What Is Salvia?

Salvia is a mint-like psychedelic herb grown in southern Mexico that produces a variety of physical and emotional reactions. The federal government’s Controlled Substances Act does not regulate salvia, but many states control its use because of its strong, but brief, effects. Is salvia addictive, and is it legal and safe for use?

Mimicking Psychosis

Salvia is a green, leafy plant that looks like mint and produces brief but strong hallucinations when chewed. Users can also drink salvia juice or smoke dried salvia in rolled cigarettes and pipes; vaporizing and inhaling is also popular with users. Although the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that salvia is not typically used as a party drug, it is nevertheless dangerous. Little is known about the consequences of salvia abuse on the human body. Plus, it is sometimes illegal, as some fear that people taking salvia are more likely to drive while intoxicated, in addition to other dangerous and reckless acts.

The effects of salvia are not comparable to other hallucinogens such as LSD or mushrooms. Salvia attaches to certain nerve cells called kappa opioid receptors — not the same receptors activated by opioids such as heroin — and produces a short but intense high. Emotional mood swings, a feeling of being detached from reality, changes in visual perception, and a physical sensation are common. Users typically view reality far differently than what others know to be true. The salvia user often has difficulty interacting with his surroundings, and little is known about the drug’s long term health effects, other than its negative impact on cognitive skills such as memory and learning.

Getting Help

Even though salvia may not be commonly used on the party scene, its effects are serious enough that industry professionals are paying more attention. If someone you care about is using salvia to avoid dealing with life, it’s time to get help — especially if using more and more to get the same high, or switching to a harder drug, becomes necessary. Remember, little is known about salvia, and just because it’s grown in nature doesn’t make it safe. Don’t wait, because the longer you do, the more difficult recovery becomes.

If you or your loved one are struggling with drug abuse and addiction, contact 12 Keys Rehab to start your recovery today.

The Addiction Blog