Recently a video of Miley Cyrus hitting a bong made the rounds in the media circuit. Of course, the first thoughts for many were that she was smoking marijuana. That would have been a bad decision on her part on many levels. First, it’s illegal. Secondly, her already tarnished wholesome image would have suffered even more (remember Michael Phelps?). And thirdly, like it or not, she’s a role model for young girls everywhere.
So, there was a tiny sigh of relief when it was revealed that she wasn’t smoking pot at all but a powerful hallucinogenic drug that happens to be legal in most states.
I guess that makes it better . . . right?
The herb-drug in question is called Salvia. Ever hear of it? If you’re like many people, you may be wondering what in the world it is. Well many people are, now that it’s in the spotlight.
The proper name is Salvia divinorum and it’s related to the herb sage. It contains a chemical that causes one to hallucinate when the dried leaves or concentrated extract is smoked or chewed. The high is said to be very intense minute of hallucinations and departures from reality. The dangers of Salvia.
In 2006 a 17-year-old Delaware student committed suicide after weeks of smoking Salvia. Some believe it is a gateway to other more “dangerous” drugs. In addition to hallucinations, under the influence of Salvia the user loses control of their body. Even seasoned drug users are impressed by the intensity of a Salvia high.
Um, OK. Sounds a tad bit more dangerous than marijuana, which if you haven't forgotten is illegal.
Perhaps the real danger of Salvia, as well as other mind-altering hallucinogenics, is that it becomes an escape, a potentially deadly way of numbing the mind to the stresses of simply being human. We’re quickly becoming a nation of addicts to practically every vice imaginable. Salvia is already outlawed in 15 states and thanks to the popularity of the Cyrus video, more will likely follow suit in the future.
In the meantime, curious thrill-seekers will probably decide to see what all the fuss is about it and give it a try. Hopefully, the media attention will wane and Hollywood stars will reconsider the responsibility they inherit in exchange for the adoration of their young fans. Like it or not, these stars influence lives sometimes to a profound degree. I wonder if Miley could look her 10-year-old “Miley Cyrus wannabes” in the eye right now.