Friday, March 14, 2008

A New and Dangerous Drug: Salvia

I recently read an article by the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding about a new drug called Salvia. I became very concerned; in the past I have had to help teens that are on over the counter drugs like Triple C. However, this drug is new and dangerous because many people see it as an "herbal" remedy. Actually it is not a new drug. It has been around for a long time, used mainly by Mazatec Indians. It is native to Mexico and is officially called Salvia Divinorum (also called: Magic Mint, Ska Maria, Sally D, and Pastora). It is a plant that can be smoke, chewed, or brewed. Each of these methods delivers a different type of high with varying lengths.

It is becoming more and more common in foreign cities like Amsterdam. It can be bought on the Internet, even on Ebay. It is not nationally illegal yet, but many states are considering a ban. I can only image as the drug become more and more popular that it will be banned nation wide. Many people relate Salvia to Marijuana, but this drugs "high" is much much more intense than pot. It also causes more loss of control that pot. CPYU described that "Users experience visionary trances (bright lights, vivid colors, pronounced shapes), a loss of control of their body, slurred speech, and a sense of being transported to a different place and time. The experience is intense." Dr. Bryan Roth says the high is "as potent as LSD, and essentially, the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogenic drug,"

Among teens this drug is becoming more and more prevalent. Don't be fooled by those that say this is an "herbal" remedy or home medicine. It is dangerous because users lose inhibitions which can cause a number of bad consequences including death. One teens suicide is linked to the drugs use. Parents, talk to your teens about all drugs, but especially about new ones as they are not considered harmful because they are not illegal. Set boundaries and rules regarding drugs and alcohol. CPYU reports, "alcohol and drug use is relatively low among teens whose parents set and enforce strict rules about alcohol and drug abuse." So start a dialogue about this today.

Read the CPYU article in PDF format


NPR Article


Anthony Patterson said...

you failed to mention that the high only lasts at the most twenty minuts, and that doctors that have been studying the drug for years have found absolutely no harmful effects to the body from use of salvia. and as for the kid who committed suicide "because of" salvia, thats one person out of millions of kids, how many teens commit suicide and in there notes they blame school? is it the schools fault? will schools be banned? NO!
please message me at and tell me how this drug is "actually" dangerous

Bryan Gotcher said...

Thanks for you comment. I just reported on the couple of articles I read about it. But it seems to me that any type of substance that causes a "high" even for 20 minutes can be a bad thing. I will never agree that a mind altering substance is safe for teens (or adults for that matter). I feel that gave this drug a fair shake, very little of my own opinion went into the post, most was from other sources such as doctors. Thanks again for you comment, however i don't think I will ever see things your way.