New Drug Trend: Bath Salts?

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People ingest some strange things to get high, but bath salts? Really? Here is an excerpt regarding a growing problem that has made it’s way to North America.

“A new designer drug known as “bath salts” has become increasingly popular and increasingly scary. Poison centers across the U.S. have reported growing numbers of calls about the synthetic stimulant, and more and more states are banning the drug. But as of now, there is no federal law prohibiting their sale.

First of all, what are bath salts?

“The presumption is that most bath salts are MDPV, or methylenedioxypyrovalerone, although newer pyrovalerone derivatives are being made by illegal street chemists. Nobody really knows, because there is no way to test for these substances,” Horowitz says.

Why are they called bath salts?

“It’s confusing. Is this what we put in our bathtubs, like Epsom salts? No. But by marketing them as bath salts and labeling them ‘not for human consumption,’ they have been able to avoid them being specifically enumerated as illegal,” Horowitz says.

What do you experience when you take bath salts?

“Agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, suicidality. It’s a very scary stimulant that is out there. We get high blood pressure and increased pulse, but there’s something more, something different that’s causing these other extreme effects. But right now, there’s no test to pick up this drug. The only way we know if someone has taken them is if they tell you they have.

The clinical presentation is similar to mephedrone [a chemical found in other designer drugs], with agitation, psychosis, and stimulatory effects. Both of these agents should be of concern, as severe agitated behavior, like an amphetamine overdose, has occurred.

Are bath salts addictive? How are they taken?

“We don’t know if they are addictive. We have not had enough long-term experience with it. Acute toxicity is the main problem. But many stimulants do cause a craving. The people who take them are very creative. They snort it, shoot it, mix it with food and drink,” Horowitz says.

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