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Salvia Abuse and Treatment


salvia plant

Salvia divinorum, for short salvia, is a hallucinogenic herb that is a member of mint family, commonly found in southern Mexico, South America and Central America. The salvia divinorum plant sprouts clusters of white and purple flowers, has large green leaves and grows over three feet tall. Since this substance is created only using the naturally grown plant, there are a variety of ways a teenager could ingest salvia. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) young people could chew fresh salvia leaves, drink the extracted juices of salvia, smoke the dried out leaves of salvia (e.g. via water pipes, rolled cigarettes, etc.), and/ or inhale vaporized salvia. Salvia goes by several street names some of which include: Magic Mint, Sally-D, Lady Sally, Purple Sticky, Incense Special, Seer’s Sage, and Maria Pastora. According to federal law, salvia is not considered an illegal substance. The DEA has, however, flagged salvia as a substance that poses risks to those that use it, which has resulted in several states in America passing laws to regulate its use. 

Signs and Symptoms

The side effects that a young person abusing salvia may experience will vary. Some examples provided by Healthline, of common side effects from salvia use that have been reported include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Loss of appetite
  • Physical impairment
  • Dizziness
  • Uncontrollable laughter
  • Slurred speech
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Disorientation
  • Visual distortions
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Sweating 
  • Visual impairments
  • Mood swings

Salvia abuse could render some teenagers unable distinguish between reality and fantasy. Salvia is said to mimic the effects of illegal drugs such as LSD and ecstasy, though for a shorter duration of time. The symptoms typically manifest within one minute of ingesting salvia and generally last less than thirty minutes long before beginning to taper off.


If left untreated, the habitual abuse of salvia can lead to the development of unwanted short and long-term consequences. Pacific Teen Treatment offers an excellent residential treatment program for youth struggling with substance abuse, addiction, as well as other mental health disorders. We recognize that each teenager has unique needs and therefore develop customized treatment plans for each of our residents. Teens will work with our on-staff, board certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist as well as our other phenomenal resident therapeutic staff members to co-create a productive and nuanced treatment plan. There are various therapeutic treatment modalities that can be incorporated into one’s treatment plan, some of which include, but are not limited to: talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), expressive arts therapy and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

We also encourage our residents to participate in various relaxation methods, such as meditation and/ or yoga to help learn to manage stress in a healthy way. Additionally, we incorporate healthy eating habits, proper sleeping patterns, and regular exercise, as integral components to our program. Adolescence is a time of great growth and development. Modeling healthy habits and allowing our residents a safe environment to break unhealthy patterns and learn to develop and practice healthy and sustainable routines creates a solid foundation for continued recovery. 

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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