"Bath salts" also known as "Cloud 9", "Ivory Wave", "Purple Wave", "Vanilla Sky", "Bolivian Bath", "Monkey Dust", "White China", "Hurricane Charley", "Zoom", "Bloom", "Bliss" and a host of other names can be easily found and purchased in mini-marts and smoke shops across the country.
These drugs can be taken by mouth, inhaled or injected. Bath salts are considerd a designer drug because the street chemists who make these concoctions manage to get around the laws that were created to make these types of drugs illegal. For example, bath salts usually contain labeling such as "Not For Human Consumption".
The main chemicals used to brew up a batch of "bath salts" are called: MDPV, Mephedrone, and Methylone. Mephedrone presents a very high risk for overdosing.
Apparently that's why medical experts at 57 poison centers across the country raised an alarm about bath salts in 2010 after they started receiving calls about people having serious, life-threatening reactions and overdoses. In 2011, there were more than 13,000 calls relating to synthetic drugs like bath salts. Bath salts have also been linked to an alarming number of ER visits across the country.
Side effects of a bath salt high include paranoia, sexual aggression, hallucinations, chest pain, severe anxiety, terrifying dreams, violent behavior and suicide. Many times these and other synthetic drugs don't show up on routine drug tests, so the only way medical professionals will know that the patient has taken it is if they tell them.
Something that thrill seekers are finding out the hard way is that these synthetic chemicals are psychoactive stimulants. What that means is that the side effects of these highly addictive chemicals are lasting weeks and sometimes months after use. The painful truth is that the stimulants in bath salts have such an enormous affect on the neurotransmitters in the brain that they can permanently alter brain chemistry causing a totally different mentality in the user for a long time after use. This means that the chance of an abuser committing suicide long after the drug wears off is still very high.
This fact raises a couple of questions regarding the recent finding that the Miami man who attacked a homeless man in a zombie fashion tested negative for bath salt drugs. Toxicology reports showed only Marijuana in his system. But who's to say that this man hadn't used bath salts in his recent past? How can we be sure that his brain chemistry hadn't been altered by the use of this drug if he had used them recently?
While several states have banned the sale of bath salts, in order to protect our kids better, a federal law demanding a label as a schedule 1 drug is in order to make bath salts illegal. Schedule 1 means a substance has no medicinal value but has a high potential for abuse. Those who manufacture and sell Schedule 1 drugs can get a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
Citing an “imminent threat to public safety,” the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made illegal the possession and sale of three of the chemicals commonly used to make bath salts -- the synthetic stimulants mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone. The ban, issued in October 2011, is effective for at least a year. During that time, the agency will decide whether a permanent ban is warranted.
Talk to your kids about the dangers of using drugs like bath salts.