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  1. honourableone
    There have been calls to stop a herbal drug which can produce powerful hallucinations from being sold legally in Northern Ireland.



    Community and healthcare workers in County Down say Salvia is a danger to young people.
    "I would like to see this listed as a grade C drug," said Phelim Breen of the Youth Justice Agency.
    The drug, which is banned in parts of the United States and Europe, can be grown and sold in NI garden centres.
    Salvia, which looks like a cross between sage and mint, is promoted as having healing qualities and, if drunk like tea, can help induce relaxation and sleep.
    But if it is inhaled it can cause depression and hallucinations.
    Bangor community worker Mark Gordon said he was aware of one man who was treated in a psychiatric hospital for depression and self-harm after taking the drug.
    "This person ended up in psychiatric hospital for nearly a year," said Mr Gordon.
    "Over a prolonged use of Salvia and other herbal drugs they were using they noticed it was taking them back to earlier memories and things that they didn't like.
    "They began to self-harm and the family began to notice very severe burns and called in the mental health services."
    Peter Martin, who works with young people in County Down, said he had concerns about its effect on young people.
    "It has a quick impact, lasts about five minutes, sort of like an out of body experience.
    "It can be quite dangerous, the places the kids take it is very near the sea, near the pier. You're obviously hallucinating and that's the real danger for us."
    Two young men familiar with the drug said it was "insane" that it could be bought legally.
    "It's pretty nuts if you haven't experienced anything like it before," said one.
    "Your brain chemistry just instantly alters and nothing's what it was for about 10 minutes."
    "It could be a downer if you got a bad trip and got really scared on it," said the other.
    "It's quite insane that anyone can just buy it and smoke it. It really will destroy your mind for a couple of minutes."


    By Marie-Louise Connolly, BBC NI News
    Original Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7973295.stm

Comments

  1. ThirdEyeFloond
    "Over a prolonged use of Salvia and other herbal drugs they were using they noticed it was taking them back to earlier memories and things that they didn't like."
    - Ya, so was the drug or their traumas in early life to blame? I'd say the drug, cuz it makes better headlines!
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