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Salvia: Today’s Legal
Hallucinogen
2009 ACHA
San Francisco, CA
Dr. Lori Dewald, EdD, ATC, CHES, F-AAHE
Dept. of Health and Physical Education
Salisbury University
Salisbury, MD
Salvia: what is it?
• Salvia has been prominent for decades as an herb in the Sierra Mazatecca area
of Mexico, and Central and South America.
• It is from the sage family.
• Used in traditional spiritual and ethnopharmacological practices by the
Mazatec Indians of the Oaxaca, Mexico.
• They use it to treat headaches, diarrhea, and rheumatism.
• Also use to treat “swollen belly” which is a curse from an evil sorcerer.
• In the USA, it has been used by landscapers as a ground cover.
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Salvia Plants
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Salvia: what is it?
• Salvia is the new LSD for today’s young
people who are entering into
recreational drug use.
• Why?
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Why?
• It is legal in 44 US states!
• It is only illegal in:
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Delaware
Louisiana
Missouri
New Jersey
New York
Tennessee
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A Legal High
• However, it has become better known in US
adolescents and teenagers as a cheap (less then
$15.00) and legal hallucinogen.
• Its usage among adolescents, teenagers, and
college students has exploded in popularity in the
USA.
“If you are into hallucinating, then ‘shrooms’ are out and
Sally D is in”….stated an SU student in my classroom
on March 27, 2009.
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Why is it so popular?
• The drug is available in stores without
an age requirement for purchase.
• Retail stores in many locations even
advertise it in the store front windows
with neon signs claiming:
“We have Salvia!”
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Legally High
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Controlled and Not Controlled
• It is NOT a controlled substance in the USA!
• It is a controlled substance in:
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Australia
Belgium
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
Germany
Italy
South Korea
Sweden
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Drug Enforcement Agency
Classification
• The Drug Enforcement Agency lists salvia as
a Schedule I drug, just like LSD.
• It is on the DEA’s list of “drugs of concern”.
• Valdes, et al. states that “salvia is the most
potent naturally occurring hallucinogen thus
far”.
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Also Known As…
• Magic Mint
• Ska Maria Pastora
• Tripping on Sally D
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How used
• It is chewed, swallowed, and smoked.
• Chewed as fresh leaves or in a quid and
kept in the mouth.
• Swallowed when eaten raw or in a brewed
liquid like tea.
• Smoked like marijuana.
• Large bowled pipe, bong, or water pipe.
• Rolled into a “Sally D” cigarette.
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Salvia Leaves
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Sold in Various Potencies
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5x
10x
15x
20x
30x
40x
Effectiveness Depends Upon Usage
• Chewing or sucking or drinking results in a slower
onset hallucination, BUT a deeper and more
sustained experience.
• Smoking or snorting results in an immediate effect.
• Using a bong, water pipe, or bowl is a more effective
and less wasteful method.
• The leaves are smoked alone and not mixed with
tobacco…in fact, it is not recommended that it be
mixed with tobacco into a cigarette.
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Hallucinations
• The hallucinations include:
• psychedelic experiences with vision and
body sensations.
• a decreased ability to interact with one’s
surroundings.
• a perception of overlapping realities,
anxiety, discontent, and impaired speech.
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Length of Hallucinations
• The “high” lasts 1 minute to 2 hours
depending upon the potency.
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Amount of Usage
• Less than 200 grams will result in a 1
minute to 30 minute hallucination.
• 200-500 grams will result in a 30 minute
to 2 hour hallucination.
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Youtube videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI_e3XJ0ir8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWeVExX3Bf4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYxkp62veWE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGphHpSpPQE
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How Common is it’s Use
in College Students?
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Research Studies
• Lange, et al. April 2008
• Location
• Large public university in the southwestern USA.
• Method
• Online survey.
• Subjects
• 1516 respondents.
• Results
• 4.4% of students reported using salvia in the past 12 months.
• Subpopulations of the typical user.
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Whites.
Males.
Fraternity members.
Heavy episodic drinkers.
Typically most at risk for drug use within college students.
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Research Studies
• Miller (in press, June 2009)
• Location
• Southeastern university.
• Method
• Survey.
• Subjects
• 826 undergraduates.
• Results
• 6.7% of those surveyed were using salvia.
