Salvia Divinorum Information
Salvia is an herb that is smoked, chewed or ingested in different forms, that produces a hallucinogenic high. It’s a drug that has not yet attracted enough attention to be made illegal in many states and countries. In the US, the laws vary from state to state. In twenty states, it is illegal. In a few more, it is illegal to have it with the intention of consuming it. In California, it can legally be sold to an adult but it is illegal to sell it to a minor.
For some reason, it is a very popular activity to video a person’s salvia trip and post it to YouTube—especially their first-ever trip. There are thousands of salvia trips posted to this website. In general, they show a young person who smokes salvia from some type of bowl or pipe and very quickly becomes giddy, maniacal and out of control. Nearly all of them begin to laugh continuously, unable to stop themselves. Many roll onto the floor and lie there helplessly. Others stumble around the room or outdoor space. Some complain that the trip was too intense, some have to be controlled by their companions who did not smoke the herb.
The most intense parts of the trips are usually very short—many of these videos show the person calming down within five minutes or so. The effects set in within just seconds to a minute. The full effects last about half an hour though there may be some lingering after-effects.
Fortunately, not everyone thinks these trips are fun so for some of these people, their first trips are their last.
Despite the fact that these people are out of control and helpless, most states have not yet outlawed this drug. It can be easily purchased on the internet.
Dangers for Youth Seeking a Legal High
If young people are looking for a way to get extremely high without legal repercussions in most states, they may choose salvia. There are hundreds of websites offering to sell this drug. The products sold are often enhanced or bumped up in potency by adding salvia concentrates to the plain salvia leaves. This strengthened product may be referred to as “fortified” salvia.
The strength of these fortified products is identified by a 1X, 2X, 3X and so on up to 60X. There are “starter packs” sold to new customers that contain a range of products such as one gram of 5X, one gram of 10X and one gram of 20X - the last is “to experience extreme effects.” The product may also be flavored with apple, mint or strawberry. A starter pack like this may sell for $80.
While most people seem to smoke these fortified leaves, there are also extracts of various types that can be consumed. Some are meant to be placed under the tongue and absorbed.
Brett’s Law in Delaware
One of the early laws banning this product was Brett’s Law or SB259 in Delaware. In 2006, seventeen-year-old Brett Chidester killed himself after buying and smoking salvia. He assured his mother that the product was harmless because it was legal. His girlfriend reported that he had been smoking salvia once or twice a week for the seven months before his death.
Brett’s mother Kathleen was an early campaigner against this drug and was instrumental in getting SB 259 passed in Delaware, banning the sale of the drug. His mother also reported that Brett had said that he could not stop himself from smoking the drug.
Is Salvia Addictive or Not?
Salvia has not been the subject of much study as yet so there is no definitive information yet on its addictiveness. It is likely that the drug creates a psychological dependence that drives a user to find and consume the drug again and again, despite the harm that may result. When this happens, a person needs rehab to recover from this type of addiction.
At Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, recovery from addiction to hallucinogens happens every day, the same as it does with addiction to prescription painkillers, alcohol or other drugs. The same therapy enables any person to recover.
The Narconon program not only addresses the debilitating effects of drug abuse on the mind and body but also resolves why a person turned to drugs in the first place. As a result, a person can graduate from the program into a new life free from drug use.