Salvia Should Worry Parents, Military Members

  • Published
  • By 1Lt. Peter Shinn
  • 185ARW/MEO
You can buy it, legally, in South Sioux City, NE. and its active ingredient is a powerful psychoactive substance originally used by Mayan shamans to induce visions. It is powerfully mood altering, producing intense hallucinations, a near total loss of motor control and in some cases, unconsciousness. It is salvia divinorum, and it is increasingly popular among teenage youths, who are seeing images of their peers smoking the substance on YouTube.

Since salvia divinorum is still legal at the federal level and in many states, youngsters may try to convince parents of its safety. In fact, the health effects of salvia divinorum have not been extensively studied and its long-term impacts on anyone, let alone adolescents, are unknown. But the short-term impacts of salvia, as it is more popularly known, can be seen quite clearly in the many YouTube videos dedicated to showing its effects. And those effects are devastating. Parents are strongly encouraged to take the same approach to salvia as they would any other hallucinogenic drug.

The same holds true for military members. While salvia divinorum may not yet be on the Federal Schedule of Controlled Substances, service members are still responsible for their behavior at all times. And efforts are underway to ensure that salvia divinorum use, possession and distribution are made illegal. I personally encourage all members of the 185th Air Refueling Wing to view the YouTube videos on salvia. If, after seeing its effects, you still wish to use this substance, I'd suggest you're not well suited for continued service as a member of the Air National Guard.

At a time when our very existence is being challenged by terrorists who wish to destroy our freedoms and our way of live, every Air National Guard member must hold themselves to the highest standards of fitness, readiness and personal integrity. The use of salvia divinorum, whether technically legal or not, clearly does not meet those standards.

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