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Media Attention in Local
Newspapers that Documented
Salvia Usage in College Students
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Ohio State University
University of Kansas
Ball State University
University of Oklahoma
Northern Illinois University
Ohio University
University of North Dakota
University of Florida
Salisbury University
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Ephedra’s Demise = Salvia’s Rise
• When ephedra was banned in May of
2004, salvia overtook ephedra as the
most common substance available over
the internet.
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Treatment Protocols
• Short and long term effects of salvia
usage are not yet known.
• Overdose treatment protocols have not
yet been developed.
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Drug Testing?
The active compound is (Salvinorin A) or its metabolites (the
substances broken down by the body) can’t detect by:
Standard Drug Tests = No
Extended Drug Tests = No
Can it be tested for? Yes, but only through complicated and
expensive lab tests.
• by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in blood
and urine.
• by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in blood,
urine, and saliva.
• by high performance liquid chromatography-atmospheric
pressure chemical ionization in blood and urine.
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Half Life
• Less than an hour after the hallucination.
• Detection window is less than 12 hours.
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Future “Legal” Drugs…
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Legal Herbs/Drugs
on the Horizon
Sinicuichi
Lion’s Tail
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More Legal Herbs/Drugs
on the Horizon
Sweet Flag
Blue lotus
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What Can We Do About Salvia
and these Future Drugs?
• Collaborate with your state and regional ACHA affiliates.
• Contact your state legislator and set up a meeting with
them.
• Ask them to develop legislation to ban it at your state
level.
• Contact your US senator(s) and US house of
representative(s) and ask them to ban it at the federal level.
• Meet with your city council and ask that they ban it at the
city level.
• Work with the business community to stop selling it.
• Ban it on and from your campus by working with student
affairs and the institution’s administration.
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The following legislative bill template is provided by Dr.
Greg Yeakel, PharmD from Iowa State University’s Student
Health Center.
Email address: [email protected]
This bill adds hallucinogenic substances to the list of schedule I controlled substances. The
bill adds “salvia divinorum” and “salvinorin A”, also known as “divinorum A”, to the list
of schedule I controlled substances. A schedule I controlled substance is considered to
have a high potential for abuse and no medical purpose in treatment in the USA. The bill
makes it a class “C” felony pursuant to Code section ______________ for any
unauthorized person to manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to manufacture
or deliver, salvia divinorum or salvinorin A, including its counterfeit or a simulated form,
or to act with, enter into a common scheme or design with, or conspire with one or more
other persons to manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to manufacture or
deliver salvia divinorum or salvinorin A. The bill also makes it a serious misdemeanor
pursuant to Code section _____________, for any unauthorized person to possess salvia
divinorum or salvinorum A. A class “C felony is punishable by confinement for no more
than 10 years and a fine of at least $1,000.00 but not more than $10,000.00. A serious
misdemeanor is punishable by confinement for no more than one year and a fine of at
least $315.00 but not more than $1,875.
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References
1. Dalgarno, P. June 2007. Subjective Effects of Salvia Divinorum. Journal of
Psychoactive Drugs. 39(2): 143-149.
2. Gonzalez, D., Riba, J., Bouso, J., Gomez-Jarabo, G., Barbanoj, M. 2006. Pattern of
Use and Subjective Effects of Salvia Divinorum Among Recreational Users.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 85:157-162.
3. Griffin, O., Miller, B., Khey, D. June 2008. Legally High? Legal Considerations of
Salvia Divinorum. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 40(2):183-191.
4. Hoover, V., Marlowe, D., Patapis, N., Festinger, D., Forman, R. July 2008.
Internet Access to Salvia Divinorum: Implications for Policy, Prevention, and
Treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 35(1):22-27.
5. Lange, J., Reed, M., Croff, J., Clapp, J. April 2008. College Student Use of Salvia
Divinorum. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 94(1-3):263-266.
6. Khey, D, Miller, B., Griffin, O. Salvia 2008. Divinorum Use Among A College
Student Sample. Journal of Drug Education. 38(3):297-306.
7. http://www.npr.org/story/salvia/ March 20, 2006.
8. Prisinzano, T. 2005. Psychopharmacology of the Hallucinogenic Sage Salvia
Divinorum. Life Sciences. 78:527-531.
9. Singh, S. 2007. Adolescent: Salvia Substance Abuse. Addiction. 102:823-824.
10. Valdes, L., Seymour, R. 2008. Salvinorin A is Not Your Usual Cup of Tea.
Psychopharmacology Update. 9(7):3-4.
2009 ACHA
Thank you
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Questions?
Contact information:
[email protected]
2009 ACHA
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