Wilkes University's Health and Wellness Corner
Published: Thursday, March 17, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 01:03
Q: Lately I have noticed that many of my friends are interested in the inhaled drug salvia. I am a little apprehensive about this and I have heard that it is legal and, therefore, safe. I was wondering if you could offer any insight.
A: Lindsay Smith, a P4 student, will be giving a presentation on salvia from noon to 1 p.m. on Wed., March 23, in the Miller conference room. Pizza and refreshments will be served.
Salvia originally comes from a plant that is native to Mexico. It was originally used for ritual purposes. Users report loss of self-control, losing contact with reality, a feeling of disconnection with their body. Some have felt intense fear and have felt as if they were dead for years. The hallucinogenic feelings are intense and usually short lived, occurring 30 seconds after inhalation and lasting no longer than an hour. Some users may not experience any effects at all and the strength of salvia needed to produce the effects varies individually. Many users report that curiosity or boredom was their motive to trying the drug and most will opt to not try it again due to a negative experience. Salvia may increase blood pressure and lead to an irregular heart beat known as a cardiac arrhythmia. There has also been a case reported of a salvia user being admitted to the ER for a seizure. Salvia is often used in combination with other drugs of abuse such as marijuana and alcohol therefore these side-effects cannot be 100 percent attributed to salvia. It has also been reported that a tolerance to salvia may occur; meaning that more and more of the drug would be needed to feel its effects each time it is used. This effect proves that it may have potential for addiction. Salvia has been outlawed in about 10 states and New York and New Jersey are currently debating on this issue. This herb is rather new to this country and further research on its side-effects is necessary in order to fully understand its effects.