Friday, November 04, 2005

Peyote Bends But Doesn't Alter Minds

From the article:

There seem to be no mental or behavioral problems associated with long-term use of the hallucinogenic substance peyote (mescaline), at least among Native Americans.

That's the conclusion of researchers at the McLean Hospital here and Harvard Medical School, who found that among the Navajo who take peyote legally as part of their religion, long-term drug users did just as well as non-users on standard neuropsychological tests. On some measures, they did even better.

The study, led by John H. Halpern, M.D., of the McLean Hospital, was partly funded by the National Institute for Drug Abuse. It was published in the November issue of Biological Psychiatry.


"We found no evidence that these Native Americans had residual neurocognitive problems," Dr. Halpern said. "Despite lifelong participation in the peyote church, they performed just as well on mental tests as those who had never used peyote."

In fact, peyote users scored significantly better than non-users on the "general positive affect" and "psychological well-being" measures of the Rand Mental Health Inventory (RMHI), a standard instrument used to diagnose psychological problems and determine overall mental health.

In contrast, alcohol abusers did significantly worse than the comparison group (non-users) in all measures of the RMHI.


Anonymous bonzai said...


12:22 AM  

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