Navajo Peyote Use: Its Apparent Safety

An American Indian religion uses significant quantities of peyote, a hallucinogenic plant containing mescaline. Since there have been many reports of serious emotional disturbance caused by similar drugs, the rate of such illness in this population was investigated. The rate was found to be very low, probably because the feelings evoked by the drug experience are channeled by church belief and practice into ego-strengthening directions and there are built-in safeguards against bad reactions.


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