What Is Salvia?
Salvia Divinorum, shortened to just Salvia, is a type of sage and part of the mint family. While this may make it sound harmless, it is actually a potent hallucinogenic. Hailing from South Mexico, the psychedelic was a ceremonious plant among the Mazateca people native to that area, similar to how DMT was used around the Amazon.
Given its relative unpopularity, the federal government has not seen it necessary to ban Salvia. That, however, has not stopped the majority of states banning it themselves. Much of this is because of the dangers that come out of consuming Salvia. While no deaths have been conclusively tied to it, smoking the drug causes erratic, unpredictable behavior and realistic hallucinations. In certain situations, this can cause someone to become violent to themselves or others, especially when used with other drugs. People who smoke Salvia will usually have at least one person who is sober to help in case someone is hurt. Other names for Salvia include:
- Diviner’s Sage
- Magic Mint
- Maria Pastora
- Seer’s Sage
- Shepherdess’s Herb
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The Effects of Salvia
Salvia’s notoriety comes from its use in psychedelic ceremonies. While it is used recreationally, many try to use it to have some kind of revelation. Some users feel that what they are doing can bring them further in their understanding of themselves. While there is little evidence of hallucinogens like Salvia producing some kind of addiction, bad trips can create erratic behavior and cause someone to try again and again in an attempt to attain some inner peace. After someone smokes Salvia, they’ll feel the full effects in less than a minute. These can last up to 30 minutes and include:
- Visual hallucinations
- Physical sensations
- Feelings of detachment
- Distorted sense of space
The above effects are incredibly personal and are often not detected by another person. However, there are physical effects that are easy to monitor if someone has smoked Salvia. These include:
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Awkward sentence patterns
- Decreased heart rate
- Erratic or violent behavior
Due to lack of studies, there has been no real examination of serious long-term effects. This should not, however, be interpreted as there being none. If anything, it is more dangerous. In our modern day of raw information, there is so little we know about some naturally occurring drugs. This means that long-term exposure can result in any variety of unpredictable effects.
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Salvia: The Psychedelic
The most potent, hallucinogenic effects of Salvia appear almost immediately and last for about 30 minutes. While these effects are short lived, they are described as intense, realistic hallucinations. These hallucinations can be anything. Similar to DMT and LSD, people are often lost in the hallucination as it is going on and completely forget their place in the real world.
Different people have used psychedelics, like Salvia, as a form of therapy. There is still a large group of people who believe in the power of hallucinogens as a treatment for different kinds of trauma, or even the own feelings of self-doubt. There have not been, however, any definitive conclusions. It is not recommended for anyone to try this kind of treatment on their own. All of these therapies have been under close examination by a trained person. Using any psychedelic on your own, as a form of therapy, cannot be done safely.
While there has not been any conclusive information declaring that Salvia is addictive, it can still be used as an escape from reality, which means it can be abused. People who suffer from stressful situations in day-to-day life, or suffer from another disorder that causes anxiety, are more likely to abuse substances that provide some kind of escape for them. In cases like these, someone may feel that they need that substance to go on. While this isn’t what people traditionally think of as an “addiction,” it can still be damaging for people stuck in this loop.
Treatment for Salvia Addiction
If you or someone you love are suffering from an addiction to any drug, coming forward is often the hardest step. If you don’t know how to address your own, or someone else’s, problem then try reaching out to a dedicated treatment specialist. They’re available 24/7 for consultation, completely free.
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