Salvia Addiction Facts and Statistics

Salvia Addiction Facts and Statistics

Written By: Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
Cite This Article
Geraldine Orentas. "Salvia Addiction Facts and Statistics." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Last updated Jul 22, 2020 at 9:18PM | Published on Sep 18, 2014,


Last updated Jul 22, 2020 at 9:18PM | Published on Sep 18, 2014 | Types of Drug Addictions

In recent years, more and more people are looking for natural ways to get high. Salvia divinorum is a natural herb that belongs in the mint family. It’s original to southern Mexico, South, and Central America. People can purchase Salvia leaves, seeds, or stems in most tobacco shops or online. However, it’s vital to look at salvia addiction facts and statistics to understand the impact of this somewhat legal drug. 

What is Salvia?

Salvia divinorum is a plant-based medicine that can be vaporized or inhaled to produce hallucinogenic effects. The Mazatec people have been using it for centuries. Its active chemical salvinorin A is commonly used for religious ceremonies and medicinal use. This potent psychoactive compound triggers visual hallucinations, detachments, and other symptoms. While salvia isn’t addictive like most common drugs are, it can cause dependence. Not to mention adverse effects on someone’s physical and mental health. 

Salvia Addiction Facts

5 Interesting Salvia Addiction Facts You Should Know

Salvia is mostly a recreational drug used for religious ceremonies and other experiments. Thus, there’s not much we know about its effects. However, in recent years, salvia addiction facts prove that more people turn to salvia hoping to find answers to treat ailments and more. 

1. Salvia Isn’t a Controlled Substance

Surprisingly, like other hallucinogenic drugs, salvia isn’t controlled. It does not have an approved medical use in the United States, and no federal agency regulates it. However, it is listed as a “drug of concern” by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The drug is available online, at herbal supplement stores, and any ayurvedic medicine center offering salvia in their traditional treatments. Street names for salvia include Diviner’s Sage, Magic Mint, Sally-D, and Maria Pastora.

2. Long-Term Effects of Salvia Use Remain Unknown

Salvia is a potent hallucinogen, one of the strongest, with people experiencing almost short-term side effects like chills, nausea, and depersonalization. However, there’s little research about the long-term effects of salvia use.

Studies believe long-term use can lead to cognitive impairment, resulting in learning and memory function problems. Some people struggle with anxiety or difficulty adjusting to reality after suffering “bad trips.” When people combine salvia with other chemicals like stimulants or alcohol, they increase their risks of complications and overdose. 

3. Salvia Is Legal in Some States

Shockingly, the life-threatening substance legal in so many states. Salvia is legal in states like California and Maine, while in Florida, the substance is available without restriction. So far, only Missouri, Oklahoma, and Delaware categorize it as a Schedule I controlled substance. The DEA is considering classifying salvia as a Schedule I drug alongside LSD and heroin. 

4. People Can Suffer Salvia Intoxication

When someone experiences severe hallucinations by salvia, they need medical attention immediately. Salvia intoxication can lead to seizures, mental instability, and other complications. Sometimes when people take salvia without medical supervision or alone, they are at higher risk of experiencing a “bad trip,” which can have life-threatening consequences. 

5. Most People Try Salvia to Experiment

Interestingly enough, people don’t seek salvia as a recreational drug like they would marijuana. However, they do to experiment because they know or learn about these famous stories of what people see and feel under the influence of salvia. Besides those who use salvia as part of a religious ceremony or hoping to heal from a chronic condition, salvia users are mostly experimental. The good news is that about half of those who try it say they won’t do it again. 

Salvia Addiction Statistics

Salvia Addiction Statistics

Even with little research about the impact of salvia on our health and system, salvia addiction statistics prove that we need more restrictions. People say that salvia addiction is rare, but when dealing with a dangerous hallucinogen, people use it with other stimulants, drugs, and alcohol to heighten the effects, which places them at risk of overdose. 

  • The Monitoring the Future Survey of 2015, published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), reported that almost 2 percent of high school seniors used salvia in the past year.
  • According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 5.3 million Americans aged 12 or older have tried salvia.
  • Close to 37 states attempted to regulate the sale and possession of salvia in 2011. 
  • Depending on the concentration of salvinorin A, the drug’s effects kick in anywhere between 10 seconds to 30 minutes.
  • Salvinorin A, the active compound in salvia, has a potency similar to that of LSD

Salvia Addiction Treatment

Addiction to salvia is rare, but some people fall addicted to its effects or feel they need to use the substance to function correctly continuously. Side effects of salvia addiction are hazardous to those using them, and most of the time, they don’t realize or notice them until it’s too late.

When people experience withdrawal symptoms, they go back to taking it even more to control their symptoms. It’s paramount to speak with an addiction treatment specialist to determine the best way to start seeking help for synthetic marijuana addiction. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our drug addiction recovery programs include:

Medical DetoxA clinically supervised detox process held in addiction treatment centers ensures the patient’s safety and makes the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible. 

Intensive Outpatient ProgramsAfter detox and maybe a partial hospitalization program, patients can choose an intensive outpatient program (IOP) that gives them the flexibility to attend school, work, or care for family members while still attending addiction treatment. 

Group TherapyFor people struggling with addiction and a co-occurring eating disorder having the support of peers that understand their situation is vital for recovery. We also incorporate 12-step meetings to help foster a community network. 

Long-term Recovery ProgramsIt’s easy to relapse after treatment; almost sixty percent of people relapse. Long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety, especially when people with alcohol addiction tend to struggle with related problems all their lives. 

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder, seek help immediately. Call Lighthouse Recovery Institute today and speak with our addiction center specialists to learn more about our comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs.

Our philosophy revolves around treating each patient on a case-by-case scenario because we know no two addiction stories are alike. Start walking towards your recovery, and we’ll be here supporting you and your family every step of the way. Please don’t wait another day to start addiction treatment–your life depends on it. 

Written By: Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.

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