Introducing…the new way your child may be getting high and risking their life. Oh, and by the way…they can buy it at your local drugstore.
What’s the name of this mystery concoction?
You just did a double-take, right? We did too.
These bath salts are sold in convenience stores and on the internet and do not have an age requirement to purchase them. The effects of the salts are similar to the effects that is induced by cocaine or LSD and since it’s the latest phenomenon in teen risk-taking behavior, doctors have been unable to get ahead of the situation enough to know how to deal with it. Because there is a myriad of physical symptoms as well as psychological symptoms associated with taking bath salts, doctors currently have no standard treatment plan.
There have been several cases of people being hospitalized for ingesting bath salts, including four college students in Grand Rapids, Michigan and The New York Times has reported that there have been even more instances of problem behavior after using bath salts improperly. A priest in Pennsylvania was stabbed by a man who broke into a monastery while high on bath salts. A woman in West Virginia reportedly scratched herself “to pieces” over a period of many days because she thought she had something under her skin and an Indiana man climbed a flagpole and jumped into traffic, all after ingesting bath salts.
Dealers who are selling the bath salts are packaging them as incense, cleaners and plant food and labeling them “not for human consumption” to avoid being prosecuted. The DEA says that users typically either inhale, inject or ingest the product and that it is sold for between $25 and $50 for a 50-milligram packet.
On October 22, the DEA banned three substances found in bath salts but that won’t solve the problem. The director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Virginia Poison Center in Richmond, Dr. Rutherfoord Rose told the New York Times, “These have been formulated by street chemists who try to stay one step ahead of law by tinkering with the molecular makeup of recently banned substances.”
The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that the number of calls placed to poison centers concerning exposure to bath salts climbed from 304 in 2010 to 6,138 in 2011. At 3.5 months into 2012, the number of calls sits at 228 so far this year.