Salvia Withdrawal and Detox

Salvia is a plant that derives from the mint family and is related to the common sage. It contains Salvinorin A, now regarded as the most potent of all naturally-occurring hallucinogens. This substance is responsible for the psychoactive effects of salvia. Most users tend to experience similar reactions to the extent of their hallucinations.

Users of salvia experience sensations of flying or floating through space, light headedness, visions, extreme emotional swings and other types of bizarre perceptions.

Since detox from salvia poses minimal health risks, you might not be subjected to the traditional medical detox deployed in the treatment of most addiction cases. In many cases, you will be routinely checked by health professionals to ensure you’re in the right frame of mind and that you remain comfortable throughout the detox process. Depending on how frequently you abused salvia, the entire processmight not last beyond a week. In the rare event you begin to exhibit unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, a doctor may prescribe medications for you.

The environment for salvia-related detox is usually the same as for a standard detox regime. You’ll get to choose between an inpatient and outpatient programme. As an inpatient, you will be assigned a shared or single room for the duration of the programme. Nutritionists will be on hand to address diet concerns and there will also be a selection of recreation options to keep you distracted during the detox process. The best centres will deploy a case by case approach,meaning that your detox period will be solely dependent on the extent ofyour salvia usage over the abuse period.

What is salvia withdrawal?

There is no clear-cut study on the addictive nature of salvia. However, as with other substances, a psychological dependence is likely to develop after regular use. When you take salvia for a long period of time and suddenly quit, you’re bound to suffer from a range of withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings and the feelings that accompany it, as well as emotional swings, sleep disturbances, stomach upset and headaches.

These withdrawal effects generally start within a few hours after your last intake and can last for days if you don’t take another dose of salvia. The emotional changes and disruption of sleeping patterns can last a lot longer – in many cases, more than a few weeks, requiring therapy to manage properly.

Other potential long-term withdrawal symptoms of salvia include flashbacks and the re-occurrence of the initial effects of the drug, such as experiencing visions. These can continue even weeks after withdrawal and commencement of the detox programmes. Users of salvia have cited flashbacks as part of their experience, which can manifest and be difficult to control.

Get Confidential Help Now

Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.

Contributing factors to withdrawal

The main cause of salvia is abrupt cessation of using the substance. However, there are other contributing factors that can enhance or diminish withdrawal symptoms. Addiction specialists consider genetics as a possible factor, meaning that certain people will experience more intense withdrawal symptoms than others, even at the same level of salvia abuse.

Additionally, the abuse of other substances is another contributing factor. When salvia is used alongside other substances, the withdrawal symptoms tend to be more pronounced.Multi-substance abuse could mean duplication and increased severity of withdrawal symptoms.

How salvia affects the brain and body

Salvia is a fast-acting substance. In as little as 40 seconds after intake, a high concentration of Salvinorin Areaches the brain. For context, cocaine enters your brain in around 6.6 minutes. However, the effects of salvia on the brain last for 15 minutes in many cases. This is why many people experience an instant ‘high’ that fades away after a maximum of 10 minutes.

The parts of the brain most affected by salvia are the visual cortex and cerebellum. These are the parts of your brain responsible for vision and motor function. Just 10 micrograms of salvia in the brain is needed to trigger psychoactive effects for most people.

Since salvia has hallucinogenic properties, it increases the possibility of developing a mental illness such as schizophrenia,after prolonged use. There’s also the chance of developing Hallucinogenic Persisting Perception Disorder (HPDD) and persistent psychosis.With the latter, you’ll experience mood disturbances, paranoia and disorganised thought processes. HPDD will lead to ongoing flashbacks, hallucinations and a wide range of visual disturbances.

Other impacts of salvia on your body (after prolonged use) include perpetuated learning issues, memory and speech problems.

Why you should detox properly from salvia

As there is very little information about the dangers of salvia in comparison to other mainstream substances, many people see it as a recreational drug that’s safe to try once in a while. However, this is a dangerous perception. If you find yourself regularly craving the effects of salvia, you’ll need to go through the detoxification process (or ‘detox’).

