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Mixing Mescaline and Alcohol: What Are the Risks?

Taking too much of one intoxicating substance can be dangerous enough, but millions of people around the United States mix intoxicating substances together, changing how the drugs interact, and putting themselves at risk for long-term physical harm.

One of the most common drugs abused in patterns of polydrug abuse is alcohol. Because so much substance abuse involves some level of social interaction, alcohol is often combined socially alongside other drugs, such as opioids, cocaine, marijuana, and “club drugs” like MDMA, PCP, or hallucinogens.

What Is Mescaline?

There are several hallucinogens abused in the US, and other countries, and one of the most popular, naturally occurring hallucinogenic drugs is mescaline. Found in the peyote cactus, mescaline is consumed orally, and it may be abused by chewing dried pieces of peyote, or as a white powder extracted from the plant. Peyote was originally used in rituals in Central America and the southwestern United States, but it is now a popular drug of abuse.

Mescaline can cause serious psychedelic side effects and changes certain processes in the body. Side effects from this drug include:

  • Distorted vision
  • Seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, or tasting things that are not real
  • Altered perception of space and time
  • Emotional changes
  • Distorted view of one’s body
  • Heightened sensory perception, such as sharper colors or tastes
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating on reality
  • Loss of sense of reality
  • Preoccupation with specific thoughts, feelings, or sensations
  • Adverse reactions, such as intense paranoia
  • Numbness or tingling in the body
  • Muscle twitches or weakness
  • Impaired physical coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Pupil dilation
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Appetite suppression
  • Elevated body temperature

Adding Alcohol to Mescaline

doctor reviewing mescaline and alcohol abuse signs

Alcohol also causes changes in the mind and body. Typical signs of alcohol intoxicationinclude stumbling, slurred speech, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, shaking, changes in body temperature, elevated blood pressure, stomach upset, blackouts, and changes in mood, including euphoria and depression.

Mixing alcohol with mescaline can be dangerous. The person increases their chances for serious mood changes, or the mood swings induced by alcohol can affect whether or not the person experiences a “bad trip.” The combination of stumbling and weakness, with a changed perception of reality, puts the person at greater risk of harm by falling, getting into a car accident, or being involved in another dangerous situation. They are at higher risk of vomiting, which can be very dangerous if they pass out from drinking too much alcohol. Mood changes and altered perception of reality may also increase the risk of suicide among people who struggle with mental health problems.

Peyote has been shown to interact with some drugs that change serotonin levels, especially amphetamines like MDMA and prescription antidepressants. Although mescaline is not considered addictive, alcohol is known to be problematic for millions of adults and adolescents in the US. Mescaline may induce psychosis or a psychotic disorder in people who are at risk for these problems. If a person struggles with alcohol and other substances at the same time, they are at a greater risk for developing an addiction with associated co-occurring disorders, including mood disorders or psychosis.

If a person abuses even one substance, like alcohol or mescaline, they should get help with the withdrawal process and find an evidence-based rehabilitation program where they can get comprehensive therapy. Abusing more than one substance, including mixing mescaline and alcohol, puts a person at risk for serious, chronic harm to their mind and body.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Laguna Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More