First, important to understand when exploring peyote addiction and answering is peyote addictive is knowing how it works on the brain. As mentioned, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when someone takes a hallucinogen including peyote, it changes how their nerve cells communicate with one another, and it also alters serotonin in their brain. Your serotonin system is responsible for the regulation of your thoughts and behavior, as well as your perception.If you take peyote, you may find that you lose a sense of time and place, and you may not know where you are. After you take peyote, it may impact the serotonin in your brain in a way that leaves you feeling depressed as you come off the drug, or even for a period of a few days following your use of it.
If someone does use peyote for a long period of time or repeatedly it can lead to damage and changes in brain chemistry.
In the general sense when considering is peyote addictive, it’s not, at least not in the ways other drugs like heroin might be. However, as with other hallucinogens, this doesn’t mean it can’t be abused.
First of all, as people use peyote on a regular basis, they can develop a tolerance to it. As you develop a tolerance, you may lose sensitivity to the effects of the drug. As you build a tolerance, you will need higher doses to achieve the same effects.
You may also develop a psychological dependence on the drug if you use it and enjoy the effects or the social interactions it can create. That can lead people to feel like they need the drug to unwind, let go of stress, or experience the same feelings of sociability they did when they were on it. So what this means, is that you become addicted not necessarily to the substance itself, but to the trips and the experiences peyote creates.
At the same time, while the experience of using peyote is addictive in some people, it doesn’t have the chemical makeup of a drug that’s inherently addictive. Even if someone continues to abuse peyote for an extended period, they won’t have withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop using it.
Also relevant is noting that while psychological dependence can develop with peyote, physical dependence doesn’t.