What Are Bath Salts and Their Effects?
Bath salts are synthetic mood-altering and mind-altering drugs that contain an amphetamine-like substance called mephedrone and a newer synthetic compound called methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). Bath salts were legal until 2011 when the dangers associated with their use began to surface. At that point, they were listed as Schedule I Substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and became illegal. Nonetheless, drug makers continue to find ways to skirt the law by making slight changes in the drug’s chemical structure.
Mephedrone is chemically similar to amphetamine and produces similar effects. MDPV is chemically similar to cocaine and produces similar effects. However, MDPV can be ten or more times stronger than cocaine. That makes bath salts a high-intensity stimulant that’s also highly addictive. Judging by the available information, bath salts can also be very dangerous.
What Are The Psychological And Behavioral Effects Of Bath Salts?
The mephedrone in this drug makes users feel stimulated, sociable, talkative, and euphoric. However, the MDPV can bring on frightening emotional, psychological, and behavioral effects such as:
o Panic attacks
Some users claim to see aliens, monsters, and demons. A mom on bath salts left her two-year-old daughter on the highway because “she had demons.” One man began firing a gun at neighbors through an open window in his home. Another man, armed with a fire extinguisher, broke into a hospital operating room and sprayed everyone inside including two security guards who had tried to remove him.
One man walked down a street throwing himself at walls. He then tore off his clothing and ran naked through the neighborhood. Some users exhibit superhuman strength while others try to rip off their own body parts. Especially alarming are reports from users who say they don’t enjoy the high and are frightened by the effects. In spite of this, they are still unable to stop using the drug.
What Are The Physical Effects Of Bath Salts?
Bath salts can have a variety of physical effects including coma and death. Other physical effects include:
o Chest pain
o Loss of limbs where the drug was injected
o Kidney failure
o Heavy sweating
o Nausea and vomiting
o A feeling of “burning up”
o Rapid heartbeat
o High blood pressure
o Brain damage
How Is This Drug Sold?
Bath salts usually come in powder form, often in foil-wrapped packages. They can be purchased online and are inhaled, injected, or taken orally. The most serious effects seem to occur when the drug has been snorted or injected.
When Did Bath Salts Become Popular?
Louisiana’s poison control center began receiving calls about this drug in October of 2010 when four cases were reported. The number of calls increased to 24 in November after a man high on bath salts shot himself in the head. In December of 2010, there were a total of 110 reported cases including 11 incidents on Christmas morning. By June of 2011, 743 cases had been reported. By the end of 2011, over 6,000 cases had been reported in all.
What Makes These Drugs So Dangerous?
Bath salts pose a serious health risk for anyone who uses them. Those who use them become a danger to others. Even worse, the effects of this drug don’t wear off quickly. For some, the effects can last for a long time. For others, the effects don’t go away at all. Some users who have been hospitalized must take powerful anti-psychotic medications on a regular basis just to keep the side effects at bay.