The question of whether certain drugs are addictive is one that concerns many people. Family members of individuals who engage in drug abuse are concerned that their loved ones will suffer the ill effects of drug addiction. In some cases, the individual engaging in the abuse may see the possibility, or lack of possibility, for addiction as a determining factor regarding their drug abuse.
When it comes to the herbal drug salvia, there is little evidence to suggest that the abuse of the drug will lead to dependence or addiction on either a psychological or a physical level, according to the experts at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The active ingredients in salvia are not found on the list of banned substances of the Controlled Substances Act, and it is legal to possess and abuse salvia in many places in the United States. If someone you love is abusing salvia, they may use this as a defense, presenting the question of whether there is a problem at all.
The Legal Status and Addictive Properties of Salvia Do Not Make It Safe
Information provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures indicates that salvia is a Schedule I controlled substance in a number of states, such as:
- North Dakota
Other states have a variety of laws with penalties ranging from misdemeanors for supplying the drug to minors to laws making the manufacture, sale, distribution or possession of the drug illegal for all persons, regardless of age. Whether the trade or possession of salvia is an infraction, a misdemeanor or a felony crime doesn’t change the way the drug works and the effects of the drug on a person’s life and safety. Salvia is a hallucinogenic substance that causes the individual to see and hear things that aren’t there. It can drastically affect one’s coordination, cause anxiety, depression and restlessness, loss of consciousness, memory loss, and an inability to communicate effectively. The effects of the drug itself wear off in a matter of minutes; however, when placed in practical terms, these types of effects can lead to serious bodily injury or death.
When an individual smokes salvia and begins to hallucinate, there is no way to determine whether they will see themselves in a field of pretty flowers with a cozy kitten or trapped in a dark, dangerous place that they will do anything to escape from.
In the second instance, the individual may do anything, including jumping out of windows regardless of the height above the ground, to get away. If they fight to “escape” their hallucinations, they run the risk of harming themselves or others who may be trying to contain their erratic behaviors. A person who is engaging in salvia abuse alone could easily stumble into traffic or cause some other serious injury.
Salvia Addiction May Be Defined as a State of Behavior and Consequences
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are certain behaviors that are symptomatic of addiction. These symptoms are based upon the clinic definitions of addiction but can be applied even to substances that are not scientifically proven to be addictive, like salvia. Some of the behaviors mentioned by the clinic are:
- A compulsion to abuse drugs
- An inability to stop using drugs, even if one wants to
- Spending money one cannot afford on drugs
- Engaging in risky behavior while under the influence of drugs
- The fear surrounding whether one has enough supply of a drug or the ability to obtain more drugs
When individuals engage in these types of behaviors concerning the drug salvia, it may not matter in the long run whether the drug is physically or psychologically addictive. If the abuse of a drug is taking over your life, it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Co-Occurring Mental Illness Accounts for Significant Drug Abuse Issues
Perhaps the question one should ask is not whether salvia is addictive, but why you have, or someone you love has, developed drug abuse behaviors in the first place. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has stated that individuals who suffer from mental illness, in one form or another, are twice as likely to engage in drug abuse and develop addiction as members of the general population. Mental illness does not necessarily mean severe illness, such as schizophrenia or personality disorders. Rather, mental illness can include anxiety, depression or panic disorders as well. Is it possible that the reason you have, or your loved one has, developed an issue akin to salvia addiction because there is an underlying problem that needs to be treated? The best way to determine whether this might be the case is to seek treatment from a licensed, professional addiction treatment provider. When you seek treatment from a reputable residential drug treatment program for salvia addiction, one of the first tasks should be a thorough and comprehensive assessment of all your physical and psychological needs. With this information, the staff of the facility can create a personalized and flexible plan of recovery for you and your family.
Support Is Important for Recovery From Salvia Addiction
Families can mean different things to different people. Because drug addiction and the behaviors associated with it can sometimes pull a family apart, it is important to establish what a family really is in relation to drug abuse treatment. If you are estranged from parents, children or siblings because of drug abuse and addiction, it is still possible to have the positive effects of the family during the treatment process. According to the National Library of Medicine, there are several types of family that are legitimately recognized for the purposes of treatment. The traditional family consists of individuals related by genetics or marriage in an immediate relationship – fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, and children.
Extended families are those family members who are removed from the nuclear family, such as grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and cousins. An elected family, which is just as powerful as a genetic family, is made up of people who are deliberately chosen to be in our lives. These individuals can be close friends, lovers, and godparents. Elected families also include young people who have been emancipated from their parents and live in a community of their own choosing. Because marriage between same-sex couples is not legally recognized in many parts of the United States, an elected family might consist of gay or lesbian partners and their children who reside in the same household.
For the purposes of family therapy for the benefit of an individual who is suffering from salvia addiction, these families – regardless of the type — can play a significantly positive role in the healing process. There are two main purposes of family therapy in the treatment of addiction: to heal the individual suffering from addiction and to heal the family as a unit from the trauma that the addiction has caused. In the first instance, known as family-involved therapy, the family members will learn how to help their loved one succeed and help them heal from whatever issues may have promoted the drug abuse.
In the second type of family therapy, when the entire family is the “patient,” the family can learn how to effectively solve problems and manage stress so each family member can contribute in a healthy and productive way to any issues that may arise. Salvia addiction, or the perceived addiction to this psychoactive drug, can pose as great a problem in the lives of its victims as any other powerful substance. If you are, or someone you care about is suffering, contact us here at Futures of Palm Beach today to find out how you can get the help you need.