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OfflinemotamanM
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A Legal High
    #3170914 - 09/23/04 06:51 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

http://www.ithaca.edu/ithacan/articles/0409/23/news/LSa_legal_high.htm

A Legal High
Students use ancient drug to escape reality
Rachel Vanderpool - Contributing Writer





Evan D. Williams/The Ithacan

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FRESHMAN MELANIE CHAYETTE gets a legal high from salvia, which is sold on The Commons. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is lobbying to ban the hallucinogen.


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September 23, 2004

Surrounded by friends in a rural apartment, sophomore Rebecca Sussman sprinkled a dark-green powder on crushed pieces of salvia divinorum, lit a glass pipe and inhaled.

?I?m pretty sure I had an out-of-body experience,? she said of her first experience with the hallucinogenic, legal drug.

As she became aware of her surroundings, she felt relaxed and giddy. ?That was one of the coolest feelings I ever experienced,? Sussman said.

Since then, she has tried salvia three more times. She said she uses the drug to learn more about herself and the universe.

?It makes me feel like I have really extreme mental powers,? Sussman said. ?Sort of like my soul on the physical level. It?s really hard to explain.?

In response to the growing use of the drug, the Office of Residential Life will advise Resident Assistants of salvia?s effects during its in-service training programs this year, said Darese Boskal-Scaffido, associate director of residence life and judicial affairs.

?The RAs are the ones who are working with students in the community when the students come back drunk or having encountered different substances, so knowing what they?re encountering is really important information to have,? Boskal-Scaffido said.

Five hundred years ago, Mazatec shamans in Oaxaca, Mexico, used salvia for healing and divination rituals. Today, some Americans curiously test the effects of the gray-green leaves. They smell like black tea and look very innocent, but pack a mean, psychedelic punch. The extract enables users to attain the desired hallucinogenic effect faster than ingesting the regular leaf. The first, most popular extract is seven times more potent than the regular leaf. The second extract is 14 times more potent.

Salvia remained relatively unknown until it showed up four years ago in the southern United States. Since then, it has spread all over the nation, finding its way to Ithaca College, mostly through Internet sales.

Jabberwock, a shop on The Commons, has been selling two kinds of salvia extracts to customers over 18 years old for almost a year, said Ben Serrao, a clerk. He said that about 15 to 20 college students enter Jabberwock daily asking about salvia. Only about eight to 10 of them actually purchase it.

?A lot of people sometimes can?t handle the whole being out-of-control aspect of it because it is very intense,? Serrao said.

Health officials have not gathered conclusive data on the effects of salvia use. However, studies from the National Drug Intelligence Center indicate that the negative, long-term effects of salvia, including depression, schizophrenia and recurring flashbacks, may be similar to those of other hallucinogens.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration added salvia to its list of Drugs and Chemicals of Concern in June 2003. The DEA wants it classified as an illegal substance along the lines of cocaine and heroin.


But Dr. Ethan Russo, a Missoula, Mont., clinical neurologist and expert on psychotropic herbs, said more studies should be done before the drug is banned, the Associated Press reported.

Sussman and sophomore Matt Yaeger purchased a small bag of ?7X? salvia and tried it together for the first time in May.

Sussman said she was nervous about trying it because of the horror stories circulating on the Internet. Web sites like erowid.com say that its psychedelic trance is more intense than LSD. Unlike LSD, which can last six hours or more, salvia lasts less than an hour, with a peak of 20 minutes or less.

Serrao recommends users have a close friend watch them.

Yaeger did not have a euphoric experience. He said he felt physically separated from reality by an invisible wall and that the other people in the room were laughing at him.

?It was a bizarre feeling,? Yaeger said. ?It was the first time I felt the need to leave a room.?

Now he is hesitant to use it again. Yaeger said that not enough is known about the drug to trust it.

Serrao warns people who use it at parties to be cautious because the drug is not ideal for socializing. Distractions could cause negative reactions and trigger anxiety.

