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Albright College

TIP OF THE MONTH

MAY

The Dangers of “Bath Salts”

“Bath Salts” are new synthetic drugs that are extremely dangerous yet very popular among teens and young adults. “Bath Salts” are not actual bath salts one would use in a bath; the substances in these products have nothing to do with actual bath salts. With names such as Ivory Wave, Red Dove, Cloud 9, Vanilla Sky, Bliss, Hurricane Charlie, White Lightening, Charge Plus and Scarface, these names are deceiving and lure customers into buying them. The product also has a “not for human consumption” label on the packaging which makes it increasingly hard to have laws against them and have them banned.

These “drugs” are sold online, in local convenience stores, discount tobacco outlets, gas stations, pawnshops, tattoo parlors, truck stops, among other locations and have reportedly been sold since 2008. According to the DEA, they are highly accessible and prices range from $25 to $50 per 50-milligram packet. They are sold in a package the size of a tea bag, which is obviously not enough for a bath. The product is snorted, injected and smoked which produces a high more dangerous than a meth-like or cocaine high which can cause long-term mental and physical health problems or even death.

Why are they so dangerous?

The reason “Bath salts” and other substances used to get high are so dangerous is because they are not governed by the FDA, as prescription drugs are and thus the user is unaware of the actual contents of the drug. This means the side effects and consequences of misusing these products are unknown. The active ingredients in this product are mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerorie (MDPV). Within minutes of being consumed, they cause hallucinations, agitation, paranoia, rapid heart rates, suicidal thoughts and serious violent behavior. In 2010, Poison Control Centers in the United States received 235 calls regarding bath salts. In March 2011, the U.S. Poison Centers received around1,500 calls concerning bath salts.

There have been deaths due to these drugs because of the suicidal thoughts when abusers take the substance. According to a Los Angeles Times article, a parent noticed their son behaving oddly. The son had signs of psychosis which lead to him injuring himself. They later found their son dead with a gun by his side. He overdosed on “Bath Salts”. The danger with these “drugs” is that they are highly addictive; the abusers tend to slash themselves, injure themselves or others and become very violent. When abusers of the substance are sent to the emergency room, the sedative used to treat other drug overdoses does not work for “bath salts”. Abusers tend to experience suicidal thoughts. They tend to experience long-term effects after using the drug and permanent damage of the brain can occur.

Long term effects of this drug could be permanent including constant suicidal thoughts and paranoia. We currently do not have enough information about this drug. The drug has recently been banned in states such as Florida, Louisiana and North Dakota due to serious crimes involved with abusers of the drug. The European Union, Australia, Canada and Israel have also banned the substances. This is a very dangerous drug.Try to get these drugs banned and off the store shelves because it is becoming a serious problem for our youth.
Sources taken from:

To learn more information, please call the Gable Health and Counseling Center at (610)921-7532.

- Alethea Mohr ‘12

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