Most of us have seen or heard about that controversial video former Hannah Montana star, Miley Cyrus taking hits from a bong filled with salvia, an herbal drug that's legal in most states, but now raising concerns by lawmakers and parents alike.
Since that video surfaced, sales of salvia have gone up three times. One politician in California, where Cyrus was captured smoking it, is now calling for an all-out ban.
"The affects that it produces are completely different than any other drug we really know about," said Dr. Adi Jaffe, an addiction psychologist out of Los Angeles.
Speaking via Skype Dr. Jaffe said depending on how you use it, the effects of salvia hits you within 30 seconds, but what you'll feel for the next 15 or so minutes that it lasts is nothing like the euphoric highs associated with other drugs.
"It causes discomfort, depression, anxiety - not exactly the kinds of things you really want to do drugs because of," he said.
Which is probably why, he says, there hasn't been much concern to ban it, until now?
Even before the infamous Miley Cyrus video he says more and more clips started popping up on You-Tube of people trying it and Cyrus' public use has taken it to the next level.
"No doubt when someone as young as Miley Cyrus, who has fans who are 13-14 years old, I'm pretty sure we're going to get parents even more involved," Jaffe said.
Here's the good news, the high you get from this herbal drug, that's similar to mint leafs, is so uncomfortable he said, most try it once and never use it again, so abuse is really not really a concern.
What has him alarmed are the potential risks people may take while under its influence.
"This is an extreme drug that really changes your perception of reality," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if there is bill to make this drug Illegal in a month or so."
Jaffe said if there is any good to this video surfacing, it could be a great tool for parents to get the conversation started about drugs.
December 18, 2010
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