Salvia or Salvia Divinorum is a natural herbaceous perennial plant of the sage family that produces white flowers at the peak of its growth in summer seasons. An uprising trend has been discovered among teens and experimental drug users with smoking and using the leaves of the drug to reach a "high" or altered mental state. Because Salvia is legal in the United States and most areas around the world—the plant leaves can be easily obtained at health food stores or grown in gardens in warm climates. There are several dangers of smoking salvia. These dangers should be well understood in order to promote awareness and educate others on the dangers of this mind altering plant.
Effects from Salvia
One of the most commonly asked questions about salvia is what does it do and what effects does it cause after it is administered. Salvia is commonly administered by smoking but it can also be chewed. Salvia affects people differently and this is mainly due to each individuals body chemistry, body weight and if it is being taken with other drugs or alcohol. Salvia affects the brain's limbic system, parietal lobe and overall vestibular function. The effects of Salvia are almost instant with many people. One of the first signs is a feeling of euphoria similar to a sleepwalking experience. Many salvia users recommend a "sitter" or someone who watches or observes the behavior of the user so they do not hurt themselves or knock items over. Because of the intense mental impairment from this drug—it is recommended that one never drive or operate machinery while taking Salvia or up to eight hours later—it could cause fatal consequences.
Salvia contains the substance Salvinorin-A which causes psychoactive side effects. There are some reports of people completely passing out or being unable to move or function until the height of the drug as tapered off—which is usually about thirty minutes. Others have reported that they see visions or bright lights in a motion-like effect. Some people report only being able to move in a certain direction such as to the right with their entire left side not functioning or being in sync with the other side of their body. One of the most fearful side effects occurs as the drug begins to slowly wear off—where the user may thrash or appear to have seizure like symptoms in which they may run into walls or injure themselves with no feeling of pain whatsoever. Most report that with salvia use they have no recollection of the "high" or experience afterward. The only way to observe or recollect the incident would be by videotape or with the recollection of onlookers or a sitter.
While there has been no documented proof that salvia is an addictive drug—it does attract the same users repeatedly. Many medical professionals and drug experts try to compare the drugs addicting side effects to that of PCP, heroin and cocaine, which are documented to be addictive, but so far salvia has not been added to that list. For those who have had a good drug experience from the drug and enter into a relaxed state—they may be inclined to take the drug repeatedly but this has not been proven by the Food and Drug Administration.
Salvia tends to attract users of all age groups and class levels. Many people who smoke marijuana are some of the highest users of salvia. This could be because both are considered natural herbs that are also smoked. One disturbing trend is the use of salvia by children and teenagers. Because it is legal to buy in a health store, smoke shop and also legal to grow—it is easily accessible. Because many children and teens are unaware of the physical symptoms and after-effects of smoking or taking salvia—they often end up getting hurt, taking too much of the drug or operating bikes or automobiles while high. This is a dangerous trend that has lethal consequences because most parents are unaware of the child's drug abuse.
There has been an association with those who currently suffer or have suffered from mental illness to experience a relapse or induced psychosis from taking salvia. Salvia has been known to re-trigger panic attacks, schizophrenia relapses and borderline personality traits. This can cause symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, depression, anti-social acts, fighting, anger and uncontrollable crying to surface. Most symptoms are reported to subside once the salvia wears off but in some it can trigger a relapse due to certain memories or parts of the brain being stimulated by the drug.