There may notbe any accounts of fatalities as a direct result of salvia overdose, but there are several instances where deaths have been attributed to use of the substance, including suicide.

Although the long-term effects of salvia abuse are still largely unknown, there is reasonable evidence (as a hallucinogenic) to suggest it can cause many problems, such as negatively impacting learning, speech impairment, memory loss, loss of motor-control and muscle coordination. Meanwhile, anxiety, depression, lung irritation, insomnia, irritability, headaches and chills are other common problems, while there is also the potential for lung cancer when salvia is smoked for long periods.

The dangers to which you expose yourself increase further if you combine salvia with other drugs.This makes it even more important to detox, before addiction to salvia stretches to other substances.

Causes of salvia withdrawal

As is the case with most abused substances, the majority of salvia withdrawal symptoms are psychological. If you use salvia to relax or unwind (like most users tend to), you may begin to feel uncomfortable if you’re yet to yield to cravings. Depending on the level of dependence, these initial psychological discomforts can lead to some of the more pronounced symptoms of withdrawal.

How salvia withdrawal is diagnosed

Withdrawal can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. Firstly, you’ll need to tell them about your salvia abuse and any other substances you may be taking simultaneously. This will help them to categorically differentiate between withdrawal symptoms induced by salvia abuse and those that occur as a result of any underlying conditions.

When you’ve divulged all the necessary details, you may then be subjected to a series of tests that will back up or debunk any assertions made by medical professionals. If the diagnosis shows that you’re struggling with salvia withdrawal alone, you’ll then be eased into detox and any further treatment, as required.

Common salvia detox and withdrawal symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms associated with salvia detox and withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of physical coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Panic attacks
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Loss of appetite
  • Paranoia
  • Episodes of psychosis
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Irregular breathing rate
  • Rise in body temperature

Physical symptoms of salvia withdrawal and detox

Physical symptoms of salvia withdrawal and detox include:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle spasms
  • Zombie-like state
  • Aggression
  • Hostile behaviour or violence
  • Diarrhoea
Get Confidential Help Now

Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.

Psychological symptoms of salvia withdrawal

Psychological symptoms of salvia withdrawal include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Fear insanity
  • Depression
  • Hyperthermia
  • Permanent post-hallucinogenic perceptual disturbance
  • Long-term psychosis

How long does it take to detox from salvia?

The length of time it will take to complete detox and any suggested treatment will be largely dependent on the method and severity of your abuse. Salvia users who chew the leaves tend to experience prolonged cases of withdrawal and detox, as the substance remains in their body longer than for those who smoke the dried leaves.

If the latter method is adopted, the level of salvinorin in your system with each dose will be dependent on the length of time you inhale the smoke. When chewing the leaves, however, there is no room for wastage, so you will absorb more salvinorin. When doing so, withdrawal symptoms will be slower to appear, but will most likely linger for longer periods.

Usually, most instances of salvia detox are concluded within a week, but severe cases can last longer.

Although salvia detox can be quickly resolved due to its fast-acting nature, it’s not a good idea to attempt‘cold turkey’ detox (in the hope that withdrawal symptoms will only linger for a few days), as there are many things that can go wrong. For example, hallucinations could drive you to self-harm. Even when there are no such psychological issues at play, other symptoms can be debilitating, such as an irregular heartbeat, which can lead to cardio-vascular issues.

Salviawithdrawal: Timeline of symptoms

For people who are consistently abusing salvia, withdrawal symptoms can begin to appear within 24 hours of the last intake. However, this is dependent on the frequency of abuse.

What is acute salvia withdrawal?

This refers to the onset of the first group of symptoms following your last dose of salvia. They generally appear within the first few hours or last few days since you previously used salvia.

