Use of salvia divinorum in a nationally representative sample

Brian E. Perron, Brian K. Ahmedani, Michael G. Vaughn, Joseph E. Glass, Arnelyn Abdon, Li Tzy Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Salvia divinorum has known hallucinogenic effects and is legal in most parts of the United States. Given that this psychoactive substance has a potential of misuse and abuse, further data regarding the clinical and psychosocial factors associated with use are needed. Objectives: To examine the clinical and psychosocial characteristics associated with use of salvia. Methods: The study uses data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2008 (N = 55,623). Results: The results of this study suggest that salvia use is most common among young adults aged 1825 years as well as individuals who had engaged in risk-taking behaviors (selling illicit drugs, stealing) or illicit drug use (especially other hallucinogens/ecstasy). Self-reported depression and anxiety were also associated with salvia use. Conclusions/Scientific Significance: The results provide evidence that salvia use is part of a broader constellation of psychosocial and behavioral problems among youth and young adults. The accessibility, legal status, and psychoactive effects of salvia can be a potentially complicating health risk to young people, especially among those with existing substance use problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
NESARC was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism with additional support provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Data analysis and writing of this article was supported by grants DA027832, AA019575, DA019623, DA019901, and 5T32 DA015035, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Neither NIDA or NIAAA had a role in the design or conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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