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CPYU Trend Alert: Salvia: A New and Dangerous Drug
by Walt Mueller

“Does work or school have you down? Do you need a mini mental getaway from the
realities of everyday life? The Mind Bender will jumpstart your senses with three
distinct psychedelic trips.” You might be surprised to learn that I didn’t find those
words posted in the window of an Amsterdam head shop where drugs are peddled,
celebrated, and used legally right out in the open. No, I read them on my office
computer screen as I was researching a new drug making its dangerous way through
the consciousness of today’s youth culture. The invitation to a drug-induced
temporary escape appeared on one of the many internet sites touting and selling
Salvia Divinorum, what many are saying just might be the next marijuana. . . only
much more powerful. In this case, the site guaranteed “high quality,” “discount
prices,” “great customer service,” and “outstanding potency levels.”1

That site – and dozens of others like it that I discovered while conducting an Internet
search for “Salvia Divinorum” – is easily accessible to the very same generation of
kids who concerned parents have been encouraging to “just say no” to drugs for
years. Sadly, one of the sites I encountered offers a distorted twist on that anti-drug
slogan with its site name: “Just say once to Salvia.”2 Imagine being a vulnerable and
easily-swayed young teen who encounters this invitation on the site: “If you never
try it, you’ll always wonder. . . . what if? . . . . Salvia is capable of changing you,
your family and friends and the world around you.”

It’s no secret that we are raising our teens in a world that glorifies alcohol and drug
abuse. The alarming statistics on teen substance abuse indicate that far too many
kids are accepting the invitation, just saying “yes,” and buying the lies. For that
reason, it’s important that we remain street-wise and ahead of the drug trends in
order that we might equip them to say “no” to the many new drug options that
continue to appear, including Salvia Divinorum. In order to fulfill a preventive role in
the life of your teen, here’s what you need to know about this relatively new drug
craze that’s sweeping across the country.

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