Signs & Symptoms
Both the desired and adverse effects of salvia are incidental to the frequency of use, the dosage of each use and the chemical make-up of the individual’s brain. Effects can range from mild, such as euphoria or tranquility, to severe, such as dissociation or paranoia. The following are signs of salvia use and symptoms of intoxication.
- Visual distortions
- Loss of control of physical movement
- Excessive and uninhibited laughter
- Slurred speech
In addition, emotions such as depression and anxiety may increase or other personality changes may appear.
We know Salvia can be psychologically addictive, but whether or not it is physically addictive is unclear. Substances that produce feelings of overall well-being are generally understood to have addictive properties. Although studies have not been done to reveal its addiction potential, there is at least one case in which withdrawal symptoms had to be treated in a hospital.
After smoking multiple doses of salvia daily for several weeks, a middle-aged woman abruptly discontinued her salvia ingestion completely. About 2 days after her last dose, she developed several gastrointestinal complications such as diarrhea and vomiting. She was hospitalized for 3 days.
An episode of salvia intoxication is characteristically different from the “trips” or “highs” on other drugs. Too often, those abusing the drug are seeking a particular experience that never comes. This leads to the belief that the effects aren’t “working,” so more is consumed, saturating the brain and risking a psychological overdose.
Regarding a psychological overdose, one person reported, “I think Salvia overdoses are especially bad because they bring out schizophrenic-like occurrences. You feel presences from other dimensions or you feel like some invisible force is pushing you. Salvia overdoses lead to confusion and disorientation that you didn’t sign up for.”