A sitter increases the safety of the Salvia Divinorum experience.

What is a sitter

A sitter is a clean person present when you (and others) are experiencing a Salvia Divinorum trip.

When you need a sitter

A sitter is absolutely essential if you are taking doses on which you may freak out, become confused, injure yourself, fall, set your house on fire, or do anything that might harm others. Have a sitter present if you are new to Salvia, are experimenting with a stronger form than you have used before, or are using a more powerful way of taking it. An experienced Salvia user who is chewing a pruim, may often choose to do it alone, and may be quite safe in doing so. But having a pleasant, sensible, sober sitter is an absolute must if you are trying vaporization, smoking extract enhanced leaves, or using pure salvinorin. Smoking leaves usually falls in between in terms of risk. Many people have done so without a sitter, but a sitter is never a bad idea. Use sound judgment.

What should a sitter know and do

The sitter must remember that no matter how crazy the tripper acts, Salvia Divinorum trips are short lived. Don't take the tripper to the emergency room (unless, of course, there is a true medical emergency). Keep the person safe and wait it out. If you can't keep the person safe, get help. Otherwise keep the matter private. Within an hour or so (usually much less) the tripper will be back to normal. It's very reassuring to hold onto this knowledge when things get messy. It helps to have done Salvia yourself before baby-sitting another person. Experience with other visionary materials may be only partially helpful. The sitter should know that Salvia is different from these. Touching to "ground the tripper" works for some trippers on some entheogens, but may be very threatening for someone on Salvia. If you plan on touching, clear it with the tripper BEFORE the trip starts.

The roles of a sitter

The sitter has three jobs:

The main job is to keep the tripper, and others who may be present, safe;

The second job of the sitter is to reassure;

The third job of the sitter is to help the tripper later recall the trip;

Certainly the most cautious way for one to approach this substance is to work with the whole Salvia Divinorum

Warning on using pure Salvinorin A

From the book by D.M. Turner

As mentioned earlier, most who have tried salvinorin A find its effects extremely unsettling, and have no desire to repeat the experience. This response comes from people who are highly experienced in the use of entheogens, including many who are writers or leaders in the psychedelic community. From the 1960's to present. It is unlikely that salvinorin A will ever become a popular substance, and many will find using the non-extracted plant material more to their liking. In contrast to using pure salvinorin A, use of the whole plant material, particularly by ingestion, produces a gentler, longer-lasting experience that many have found easier to absorb and have derived greater benefit from. Used in this manner, Salvia Divinorum is also much less overwhelming, and is not likely to present many of the dangers described below. Currently salvinorin A has been used by a relatively small group of people. Information regarding its possible effects on humans is still quite limited, and there is little known regarding the possible toxicity of this substance, particularly at higher doses. Information on the experience of about 50 users has been informally gathered and summarized here. Also presented are some insights I've obtained during approximately 30 sessions using salvinorin A. The use of salvinorin A presents some extreme dangers which are not encountered on other psychedelics.

After smoking salvinorin A, some users will stand up and begin walking or moving around, running into objects that are in their path. People in this state typically move in an agitated manner and seem to be struggling with the experience. Apparently they have no recognition of their surroundings when this is taking place. This response has been noted in only a few people, about 5% of the first 50 subjects. A more common occurrence is for one who has just smoked salvinorin A to not recognize that they are heavily inebriated, and begin to walk around. In these instances the user is able to perceive his or her surroundings, and moves around without bumping into objects. Several people in this situation have wanted to leave the premises where they were conducting their journey, desiring to either drive or walk to another location, and needed to be dissuaded from doing so. Often people who walk around during the journey do not recall doing so once the effects wear off. The presence of a sober person to act as sitter during the sessions has proven very important in dealing with situations such as those described above. Siebert has witnessed reactions of this type and stated: "When the dose goes above 500 to 1000 mcg the effects can be very alarming. I have seen people get up and lunge around the room, falling over furniture, babbling incomprehensible nonsense and knocking their heads into walls. Several people have tried to wander out of the house. When the experience is over, they have no memory of any of this. In fact, they usually remember very different events. To an outside observer, people in this condition have a blank look in their eyes as if no one is present. It is also common for people to have a facial expression which is probably best described as being like that of a frightened animal."

There is also potential psychological danger with salvinorin A. I can confirm from my own experience that it can instantly obliterate any reference to sanity, logic, or even the idea of existing, and make one feel that either one's self or the entire universe has gone entirely and permanently crazy. Occasionally people who have been given salvinorin A, even highly experienced psychedelic users, feel that a bad joke has been played on them by whoever gave them the substance.

One person who tried salvinorin A, who is quite experienced with DMT and most other psychedelics, remarked "Salvia Divinorum made DMT looks like a water pistol, at a dose 50-100 times less." The intensity of a salvinorin A journey is often experienced as being an order of magnitude more potent than smoked DMT, in much the same way that DMT seems an order of magnitude more potent than a typical LSD journey. A large percentage of salvinorin A users also report that the fear factor is much greater than with DMT, which is saying a lot. I feel that no person, no matter how experienced with other psychedelics or altered states of mind, can be prepared for the intensity of a full-strength salvinorin A journey. It is common for users to be shocked, amazed and frightened, at finding themselves in a state they could not possibly conceive of being induced by any psychedelic substance.



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Updated 4 November, 2006
(c) copyright 2006 / ZunZimla - Claire