Coping with salvia withdrawal

There are many ways to cope when faced with salvia withdrawal symptoms. However, don’t set off on your own, without seeking professional help. Medical professionals can determine that you are indeed experiencing withdrawal and that there are no underlying conditions present. Some of the coping mechanisms to adopt include:

Regular exercise

If your salvia cravings are connected to stress, then regular exercise can help. During exercise sessions, your brain releases endorphins. These chemicals help alleviate stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Regular exercise can therefore give your brain the energy it needs when you feel stressed, which can reduce your salvia craving. Exercise is also good for your sleeping pattern. Subsequently, when you wake up, you’ll likely feel less fatigued.

Eat a proper balanced diet

Eating a balanced diet can be all you need to give your body a natural lift, instead of using salvia to attempt to achieve this balance. Some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables can have the same impacts as taking part in proper exercise sessions. Reaching for fast foods when you encounter salvia cravings can increase stress levels and might worsen the situation.

Stick to a sleeping pattern

Since stress and anxiety are amongst the main reasons why people abuse salvia, developing and sticking to a sleeping schedule can help you deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms. When you don’t sleep regularly, you not only risk increasing your stress levels, but also trigger other health issues. So, set a sleep schedule and stick to it.

You can also sleep when you start feeling the onset of cravings. Quit all activities that might make it difficult for you to sleep, such as watching television or using your mobile phone.

Follow plans developed by an addiction treatment centre for you

The best addiction treatment centres know how to devise plans that make it easy for you to safely negotiate the withdrawal and detox phase. Stick to them. Honour appointments and take part in any recommended exercises. You might have also been provided with medications that can aid your recovery. Take them as recommended.

Get Confidential Help Now

Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.

Possible complications

When it comes to salvia withdrawal and detox, one of the biggest possible complications is self-harm. Whilst under the influence, you will not be in control of your actions, as the confusion and hallucinatory effects take centre stage. During detox, it’s possible to experience a ‘flashback’ of these symptoms. There’s no telling how you’ll react during these flashbacks outside of a controlled environment. Mood swings and depression are other potential complications, as the overall brain chemistry is realigned.

Regardless of the complications that can arise, a proper rehab facility will prepare and protect you. This further underlines the importance of seeking professional help for your salvia detox.

Medications to treat salvia withdrawal

Medications play an important role in most cases of substance abuse detox – and salvia is no exception. There is a range of standard medications that can be applied during detox, depending on your condition.

Clonidine: This medication plays an important role in the management of the physical and psychological symptoms of salvia abuse.

Buprenorphine: In severe cases of salvia addiction, buprenorphine will lessen the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, thus allowing you to complete detox faster.

Methadone: This is another medication targeted at reducing substance cravings.

There are other medications that can be utilised during the detox process. Your individual circumstances will determine what the professionals handling your case will recommend.

Process from salvia detox to rehab: What happens?

Detox is a main feature (and the first step) of the abuse treatment and rehab process. Withdrawal symptoms are managed properly, whilst the physiological changes that have occurred as a result of the abuse (as well as any physiological and external factors fuelling abuse) are all properly addressed. In many cases, the detox process will be made up of three distinct steps.

Assessment stage: During this stage, the detox and rehab centre will focus on getting as much information about your abuse as possible, in addition to any other personal details that could help with the treatment process. These will include blood tests, understanding of your social data and checks for co-occurring disorders and multi-substance abuse.

Psychosocial stage: This stage involves the deployment of various psychosocial procedures to manage the withdrawal symptoms you may be experiencing. You’ll undergo dietary changes and will be educated on what lies ahead in the detoxification process. Medications might be prescribed to aid the symptoms you’re experiencing.

End stage: You will be set up to start a full rehab programme, where your salvia abuse treatment will be continued with a range of therapies. If you’re detoxing in a professional medical facility, the transition from detox to treatment and rehab is generally seamless.

Medical detox as part of a whole treatment plan

In many cases, inpatient treatment for salvia abuse involves a medically supervised detox. This process is usually intensive, requiring you to constantly remain in touch with a specialist. This might only be recommended for people with a severe case of salvia addiction however.

