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Bath salts, the new cheap high! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Don Allen Jr.   
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 12:23 PM

As an alcohol and drug counselor I have seen the devastation of alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs on individuals and families across the Tri-state. However, a new drug has hit the region that I don’t believe any of us were aware could have the impact on our young people and their families.

The name is deceiving, “Bath Salt”. When I heard the name, I thought “why would anyone use Epson salt and how would that get you high?”

Sadly the name is deceiving, the drug is a chemical compound made up of many different chemicals many that may be found in your own home. Bath Salts is a name used to describe a number of designer drugs that are being produced in chemical labs, often times in individuals home, garages, or barns.

There is currently no regulation on these drugs and the chemicals used in each of them varies depending on the person making it. Bath salts contain manmade chemicals related to amphetamines that often consist of methylenedioxypyrovalerone, MDPV, mephedrone, and methylone, also known as substituted cathinones

The synthetic powder is sold legally online and in drug paraphernalia stores under a variety of names, such as “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Red Dove,” “Blue Silk,” “Zoom,” “Bloom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Ocean Snow,” “Lunar Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” “Scarface,” and “Hurricane Charlie.”

Bath salts can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected: The reason the drug is so popular among teens and young professionals is because it cannot be smelled by drug dogs and will not show up in drug screens, so often they become the drug of choice for those attempting to avoid detection from parents, employers, or probation/parole officers.

Several of my patients over the past couple of years have stated it makes them feel great, invincible, and able to handle anything. The high is very quick just like other drugs. However, they also admit that is only the beginning then they face the side effects which could include agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, increased pulse, high blood pressure, and suicidal thinking/behavior.

Suicidal thinking/behavior may last even after the stimulatory effects of the drugs have worn off.

At least for MDPV, there have been a few highly publicized suicides a few days after their use.

As parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends what can we do?

There are three things I always share with family, teachers, and friends.
(1) Watch for any change in behavior, friends, and the amount of money that person is spending, and grades or work performances changes.
(2) Do the research yourself on drugs, what they are, and how they affect people.  Personal note here: Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Use only trusted sites. Medical journals, National Institute of Health, and WebMD are always good places to start.
(3) If you suspect a teenager or even an adult is using, get yourself help first, don’t carry the burden or the battle personally. There are some great organizations out there to help. Call your local Mental Health Agency for recommendation.

Rev. Don Allen Jr. PhD, LICDC-CS; Through HIM Ministries