An army intelligence member takes a picture of drug burning in Beirut, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Adolescents in Lebanon are increasingly seeking the psychedelic properties of a mind-altering drug, Salvia Divinorum, believed to be the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen.What further complicates the comparison between Salvia and other drugs, however, is the fact that many Salvia users in Lebanon are as young as 11 or 12 .Salvia is relatively easy for teenagers to find and consume, similarly to marijuana and hashish. The high produced by Salvia is short-lived, with effects appearing in less than one minute and lasting less than 30 minutes.Ramzi Haddad, a psychiatrist with the drug addiction NGO Skoun, confirmed that Salvia may alter the user's mental condition for a prolonged period of time on the short-term. While the effects of other plant-based hallucinogens are known, foreseeing the repercussions of Salvia consumption is impossible.What is certain, according to Haddad, is that every drug has its long-term repercussions.
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