There are many benefits to undertaking a medically supervised detox. Firstly, round-the-clock care from professional staff drastically reduces the chances of complications as a result of withdrawal and detox. You’ll be more closely observed for changes that might highlight the success or failure of specific detox strategies. Secondly, withdrawal symptoms will be less severe, as medical detox often entails the use of medication to manage any severe symptoms.

In many people, abuse treatment and rehab is impossible without medical detox.

Salviadetoxification timeline

The salvia detoxification process can last between three and seven days, depending on the severity of abuse. The first two days are when withdrawal symptoms peak, but in a more serious addiction, symptoms can remain beyond 72 hours.

It takes around a maximum of two to three weeks for withdrawal symptoms to cease in mild cases of salvia abuse.

The entire process from detox to rehab can usually be completed in less than 90 days – even in moderate or severe cases of addiction. However, as is the norm with most abuse cases, the actual timeline will depend on your specific situation.

Finding the right treatment

Finding the right treatment for your salvia dependence is vital to the success of the overall process. Salvia remains one of the lesser known abused substances; hence a blanket approach to treatment may not work. The right treatment will focus on identifying the reasons why you find solace in salvia, curtailing cravings and helping you to avoid a relapse in future.

Depending on the situation, such treatment could also include individual and group counselling. It is during counselling sessions that the reason for your salvia abuse will be established. There will also be therapy sessions focused on helping you to learn coping mechanisms that will ensure you’re more prepared to withstand thoughts of taking salvia again. When this isn’t properly addressed, there will always be the danger of relapse.

Detox from salvia abuse can be challenging, depending on your specific situation. This is why you need to find treatment where licensed, trained professionals (working in the field)can help you to detox safely and comfortably. Can’t find a treatment centre? Contact a recovery support specialist or talk to your doctor for more information.

Home detox for salvia abusers: How safe is it?

Home detox is generally discouraged in the addiction niche – and for good reason. It may seem like the sensible thing to do for some, but it is actually dangerous for moderate to severe abuse cases. The unpredictability of salvia effects and its withdrawal symptoms means that the consequences of home detox could be fatal for you or your loved ones.

It’s also important to note that habit is a factor that influences abuse. Attempting to detox at home (especially when you don’t have the mental capacity to change your habit) is a futile attempt, even if it isn’t particularly dangerous. Part of the reason why professional detox works is that experts understand the appropriate therapies that will help you remain mentally-tuned to the detoxification process as a whole, even in the presence of distressing withdrawal symptoms.

Therefore, when you detox at home, there’s a high probability you will quickly resort to using salvia again to stave off withdrawal symptoms. Most addiction treatment experts believe the best way to detox is to do so under the guidance of professionals.

Fortunately, professional detox can occur both in outpatient and inpatient settings. It’s possible that said professionals could rule in favour of outpatient treatment – and by extension, home detox. However, until they’ve stringently analysed your situation and come to this conclusion, do not take matters into your own hands.

Self-detoxification from salvia

With self-detoxification, you are required to manage the entire detox process on your own without professional help. This is an approach you can take if you experience less severe salvia cravings. However, for the best results, you’ll need to discuss the issue with an addiction specialist to be absolutely certain that your case can be handled on an outpatient basis in the first place.

The severity of your condition will determine if outpatient treatment is right for you and if you’ll be able to cope with the detox process on your own. Without professional guidance, self-detox can quickly degenerate into further problems – especially if you have a severe salvia addiction.

Get Confidential Help Now

Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.

Medication assisted therapy for salvia dependency

The focus of medication-assisted therapy (for salvia dependency) is on tackling any underlying conditions, where applicable. Since salvia dependency mirrors the pattern of typical hallucinogen dependence, medical professionals may recommend medication that can help you fight off cravings and maintain control.

