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Salvia divinorum: Effects and use among YouTube

Salvia divinorum: Effects and use among YouTube

  1. Anonymous
    Lange JE, Daniel J, Homer K, Reed MB, Clapp JD.
    Drug Alcohol Depend. 2009 Dec 21

    Salvia divinorum (salvia) is an intense, short-acting hallucinogenic plant gaining popularity among adolescents in the United States. There has been little scientific documentation of salvia's effects. The popular video-sharing website YouTube has received literally thousands of video-posts of people using salvia. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of salvia use through systematic observations of YouTube videos. A sample of salvia videos was obtained using the search term “salvia.” The videos were further screened and only videos that captured the entire drug “trip” without video edits were included in the analyses described here (n = 34). Three trained research assistants independently watched the videos and rated their observations on 42 effects in 30-s intervals. Onset of symptoms was quick (often less than 30 s) and tended to dissipate within 8 min. Further, there was a relationship between salvia dose and effect duration. Since salvia's effects on humans are largely undocumented, this study provides the look at users in a non-laboratory environment (e.g. self-taped videos) exhibiting impairments and behaviors consistent with this powerful hallucinogen. Also, this study demonstrates the feasibility and shortcomings of using YouTube videos to assess emerging drugs and drug effects.