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Newest Drug: Fake Bath Salts

By Jackie Burrell
Monday, January 31st, 2011 at 11:49 am in Health & Safety.

Poison shirt (copyright St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Who’d have thought? First came regular old pot. Then salvia, prescription drugs and even Coricidin-abuse. Now comes this warning from the California Poison Control Center’s Dr. Richard Geller. Your teen’s sudden interest in bath salts from the corner store may have nothing to do with cleanliness or rubber duckies.

“Beginning in September, 2010,” says Geller, “US poison control centers began to receive reports of patients ill from the effects of a series of previously unreported drugs of abuse collectively known as “bath salts”. These agents have nothing to do with bathing, and, like the synthetic cannabinoids marketed as ‘spice,’ are marketed as something other than what they really are.”

Poison Control Centers across the U.S. had 236 calls on this topic last year. They’re at 220 to date for 2011, and it’s not even February yet.

These bath salts are sold in small zip-top bags or jars for anywhere from $15 to $65, but instead of dropping them in the tub, they’re ingested, snorted, smoked or injected, or placed in body cavities to be absorbed there. Yes, there.

Dr. Geller says these drugs induce “hallucinations similar, and possibly worse, than LSD, rapid tolerance and craving similar to crack cocaine, extremely violent behavior similar to PCP and methamphetamine, (and) an unusually long duration of effect and psychotic behavior which may not resolve after the drug is eliminated from the body.”

In Louisiana, where more than 200 cases have been reported to the state’s poison control, they’ve had several users who cut themselves up with knives; one shot himself in the head. Earlier this month, Louisiana state officials issued an emergency declaration, banning the sale of these “bath salts” – and they saw an immediate drop in cases. Now Geller and his colleagues are calling for a similar ban in California.

It’s important to know that we’re not talking about Mr. Bubble. These bath salts contain MDPV or 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, and are sold under the name Ivory Wave and Energy-1. Many contain Mephedrone, or 4-Methylmethcathinone, which is similar in structure to Methamphetamine, and sold as Bounce, Bubbles, M-CAT, Mad Cow and Meow Meow. Yes, really.

For more information, check out this article.

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One Response to “Newest Drug: Fake Bath Salts”

  1. Ben Buchwalter Says:

    Wow… this is scary stuff. Makes you wonder if teenagers will always be able to find something to poison themselves with, no matter what safety regulators do to prevent it. It also shows that prevention education –getting kids not to want to do drugs– could be the best action.

    Thanks for the post!

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