If stress is the trigger for your salvia abuse, you‘ll be given medications that can help you sleep better and generally manage stress levels more effectively. If depression and anxiety are the main causes, you could be prescribed long-term medications that can help.

After detox:Staying off salvia

As with other substances, treatment for salvia should focus on how to ensure relapse is avoided. Apart from therapy-based options, there are other elements of treatment that can help you avoid relapse. This includes being educated about the negative effects of continued usage. getting support from others looking to break free from salvia and similar hallucinogenic substances, enrolling on a professionally planned aftercare programme and avoiding the triggers that can lead you to relapse.

Salviaaddiction facts

Salvia may be less popular than other mainstream hallucinogens, but millions of people around the world try it every year. In 2008, the US Department of Justice stated that around two million Americans aged 18-25 have tried salvia. The report showed that males use Salvia at a greater rate than women.

Addiction experts believe this figure will likely be similar around the world, as the web-based presence of the drug and its effects will make young adults the primary focus of abuse. There are many online forums where the salvia experience is treated as a ‘must-witness’ event, thus making it enticing to a particular demographic.


What does salvia look like?

The live salvia plant is hardly distinguishable from other types of mint. However, the leaves are slightly larger than those commonly seen in the same family. You’ll find the same purple flowers and hollow stem that is the main characteristic. When dried out, salvia looks like every other dried leaf.

How is salvia consumed?

Salvia is most commonly consumed by smoking it in a pipe (without any additional substance)and holding the smoke in for 20 to 30 seconds, before exhalation. This is a bid to ensure that salvinorin is properly absorbed. Some people add tobacco to the mix for a far-reaching effect. Other combinations such as mixing with marijuana have also been noted. However, such mixtures are very dangerous and can lead to unpredictable outcomes.

Fresh Salvia leaves can also be chewed.

Is salvia legal?

The legal status of salvia remains a heated political debate. Many jurisdictions around the world have banned it, while others haven’t. This is partly due to the fact that there is still a gap in studies demonstrating its addictive nature. However, the cases of salvia-related casualties in recent years has seen more debates concerning the legality of the substance.

What are the effects of salvia?

The effects of Salvia can be felt immediately after smoking the substance – usually within 40 seconds. These can include hallucinations, a feeling of lightness, feeling like you are travelling in space, rapid emotional changes and strange visual perceptions (including seeing visions of a woman) etc.

How long do the effects of salvia last?

The effects of salvia take hold within 40 seconds and usually pass in less than 30 minutes, if smoked. When chewed, the effects kick in 15 minutes later and can remain for an hour.

Is salvia addictive?

There is no definitive proof that salvia is addictive. However, many people end up developing dependence, as they intentionally seek to take the substance as a way to unwind. Most traditional addicts have to take a substance to stave off withdrawal symptoms, but regular salvia users simply consume the substance intentionally when they choose to relive its effects.

Is salvia harmful?

Assalvia has a hallucinogenic effect on users, prolonged usage can be detrimental to overall brain health. There is very little research on the direct impacts of salvia on the body.However, experiments on mice show that it impairs memory and learning.

Despite the lack of adequate research on, this doesn’t rule out the instant danger to yourself and everyone around you, whilst under the influence. The impacts of salvia areunpredictable, especially when being used without supervision.

Is salvia the same as ‘weed’?

Salvia is not the same as ‘weed’. ‘Weed’ is marijuana (cannabis).

How many people use salvia?

A 2015 study stated that more than five million people aged 12 and above have tried salvia at least once. This is around 1.9% of the demographic. Addiction experts believe that this figure will be similar in other parts of the world where salvia use is popular. In 2006, figures from the US also stated that roughly 76,000 people were abusing the substance.

Does salvia show up on drug tests?

Although salvia has grown to become a popular recreational drug, most regular drug tests will not detect it in your system. However, there are some tests that can detect the presence of salvia, though they were designed for other purposes, which means that they will very rarely be deployed specifically as a test to detect salvia.

Get Confidential Help Now

Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.