Believe it or not, snorting bath salts has become a dangerous new pastime for some young people. What drugs do these bath salts contain? Snorting, smoking and injecting these substances can produce dangerous, even deadly side effects. Snorting “designer” bath salts may even be leading to state regulation.

Authorities have stated that snorting bath salts, (also known as “fake cocaine”) can cause dramatic and dangerous effects. These are really designer drugs, sold under such names as Bliss, Blue Silk, Charge Plus, White Lightening, Energy 1 and Cloud 9. They are being consumed in some way (snorted, smoked, injected) for their addictive and dramatic effects. Although the chemicals are legally marketed at convenience stores and also on the internet as plant foods and bath salts, they are not ending up on the living room philodendron or in a warm tub. The availability of bath salts to unsupervised children is a wakeup call that must be heeded before their use becomes an out of control epidemic.

One of the active ingredients in these bath salts is mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant. The salts also contain MDPV, a psychoactive drug in the same family as Ritalin, but with four times the potency. There have been reports of hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, paranoia and even suicidal thoughts and actions. Neil Brown of Mississippi slashed his stomach and his face while high on bath salts. Although Brown had tried heroin and crack, he was terrified by the hallucinations he experienced while under the influence of the bath salts.

In another case, this time in Florida, a young man was taken into custody because of irrational public behavior due to abuse of bath salts. One day later, he died after his body temperature rose to 106 degrees, and his organs shut down.

Like a nightmare with no escape, the drug creates intense cravings. Reportedly, abusers binge on it for days before showing up in an ER. They admit the trip is horrifying, yet feel helpless to quit.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration has noted MDPV as a drug they are concerned about, but at the moment they reportedly have no plans to ban it. So for the time being, it is still widely available. Perhaps the time table on banning this dangerous substance should be moved up.  Young people are endangering their own lives as well as those of their loved ones. The “lucky ones” survive their self-abuse, but may end up in psychiatric institutions.

The bath salts are now illegal in 28 states, so awareness of their danger seems to be growing. There have been reports of their abuse to the Poison Control Centers in 33 states. But this is still a relatively new phenomenon. In 2009, there were no cases of snorting bath salts reported to Poison Control Centers in the USA. In 2010, there were 236 reported. In 2011, that number has already been surpassed.

References:

http://www.accessrx.com/blog/current-health-news/bath-salts-cocaine-meth-mdpv-b0124  (people winding up in psych institutions because of this drug)

http://blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2011/06/bath-salts-death-imitation-cocaine-kills-man.html Young man in Fl dies after ingesting bath salts

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