Eight Things You Need To Know About Bath Salts
Jul 2, 2012
The Scoop On "Bath Salts"
“Bath Salts", the newest fad to hit the shelves (virtual and real), is the latest addition to a growing list of items that young people can obtain to get high. Here are Eight Things You Need To Know About “Bath Salts”:
- Don’t Try This At Home
The “Bath Salts” we are referring to are very different from the product you use in the bath. They have the same name because they look similar, like a fine powder. They are also referred to as “plant food” or “pond water cleaner.” “Bath Salts” are man-made, stimulant-like chemicals taken orally, by inhalation or by injection for the purposes of getting high.
- A Cheap, “Legal” Alternative
“Bath Salts” are marketed to people as less expensive, legal alternatives to ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamines, which will bring the user a euphoric feeling and a sense of well-being. They are sold legally and illegally online and in drug paraphernalia stores, or “head shops” under a variety of names, such as "Ivory Wave," “Scarface,” “Molly’s Plant Food,” "Purple Wave," "Red Dove," "Blue Silk," "Zoom," "Bloom," “Bliss,” "Cloud Nine," "Ocean Snow," "Lunar Wave," "Vanilla Sky," "White Lightning," "Scarface," and "Hurricane Charlie." The cost is between $20-$50.
- Highly Similar, Highly Addictive
“Bath Salts,” often called synthetic Cathinones, contain various amphetamine-like chemicals, such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone and pyrovalerone. These man-made chemicals act in the brain like stimulant drugs (indeed they are sometimes touted as cocaine substitutes); thus they present a high abuse and addiction liability.
- Horrific Consequences
In 2011 alone, US Poison Control Centers received 6138 calls about “Bath Salts.” Doctors and clinicians at U.S. poison centers have indicated that ingesting or snorting "bath salts" containing synthetic stimulants can cause chest pains, impaired perception, reduced motor control, disorientation, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts and acts, violent episodes and serious injury or death.
- Toxic Effects On The Brain
A recent NIDA-funded study found that mephedrone (a commonly used chemical found in “bath salts” had lasting effects on the function of serotonin neurons in rats, suggesting possible toxic effects on the brain.
- Hard To Detect, Hard To Enforce
“Bath Salts” have not been approved by the FDA for human consumption or for medical use, and there is no oversight of the manufacturing process. The problem is also likely significantly under reported, as these drugs do not show up on standard toxicology tests.
- Legislation & Enforcement Needed
Over 38 States have introduced legislation to ban bath salts, however only a few are enforcing the ban. Also, synthetic drug producers are coming up with creative ways to change formulations just in time to avoid being impacted by growing legislation.
- There’s Still So Much More To Learn
Because these products are relatively new to the drug abuse scene, our knowledge about their precise chemical composition and short- and long-term effects is limited, yet the information we do have is troublesome.