?It?s a psychotropic,? Serrao said. ?It?s going to make them see, feel, taste, smell things that aren?t there.?

Glenn Sharshon, interim associate director of the Office of Public Safety, first encountered the substance last spring. An officer found a student with a device commonly used to smoke marijuana. The student said he was smoking salvia.

Because salvia is legal, Public Safety cannot interfere with its use on campus.

?Public Safety?s involvement would be if a student had a negative reaction after ingesting the substance,? Sharshon said. ?We would see to it that that person got the medical attention they needed.?

Freshman Melanie Chayette, who has tried salvia three times, said one of the best things about salvia is its legal status. ?You don?t have to worry about getting into trouble,? she said. ?You just can sit back, put on the Floyd, and just chill out.? Chayette doesn?t like the way salvia affects her body. ?You are pretty impaired,? she said. ?It?s one of those ?Do not operate heavy machinery? kind of things.?

In her hallucinations, objects are often the wrong color or in the wrong place.

Chayette doesn?t believe that salvia is addicting because it is too strong to use on a constant basis.

?It?s nice every once in a while,? she said. ?Take a little break. Mellow out. After an hour or two. Alright, back to life.?


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OfflineUnenlightenedOne
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Registered: 08/12/04
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Last seen: 11 years, 8 months
Re: A Legal High [Re: motaman]
    #3170995 - 09/23/04 07:10 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

It seems like these uneducated and uncaring teens are going to continue to draw attention to all legal highs until there are none anymore.(sighs)

The young crowd is responsible for all the salvia attention.That and shop owners that advertise its effects in a negligent manner.


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Do not desire to reach a high level.Rather work without thought of reward to iron out flaws and impurities in one's self for the sake of one's self.When one has done this one needs not to desire anymore. http://www.lifeforceonlinestore.com/yc/


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OfflineTwirling
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Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 2,468
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Re: A Legal High [Re: UnenlightenedOne]
    #3171712 - 09/23/04 09:36 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

UnenlightenedOne said:
The young crowd is responsible for all the salvia attention.That and shop owners that advertise its effects in a negligent manner.





I put more blame on the media. It's rare to hear actual horror stories of kids doing something really awful in the news, but it's 9 times out of 10 that you find so much misinformation that it makes me wonder how much else in the news is inaccurate (well, I KNOW there is plenty).

Just look at this article. The majority of extra strength saliva is 5x & 10x, not 7x and 14x, NO drug causes schizophrenia (which is how it's being framed), and most of all, they completely villianize the intentions of the people using this stuff. The majority of young kids looking to get "high" on it aren't ever going to try it again. If anything, blame prohibition for forcing kids to use dautra & inhalents as a last resort.


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The very nature of experience is ineffable; it transcends cognitive thought and intellectualized analysis. To be without experience is to be without an emotional knowledge of what the experience translates into. The desire for the understanding of what life is made of is the motivation that drives us all. Without it, in fear of the experiences what life can hold is among the greatest contradictions; to live in fear of death while not being alive.



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OfflineWorf
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Registered: 07/04/04
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Re: A Legal High [Re: motaman]
    #3181054 - 09/26/04 12:55 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

The article is very biased. The second line emphasizes that it is "legal" as to get as much shock value in as possible. The article doesn't say anything about how the trip is not fun or entertaining and most people never do it again after the first try.


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Invisibleblink
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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 03/31/02
Posts: 11,343
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Re: A Legal High [Re: motaman]
    #3191990 - 09/28/04 05:03 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

I just read the top again...
"Students use ancient drug to escape reality"
That's fucking hilarious. It should read:
"Students seek something more than consumer reality"


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InvisibleMOTH
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Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 23,382
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Re: A Legal High [Re: blink]
    #3192075 - 09/28/04 05:26 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

blinkidiot said:
I just read the top again...
"Students use ancient drug to escape reality"
That's fucking hilarious.  It should read:
"Students seek something more than consumer reality"




haha, completely right.  :thumbup:


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