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Emerging Drug Trends Facing Teens: Have You Heard of Kratom or Salvia?

January 23, 2017

Emerging Drug Trends Facing Teens: Kratom and Salvia

At Teen Treatment Center, we aim to always provide access to comprehensive care and treatment for a wide range of drugs and other addictions. Many times, new drugs or addictive behaviors become evident to us because we see patients struggling. However, to most parents, trends in drug use are not as obvious. For example, many parents have never heard of kratom or salvia, but both are threatening the teen population. If your teen is struggling with this type of drug abuse, or you are unsure if they are, now is the time to take action.

Contact Teen Treatment Center today for an immediate and confidential line of support for your teen. We're available 24 hours a day at (844)319-5239.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom is not an illegal substance, but it has become one of the newest drug use trends we are seeing in teens. Kratom is a tropical tree from Southeast Asia. The leaves from this plant can be used to create a mind-altering state. This plant contains psychoactive opioid compounds that create an uplifting mood effect. It also has pain relief qualities to it and works very much as an aphrodisiac. It can be used as a way to hide or mask withdrawal symptoms from addictive drugs.

It's important to know that Kratom has not been fully studied and there is no scientific evidence available that can claim that this herbal product is safe to use or effective. It is often called herbal speedball, ketum, thom, biak-biak, kahuam, or ithang by teens and other users. What's more worrisome is that this herbal supplement is easily available through purchases made online.

Is Your Teen Using Kratom?

Teen usage of Kratom is growing. Teens can purchase the product as leaves to brew them in a tea-like drink. They can also be purchased in a powder that can be smoked. Leaves and the powder can be eaten directly as well or mixed in with foods to achieve the desired outcome. Symptoms of use can include:

  • Sensitivity to sunburn
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Moodiness

If taken, it can create a significant dependency. As a result, physical withdrawal symptoms are likely. These may include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Hostility
  • Aggression
  • Irritability
  • Runny nose
  • Emotional changes
  • Jerky movements

Limited behavior therapies are available specifically for Kratom, but Teen Treatment Centers offers support for teens abusing this drug. It's important to note that Kratom has not been linked directly to overdose that's been fatal previously, but the drug can be laced with other compounds that have caused deaths in others.

What Is Salvia?

Another drug that is growing in popularity among teens is Salvia, often called shepherdess's herb, seer's sage, sally-d, and diviner's sage. This is an herb mainly grown in the southern portion of Mexico. When used, it can create hallucinations. What makes Salvia so interesting to teens and so worrisome to parents is that it is very common for the hallucinations to come on quickly, be very intense, and to be frightening. Often used in a dare or peer pressure situation, it can create a traumatic impact.

There is no law directly making Salvia illegal in the United States federally, but some states have taken action to regulate it due to the significant impact it can have on a user. It poses a health risk to those who use it.

Could Your Teen Be Using Salvia?

It is possible for teens and others to purchase Salvia directly in its normal leaf state. This is often easy to do online since there is no federal ban against it. The most common method of use is to chew the leaves. However, it can also be mixed into drinks or consumed as an extracted juice. In addition, the user may dry out the leaves (or purchase a powdered form) and use the powder in rolled cigarettes. It can be vaporized to inhale it or used in water pipes.

Salvia creates changes in mood because of the salvinorin A component in it. This attaches to the nerve cells to create hallucinations. These generally last no longer than 30 minutes, but it can have a lasting impact. Users may experience symptoms such as:

  • Intense and vivid hallucinations
  • Vision changes
  • Mood changes
  • Sensations in the body
  • Emotional swings
  • Feeling of detachment
  • Loss of reality has been reported in some people
  • Loss of coordination and dizziness are common

There are no long-term studies involving the use of Salvia. It is unknown if it can cause a lasting impact on an individual, then. And, it is not clear if this drug is addictive itself. It is estimated that as much as 1.8 percent of 12th graders have some contact or use of Salvia today.

Read more about salvia use on our Salvia Treatment page.

Getting Help for Your Teen Is Possible

Teen Treatment Center offers a wide range of treatment and recovery programs for teens suffering from the impact of both illegal and legal drugs. When you take that first step to get your teen the help he or she needs, you can reduce the risk to their life. Call our team today for immediate help: (844)319-5239.

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