Salvia Abuse Treatment

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Salvia divinorum is a psychoactive herb that produces brief but extremely intense hallucinations when used, generally via smoking. For centuries, indigenous groups throughout the Americas have used salvia for religious purposes, but in the past few decades, an increasing number of people have begun using it recreationally. Dozens of videos of people under salvia’s effects have appeared on social media sites like YouTube. Common slang terms for salvia include “sally-d,” “magic mint” and “diviner’s sage.”

Sovereign Health understands the underlying problems that can lead a person to turn to salvia for relief. We offer a wide variety of treatment programs that address both drug abuse and the underlying mental conditions that often drive people toward salvia abuse.

Abusing salvia

In the form it’s usually abused in, salvia looks like chopped-up green leaves, but it can also come in a liquid concentrate. Users can chew, smoke and vaporize the plant. As for salvia addiction, research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests salvia use does not lead to dependence or addiction. Salvia’s legal status is also complex: Although many states have scheduled salvia as an illegal drug, it’s decriminalized or legal in a handful of states.

Given salvia’s long history of use for spiritual purposes and reports of its promise as a treatment for diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder, it can be easy to dismiss salvia as a relatively harmless, nonaddictive substance. This is a mistake.

Salvia dramatically and quickly alters perception, especially for someone who’s exposed to it without their full awareness or consent. Salvia trips can involve the loss of consciousness and memory. Although salvia’s effects last only a short while, it’s enough time to cause a person under the drug’s effects to roll around on the floor giggling – or jump through a window to escape a perceived danger.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that manipulates a person’s sense of reward, motivation, memory and a number of related neurological functions.

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Symptoms of Salvia Use

  • Depersonalization
  • Extreme mood shifts, often including intense sensations of fear and panic
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of memory and coordination
  • Psychotic states

Red Flags of Salvia Use

  • A compulsion to use salvia
  • An inability to stop using salvia, or believing that participating in life fully requires using salvia
  • Participating in dangerous behavior while under salvia’s effects
  • Experiencing psychological damage, including psychosis, from repeated use of salvia along with other illicit substances
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Salvia Inside the Body

How salvia works is still largely unknown, and its effects can depend on many variables:

  • The size and strength of the dose
  • The user’s familiarity with salvia’s effects
  • The mental state of the user
  • The user’s environment – a person taking salvia in a controlled environment may have experiences wildly different from a user taking the drug in a loud nightclub or dorm room

Salvia’s effects are very strong, manifesting shortly after the drug is used. The effects last for around a half hour. Users report experiencing very vivid, sometimes disturbing visual, tactile and auditory hallucinations, often with a spiritual bent.

Recent studies have shown salvia acts on opioid receptors in the brain – however, the opioid receptors salvia targets are different from the receptors affected by opioid use. Long-term effects of salvia abuse are largely unknown. Some researchers think long-term salvia use could result in users experiencing flashbacks similar those experienced by habitual users of hallucinogens. Other studies on rats showed memory problems resulting from long-term exposure to salvia. More alarmingly, there have been at least two cases of suicides linked to salvia use.

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Getting Help for Salvia Abuse

Withdrawal symptoms of salvia can be hard to spot because physical clues do not normally appear. Someone who casually engages in salvia abuse may have other substance abuse and mental disorder issues. Both are serious medical conditions that can have devastating consequences if not treated. However, Sovereign Health is here to help. Our substance abuse treatment programs use effective, scientifically backed treatment modalities to ensure our patients have the best chance at a full recovery.

What sets Sovereign Health apart from other treatment providers is our commitment to treating our patients holistically. Rather than simply treating the symptoms of salvia use, we also address any underlying mental disorders that often drive people to use dangerous substances like salvia for perceived relief.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that manipulates a person’s sense of reward, motivation, memory and a number of related neurological functions.

Why Choose Sovereign Health?

Sovereign Health is a premier provider of substance abuse and mental health treatment for a variety of reasons:

  • Comfortable and safe facilities for detoxification and recovery across the U.S.
  • Facilities accredited by the Joint Commission
  • The latest evidence-based and holistic treatment modalities
  • We treat our patients in both body and mind

Sovereign’s patients are truly seen as individuals – and we tailor effective treatment plans to their exact needs. We’re with them every step of the way. A better life can start now. Call our 24/7 helpline for more details on how we can help you break free from salvia addiction.

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