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Just as quickly as officials are moving to ban the popular alcoholic beverage Four Loko and K2, an incense made of synthetic pot, teens are finding other legal -- though not necessarily safe -- drugs to take their place.
A video of Miley Cyrus smoking a bong the week of her 18th birthday has recently surfaced -- and sources say it’s not marijuana that the pop star is smoking. TMZ reports that Cyrus was inhaling the herb salvia, a hallucinogenic that’s legal in the state of California.
Known to geeky horticulturalists as Salvia divinorum, the plant is an herb in the mint family that has been used in healing rituals for centuries by Mexican shaman. Its active ingredient, salvia, causes powerful hallucinations that come on within two minutes of taking and dissipate within 20 minutes. Though the Drug Enforcement Administration has had its eye on salvia for the past nine years and considers it a “drug of concern,” they have not moved to add it to the list of controlled substances -- yet. No doubt Miley’s highly publicized video of her getting high off the herb will speed things along in that department. For now, the drug is banned in several states, including Missouri, Delaware, North Dakota and Illinois. Many other states, like Minnesota and Maryland, are moving to outlaw salvia as well.
So far, there has been little research regarding the health effects of salvia. One very small study involving just four people found that the drug had no short-term dangers. Its impact over the long-term is still unknown. Of course, Cyrus proved that it could have short- and long-term effects on your reputation and career, especially if you’re dumb enough to let friends take a video of you getting high.
Meanwhile, local news agencies are reporting that a common household spice used in baking is getting kids baked as well. According to The American Association of Poison Control Centers, some areas of the country have noticed a recent uptick in nutmeg abuse, with 67 cases reported this year. When taken in large doses, nutmeg can cause an LSD-like high that doesn’t kick in until four to five hours later, and lasts for one to two days. That does not sound like my kind of fun. In addition to hallucinations, ingesting that much nutmeg leads to painful and sometimes dangerous side effects that, say experts, usually keep kids from trying it again. Side effects include severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, body aches, convulsions, dizziness, dehydration, palpitations, insomnia, nerve and heart problems and even death.
Have you heard of anyone taking salvia or nutmeg in your area? Chime in below.