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Salvia divinorum: An overview of the usage, misuse, and addiction processes

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Salvia divinorum, a sage plant with leaves that can produce a psychoactive high, has been used for hundreds of years for its psycho-mimetic effects in religious rituals in South America. Salvia has now become popular mainly with adolescents and young adults for the short-lived relatively pleasant experiences many consider a “legal high” and its ready availability through Internet purchases. The main (psycho)active compound in salvia is Salvinorin A, a potent κ-opioid agonist and although the short and long-term effects have not been examined in sufficient detail, it is widely believed to have low addictive potential and low toxicity. Recent findings, however, seem to suggest that Salvinorin A can precipitate psychiatric symptoms and negatively affect cognition. Its ready availability and increasingly widespread use requires clinicians to have knowledge and awareness of its effects.

Mahendran, R., Lim, H. A., Tan, J., Chua, S. M., & Winslow, M. (2015). Salvia divinorum: An overview of the usage, misuse, and addiction processes. Asia‐Pacific Psychiatry.
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