Because the signs and symptoms of mescaline abuse can be obvious and uncontrollable, most young people who abuse this drug will do so only in the company of other people who tolerate drug abuse. Mescaline abuse causes severe changes in one’s perceptions and behavior and a person may not be able to tell the difference between their fantasy or hallucinated world and the real world. Therefore parents may not have the opportunity to see the signs and symptoms of mescaline abuse while the person is high on the drug. Being high on the drug is referred to as “tripping.”
Some trips are considered good by the drug user and some can be very terrifying. In fact, a person who has a tolerable experience one day could have a terrible one the next day. Because a person can’t always tell that his perceptions are being altered by the drug, they may not be able to moderate their behavior around parents, non-drug users or law enforcement. Mescaline may not be addictive in terms of creating withdrawal symptoms but a person can become quite psychologically dependent on this drug. They may continue to use it over and over again despite damage that is being experienced. Each year, nearly two thousand people are admitted to rehab saying that their primary problem is with mescaline.