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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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My son is 24, he was always very smart, seemed happy never

Customer Question

My son is 24, he was always very smart , seemed happy never gave us any trouble or got into trouble. He broke up with his girlfriend of 6 years, we found out he had been smoking marijuana for 2 years, after the break up he also had coccaine and salvia. He was in the hospital 1 year ago because he got mad for the first time and was not acting like himself. They kept him there for 5 days locked up, he did not harm anyone or do anything he was just very upset, found out his ex was going away with another guy.
because of his age the doctors never realy explained anything to us, I found out about 1 month ago that he had a psychotic attack! we would do anything to help him, he is seeing a scycoligist they had him on seraquil since the hospital episode, my son told the doctor he wanted to get off the medication, he started not taking them and I noticed and told the doctor, so they took him down from 88mg. to 400mg. he still is like a robot only answers when you ask him something,how can we
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.

Salvia is a powerful hallucinogenic herb that is sold legally in the majority of the United States is gaining popularity among teenagers and young adults. It can be ground up and smoked like marijuana but produces effects similar to those of LSD. A member of the sage family, Salvia contains a potent hallucinogen called Salvinorin A. Dr. Bryan Roth, a biochemist and neuroscientist at Case Western Reserve University, says it is "the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogenic drug."

Researchers have found that Salvinorin A works in the same location in the brain as morphine and other opioids. "What we found is quite remarkable and unprecedented among naturally occurring drugs of abuse," Roth said. "This compound seems to have absolute specificity for a single receptor site on the brain."

People under the influence of salvia can experience frightening hallucinations, and their emotions can rapidly change. "Even experienced hallucinogenic users say that the effects of Salvia divinorum are qualitatively and quantitatively different than any other hallucinogenic that they have ever taken," Roth said. "It appears to cause an experience that we have dubbed ‘spacio-temporal dislocation.'"

This means that if the dose is strong enough, users feel as though they have been transported to a different time and place, something many first-time users find too intense and frightening. "Most people who do it hoping to have just an interesting high find it confusing and disappointing," said Daniel Siebert, who has done extensive research on Salvia. He worries that teens and young adults will assume it provides a high similar to marijuana when it is in fact as potent as LSD. Many people who smoke or chew Salvia don't like it and won't do it again, but many risk-taking teens will still try it.

A handful of states have banned Salvia and many others are considering bans, but legislation to make it a controlled substance has failed twice in Congress. As a result of early studies that suggest that research on Salvia and Salvinorin A could lead to new drugs that could be used to treat Alzheimer's and schizophrenia, some scientists are worried that classifying Salvia as a Schedule One drug of abuse could slow or halt their research. But most people agree that the drug needs to be regulated.

Regardless of the herb's future, it is imperative to educate people about the dangers of Salvia-parents should talk to their kids about this drug and its negative effects, and explain that it's much more frightening and undesirable than it might initially seem.

I believed that you son had a drug induced psychotic episode. Because he was under the influence of cocaine and salvia and both drugs side affect is psychosis. I don't think your son can be diagnosed with psychosis at this point because most of the time when people detox from the drugs they can't be diagnosed. Is your son sobber?

Penny Rayas, MFT and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

thank you so much for the information, my son has been sober since last Christmas,

so please let me know what you think of what is going on now.

thank you,


Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.
I am glad that your son has been sobber for almost a year. I did not realized this from your question. I wonder if your son is getting any therapy because I think therapy can really help him. What other symptoms do you see. He is not enjoying things that he did before, not playing music, is he sleeping and eating well? How is his hygine?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

sorry I could not get back to you yesterday.

his hygine is good.

i just find that he has lost weight, i cook all his meals he eats very slow, but does eat.

never snacks, he always waits for me and my husband to sit and eat with him.

he does not remember a lot of things that went on.

he is in therapy 3 times a week , he sometimes comes out upset from the meetings

but never complains, just always very quite, the doctor told me he is worried about

getting better and that he has wasted so much time and has not acoplished anything.

i always talk to him and try to tell him he has the rest of his life to do what makes him happy, he just listens . I know that he sometimes feels discomfort, pain, but he always

says its ok, I am fine, he does not want me to worry.

I just feel that I need to do more , what I dont know! He is not a bad guy, he just does not express himself and for 24 years never complaining , that is why he probably took the drugs to ease whatever he feels and that is why he exploded.

how can I help and what can I , my family do. It has put a strain on everyone, and I feel for the other sibblings, they dont know what to do and it hurts us all to see him this way.

will he ever get 100% better, is there any testing we should do, any place we should take him, we would go anywere in the world to help him, I dont mean leaving him in a hospital , I would never ,ever do that.

thank you for your help, please let me know what you think?

I pray for all the families and and people that are going through this.

I have learned so much from this , we never know what is in people minds and it sad that people suffer, but most of all is that when someone is sick with cancer or anyother illness the world understands, but when it has to do with the mind no one does.

I think of so many people that probably have no one and end up locked up, because no one understands or tries to help! It makes me very sad.

thank you

Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.

Medication and therapy is the best way for your son to get better. It sounds to me like he suffers from depression right now. It takes some time for the psychiatrist to find the right medication to treat him. I am sorry that he does not open up to you because he does not want to worry you. Most of the time if the psychosis is caused by substance abuse it eventually goes away. Sometimes the brain has been damaged enough that the psychosis stays. It is no way to know until time passes. My feeling is that you son will get better with therapy and time. There are no tests that will give you an accurate diagnosis. Therapy and your support and love will help him heal. His therapist will work with him to teach him to express his emotions and develop coping skills. You are right about metal health illness it is very missunderstood. One out 3 people will have depression in some point of their life. It is sad that society treats mental illness like this. I would also suggest that you attend support group for families of mentally ill.

You son is young so I think treatment has more of a chance to work. You are doing all you can to help him out. I think he is lucky to have you.

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