salvia flower

Teen Curiosity Over Salvia Can Lead to Addiction

A Legal Herb Provides another Potential for Abuse

Salvia is a legal hallucinogenic herb available through health food vendors and online resources. Youth experimenting with the drug may find themselves unable to stop.

Tons of articles and even Dr. Phil have brought attention to the drug Saliva. Technically, salvia divinorium, is an herb used by some cultures to bring about a divine connection when seeking solutions and answers through ritual. However, the unbridled use of the drug is dangerous and its novelty appeals to teens. The novelty soon wears off, but use may continue as self-medicating agent or more advanced addictive state.

Novelty Attracts Teens Attention

“Teens are stupid,” said Dr. Phil on broadcast. While this statement isn’t particularly useful or true, it does hold a warning for parents. A better wording: teens do not have the necessary cognitive development to weigh risk-taking behavior threats. Teens see only the novelty of the substance.

A new clothing fad and a new recreational drug often have equal appeal to teenagers. As adults, parents can see the danger levels are quite different. However, this often escapes teenagers.

Because of the attention salvia is receiving in the the media currently, parents need to prepare to deal with the substance and help determine their teen’s level of use, reasons for use, and factors showing addiction potential.

Warning signs of the use of salvia share some common elements with the use of any drug. Fortunately, there are some unique signals to look for including:

  • Salvia is often a group use drug. Teens use together to laugh at the effects manifested by the drug.
  • Salvia gives off a unique, pungent odor when smoked. If made in tea, the taste is likened to burnt cinnamon.
  • Salvia is a drug distributed in plastic bags. Unless your teen has a good use for having small bags, finding them may be a sign of Salvia use, along with marijuana and other harder drugs.

Actions to Take if Salvia is Use is Suspected

Parents should be very direct with their teenagers if they suspect Salvia use. Begin by asking the teenager what he knows about the drug Salvia. Tell the teenager what you know of the drug and why you suspect its use. Whether the teen has legitimate reasons or not for the items leading to your suspicions, lay down a firm rule against using the drug.

If parents have discovered their teen using salvia or if their teenagers have admitted to its use, parents need to take immediate actions. These actions include:

  • Collecting and destroying any remaining drug.
  • Suspend allowance privileges and imposing other discipline.
  • Ask about the length and amount of use.

Parents will often need to give themselves permission to back off from the situation for a few moments so actions can be taken without anger. Instead, focus on the drug use as a safety situation and make a goal of determining the pattern of use.

When Addiction is Suspected

If teens have been using salvia regularly or have used the substance more times than they can recall, the use may have moved from experimentation to abuse and dependency. Drug dependency or addiction is defined an inability to stop using the substance. However, parents will need professional assistance if these signs are present:

  • Continued use of salvia after parent intervention.
  • Stealing or lying to obtain salvia.
  • Ceasing interest in other activities in favor of using salvia.

Parents noticing the above behaviors should immediately turn to an area treatment center, therapist or pastor for intervention help. In addition, parents may call the national hotline for drug abuse at 1-800-662-HELP for information on what steps to take next.

Salvia is receiving national attention and this causes natural teen curiosity because of its novelty. Parents should educate teens about the drug, be aware of the signs of abuse, and take action to stop the drug’s use. If the teen’s use of salvia is out of control, parents should seek help from a qualified, trusted source.

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