Curb Market Cocaine: Snorting “Bath Salt”
As the penalties become more and more severe for illegal drug use, people come up with desperate and often extremely dangerous ways to get high. A surge in emergency room visits across the US has put police and lawmakers in a panic over the newest designer drug on the market, “Bath Salt.” This party drug that originated in Europe is a crystalline powder that is sold in shiny, colorful packets to anyone with $20 to blow.
Calls to poison control centers have multiplied tremendously over the past few weeks and despite the warnings from the DEA and health officials, the sales of the product continue to rise. Publicity caused by reports of psychological trauma and violent behavior only seems to increase the popularity of the drug.
Users find this product in local curb markets, truck stops, and readily available through internet “head shops” throughout the US. Labeled as “Not for human consumption,” this drug is advertised as a bath salt, and has become the new drug of choice for many Americans. Despite efforts to ban this extremely dangerous drug, a lack of Federal regulations makes the production and shipping extremely difficult to control. No arrests have yet been made, yet many law enforcement agencies have begun seizing the drug from shops and sellers.
“Bath Salts” mimic the effects of MDMA (ecstasy) and cocaine, and is often snorted, smoked, injected, or even ingested with water. The active chemical methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is a stimulant which can produce severe side effects including paranoia, hallucinations, and often violent behavior. Multiple reports have been made from hospitals across the US of people arriving in a delirium after taking the drug, often experiencing seizures or suffering from brutal self inflicted injuries.
Bath Salt is sold under alluring names such as Ivory Wave, Red Dove, and Vanilla Sky, Scarface, White Dove, Charge +, White Lightning, Hurricane Charlie, and Ocean. Many states throughout the US have enacted emergency bans on the drug after a wave of horrifying emergency room and psych ward admissions directly related to its use. Despite this, the availability of the drug has not been diminished.
More disturbing is the fact that there is no age restriction for the purchase of this drug. Numerous reports have been made of teenagers under the age of 18 purchasing this drug from gas stations without question. As long as the drug has not been scheduled by the government, no age limit laws can be set in place.
A large part of the market for this new drug has been filled by active duty soldiers at military bases throughout the US. Drug tests currently used by the US armed forces do not include tests for “Bath Salts.” This is an enormous concern, considering the violent psychological shifts that can occur both during and after a user has ingested the chemical. Hospitals have reported multiple cases of people cutting themselves, injuries related to violent outbursts in the home, and even attempted murder and suicide.