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Legally Tripping: A Qualitative Profile of Salvia Divinorum Use Among Young Adults

Legally Tripping: A Qualitative Profile of Salvia Divinorum Use Among Young Adults

  1. Joe-(5-HTP)
    Brian C. Kelly Ph.D. a
    Department of Sociology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

    @font-face { font-family: "Times"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } Abstract—During recent years, there has been increasing interest in “legal highs” among youth and
    young adults. Salvia divinorum is a legally available hallucinogenic plant, primarily utilized in smokable
    form, that produces a brief but intense hallucinogenic experience for the user. Data are presented from
    an ethnographic project to provide a qualitative profile of salvia use among young adults. Most users
    report primarily using in home settings such as apartments and houses, although a significant minority
    report use in environments such as parks, bars, and parties. The intense nature of the substance creates
    a differential subjective experience. Some describe the intensity of the hallucinogenic experience in
    positive ways. Others find the experience so intense that they would not continue to use the substance.
    With regard to the health effects of salvia, most young adults report no significant negative health effects
    from salvia use, although some report a mental cloudiness. Beyond their own experiences, users did not
    report any negative health events among peers. The lack of reports of negative effects may reinforce
    social norms favorable towards salvia use. Overall, young adults report a relatively low risk profile for
    salvia divinorum, which may be influenced, in part, by its legal status.