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Salvia also known as Salvia divinorum is a herb common in south Mexico and central/south America.The salvia plant has purple and white flowers and large green leaves. The plant typically grows in clusters to a height of approximately three feet.
The main active Salvia ingredient is salvinorin, a potent kappa opioid receptor activator. Salvinorin is among the potent naturally occurring chemical hallucinogens. Recently there has been an increase in Salvia use which is a hallucinogenic herb. This has captured the attention of many people. According to statistics, approximately 3 percent of all young men in America between 18 and 25 years of age have tried Salvia divinorum.
The recent statistics suggest that the drug is twice as popular as LSD which is also a hallucinogen. The drug is also more popular than ecstasy. The drugs popularity is associated with social media whereby there are very many recent video clips of salvia users in the internet popularising the effects of the drug. Salvia is simply the new rising star in the drug world. The alarming thing about the drug is its availability and the fact that it is a legal drug.
Salvia is available in various forms. For instance, it is sold as leaves, seeds or as an extract. Fresh salvia leaves can be consumed through chewing. This method of administration produces a high in approximately five to ten minutes. When salvia leaves are dried, they can be smoked like a cigarette. The smoke can also be taken through a water pipe. Salvia can also be vaporized and the smoke inhaled. Smoking salvia produces the fastest effects. When smoked, salvia effects can be felt in less than 30 seconds. Drinking salvia extract also produces fast effects although not as fast as smoking because the extract takes some time to be absorbed into the bloodstream from the stomach.
The chemical salvinorin found in salvia functions by sits on the opioid receptors found in the brain. This in turn causes altered perceptions about reality. The opioid receptor plays a crucial role in controlling pain and some specific kinds of psychiatric disorders.
Salvia causes very short intense i.e. visual distortions, intense dissociation, disconnectedness, hallucinations, visual or physical impairment, dizziness and disorientation. Other side effects such as synesthesia are possible in cases where physical sensations are intertwined. In such cases, users see, smell or hear certain colours, smells or sounds.
Dysphoria is another possible side effect experienced by users. The drug can cause uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings. Due to such effects, it is dangerous to operate machinery i.e. driving a vehicle under the influence of salvia. Drugs which leave users incapacitated during influence puts users at serious injury risks.
Is salvia legal?
It is important to note that salvia is a legal drug. According to the US policy on drug control, salvia use isn't currently under regulation by the American government. Salvia is therefore thought of as a concern by the DEA or drug enforcement administration as opposed to being thought of as an illegal drug.
Salvia use is therefore being monitored to ensure that the drug isn't abused. The only role of the DEA is to educate the public on any dangers of taking salvia. It is important to note that there are some states currently in the process of putting regulations in place to control salvia use. Other states are in the process of making the drug illegal.
The question of whether salvia is legal or not isn't important. The most important thing is to the exact side effects of the drug. It is also important to note that salvia isn't intended to be used by minors i.e. adolescents. The drug should be used more like an adult drug i.e. like alcohol. This is because adolescents and teens are not fully aware of the effects of using drugs. Adults are better placed to manage the effects of the drug.
It is important to note that there are very many websites promote salvia. Most of these websites however specify that they don't sell salvia to minors. Parents must increase their awareness of salvia in order to keep up with the changing times where drugs are readily available to teens and adolescents.
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