Salvia is a drug that has become much more common in recent years. It seems as though there are always new drugs being introduced all over the world. It’s possible that Salvia has grown in popularity because so many celebrities currently use it. Salvia is legal in the United States. This causes most people to feel that it is perfectly harmless. In fact, Salvia might not be as harmless as it appears. If you have been using Salvia, it’s important to get the right information about this drug.
What is Salvia?
Salvia is a genus of plants within the mint family, Lamiaceae. There are nearly 1000 species of Salivas all over the world. Some types of Salivas are commonly referred to as sage, which is used in cooking. However, there is another form of Salvia, which is called Salvia Divinorum.
What is Salvia Divinorum?
Salvia Divinorum is an herb that is found in Southern Mexico. It works by altering the brain in ways that can be extremely scary. Many people who use Salvia Divinorum experience an intense high that leads to hallucinations. On the street, Salvia Divinorum goes by a few different names. It is often called:
- Diviner’s Sage
- Magic Mint
- Maria Pastora
- Seer’s Sage
- Shepherdess’s Herb
This type of Salvia is also legal to purchase and possess in the United States. Some states have passed laws to regulate the use of this drug. It is listed by the DEA as a drug that they are concerned about. There are substantial risks involved with anyone who uses it.
The Dangers of Salvia Divinorum
Hearing people describe what they experienced when using Salvia Divinorum can be terrifying. According to Newsweek, those who had smoked it reported: “Forgetting which way was up, or didn’t know if they owned their bodies anymore. Others felt their internal organs being pulled in directions across all three planes, and through extra dimensions that hadn’t known existed.” Still others said that it seemed as though they could feel objects looking at them. These were the experiences of those who had tried Salvias one time. Obviously, it is a drug that produces hallucinogenic effects. These types of effects are concerning; especially coming from a drug that is still legal. Even so, many people crave this type of out of body experience. Salvias seem to offer a way to get a quick high that’s legal, and fairly inexpensive.
Who is Likely to Abuse the Salvia Plant?
Salvia is a drug that is cheap and available in many places, to almost anyone. Because of this, young people are most likely to abuse it. The Saliva plant may also be abused by those who have addictions to other drugs as well. So many famous celebrities have abused it publicly that it has almost taken on “designer drug” status.
What is Salvia Abuse?
Salvia divinorum is a mind-altering drug. Because of this, any use of it at all is considered to be abuse. Many don’t think of it as a drug at all because it’s still legal. However, those who have tried it understand its potent effects. People can abuse Salvias like Salvia divinorum in a number of ways. They can chew the leaves of the plant. They can also put the leaves into a tea and drink it. Salvia can be smoked through a pipe or in a cigarette as well. Sometimes people abuse Salvia for recreational purposes. However, it is possible for Salvia abuse to become compulsive in nature.
Salvia Abuse Statistics in the United States
The Salvia plant has been abused for a number of years. Even so, it has become quite popular in a very short time. Salvia abuse statistics tell us that:
- About 1.8 million Americans ages 12 and up have used Salvia Divinorum at least one time.
- Men may be four times more likely to use Salvia within the last year as women.
- About 75,000 Americans ages 12 and older have used Salvia within the last year.
- Young adults are about 3 times more likely to have used Salvia than that youth between 12 and 17.
- In 2009, close to 6% of all 12th graders had used Salvia within the last year.
- This is higher than the number of teenagers who have ever used Ecstasy.
- This is not quite as high as the number of teenagers who have abused alcohol within the last year.
- 4.4% of college students report having used Salvia divinorum within the last year.
Resources indicate that the abuse of Salvia will continue to grow until something is done to stop it. As long as Salvia remains in the limelight, it will still seem glamorous to many. However, this is only a part of the problem. Many people seem excited to experience what Salvia has to offer. For them, it might seem to be a safer alternative than even getting high on prescription drugs, or drinking alcohol.
What is a Salvia Trip?
A Salvia trip is another way of referring to the high that occurs when using Salvia. People who have used it say that the high occurs within minutes of consuming the drug. That being said, the Salvia high is likely to be different for every person. Some people have reported that:
- They lose track of where they are.
- They forgot they even smoked Salvia.
- The way they perceived their own bodies had changed.
- They were no longer able to tell what was real or not real.
- They sense other people or beings are in the room with them.
- Extreme happiness.
- Extreme fear.
According to the studies that Newsweek reported on, only a few of the participants had a bad Salvia trip. Their trips were tainted by fear. They later said that the fear they experienced was more because of a lack of control. For the most part, participants in the study said that the trip was neither good nor bad. They did say that it was weird. No one expressed interest in going through it again.
Is the Salvia Drug Addictive?
There hasn’t been much research done on Salvias, and their addictive potential for humans. However, most experts believe that Salvia Divinorum is not a physically addictive drug. Even so, that doesn’t mean that it might not lead to psychological addiction or dependence for some people. For many types of hallucinogenic drugs, psychological addiction is a very real concern. Their physical bodies might not become addicted, but mentally, they are very much addicted. In this way, it might be possible to form an addiction to Salvias. This might mean that someone needs to take more of the drug periodically to get the same effects. It might also mean that a person could go through withdrawal when they stop taking it.
Salvia Effects on the Brain and Body
There is no doubt that Salvia has an intense effect on the brain and the body. This is evidenced by its hallucinogenic effects. Fortunately, a Salvia trip or high usually only lasts for about 30 minutes. Psychologically, people have reported a number of different experiences. These include:
- Having changes in their vision
- Strange changes in their mood
- Sudden emotional swings
- Feeling as though they are detached from their bodies
- Feeling as though they are no longer connected with reality
Physically, it’s difficult to say how Salvia can affect the body. However, people have reported feeling dizzy when they use it. They have also said that they felt their coordination was off. When people use Salvia, they often have a hard time forming coherent words because of slurred speech. As far as the long-term effects of Salvia go, there is no information available on this. It’s simply too new of a drug trend. Time will tell as to what long-term effects Salvia Divinorum ends up causing for frequent users.
Is it Possible to Overdose on the Salvia Plant?
There have not been any reported overdoses on Salvia. However, that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen. Authorities are fairly certain that if someone did technically overdose on Salvias, it wouldn’t be fatal. Even so, using too much Salvia could have some devastating consequences. Because of what we know of its effects, it is possible for it to lead to psychosis. It could also make someone physically ill if too much is used at one time.
Could the Salvia Plant Ever be Used for a Good Purpose?
So many concerning drugs have their good sides and their bad sides. Salvia Divinorum is no different. While we’ve gone over the bad sides of Salvia thoroughly, there are some who believe it may be beneficial. They believe that someday, Salvia may be utilized to help people go through certain types of drug detox. There have been some studies done on Salvia and its use in animals. It appears to reduce cravings to some types of drugs. One of these drugs is cocaine. When Salvia is used, it appears to have the opposite effect that opiates have. This might make it a viable option for treating opioid addiction in the future.
Should Salvia be Banned?
This is a difficult question to answer. Many believe that Salvia might not be as dangerous as it appears. There is concern that if it is banned, it might be hard to test it for medical and therapeutic purposes. If there is a chance that Salvia could be used to treat addiction, banning it now might make that difficult. What are your thoughts? Have you used Salvia? Leave us a comment about your experience.