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YouTube drug ‘Salvia’, more powerful than LSD is sampled on a group of Londoners

14 September 2009

Following the on-going debate to make the hallucinogenic drug, described as violently stronger than LSD, ‘Salvia’ an illegal substance in the UK, a trial of the drug was implemented on a group of Londoners on September 13th 12009,  to see how serious the drug really is and whether it should in fact be made illegal in the UK.

The trial was inspired by feature film Reckoning Day (written and directed by Julian Gilbey, Rise of the Footsoldier) which follows the US Special Forces’ quest to capture a ruthless, international brutal criminal who has been discovered in Europe shipping a brand new and fearfully powerful drug. The potent drug increases physical strength and human reflexes by 300%, as well as making the user impervious to pain. 

Currently un-prohibited by UK Law, Salvia, or Salvia Divinorum, is notoriously known for its psychedelic properties including uncontrollable laughter, the feeling of merging with or becoming objects and sensations of motion or being pulled or twisted by forces. Large doses can also create the feeling of a near death experience leaving many users mentally disturbed and emotionally scarred. 

Doctors say Salvia, which is illegal in nine countries but legal in the UK, is unsafe and could bring on 'psychotic episodes'.

Drug information service FRANK says the effect is 'unpleasantly overwhelming and more scary than fun.'

Glamour model Candice Collyer, describes how the drugs made her more giggly and flirty than usual. Candice decided to take part in the experiment after hearing that an inherent effect is aroused sexual desire:

The 21 year old model describes her experience 'The drug took me to a whole new level, it made me feel mentally and physically free which is an amazing feeling for anyone living in a manic city!’ 

On the other hand, an undisclosed Londoner who wanted to sample the drug after seeing clips of other users on 'YouTube' describes the experience as violent and disturbing:

'I felt as though my soul was ripped from my body and taken to another dimension. I was afraid I wouldn’t come back. I have experienced the effects of drugs before but nothing on that scale, I can't believe it is legal to take such powerful and potent drugs!'.

Although Salvia is illegal in several countries around the world, it currently remains legal in Britain. Campaigners claim the plant-based drug is unsafe and may trigger psychotic episodes. However, the un-named health expert who administered the drug during the London trial suggests:

'One may feel they will never come back from the experience, although salvia is short acting, lasting around 10-20 minutes… With sensible use, it is a harmless plant providing a profound experience - Abuse it, and it may have consequences for unstable individuals'.

The popularity of salvia as the new 'YouTube' drug has prompted the Home Secretary to ask the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to compile a report on Salvia, which will decide whether the drug will remain legal after 2009. According to the first federal estimates, published last year, of salvia use in the US, about 1.8 million people had tried the drug, including 750,000 in the previous 12 months. Most strikingly, nearly three per cent of males aged 18 to 23, the largest category, had used salvia in the past year – nearly as many as had taken ecstasy and twice as popular as LSD.