It seems there is always a new dangerous drug on the horizon. This time the newest drug is posing as bath salts, say police. Yes, bath salts. While it seems humorous that someone would try to get high off bath salts the result is far from amusing. Most recently when a man got high on these dangerous chemicals, he then took his skinning knife and slit his face and stomach repeatedly. He survived, but authorities say others haven't been so lucky after snorting, injecting or smoking the powders.
Let me make it clear that these are not genuine bath salts that you would buy at Bath and Body Works, but instead a manufactured drug called MDPV and mephedrone which are made in a lab, and they aren't regulated by the FDA because they're not marketed for human consumption.
In fact, they are toxic for human consumption as the stimulants affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Using any of these chemicals will cause traumatic side effects, including severe headaches, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions, extreme agitation, high blood pressure, chest pain, and even suicidal thoughts.
Law enforcement agents and poison control centers say the advertised bath salts are an emerging menace in several U.S. states where authorities talk of banning their sale. What should you look for? Powders with names like; "Cloud 9", "White Cloud" or "Scarface"
Dr. Mark Ryan, director of Louisiana's poison control center, said he thinks state bans on the chemicals can be effective. He said calls about the chemicals have dropped sharply since Louisiana banned their sale in January.
In Louisiana, the bath salts were outlawed by an emergency order after the state's poison center received more than 125 calls in the last three months of 2010 involving exposure to the chemicals.
Not only is this drug threatening the health of those who take it but the brave police officers that respond to these often violent calls. In one case a 48 year old woman threatened her own mother with a machete due to the hallucinations. "It's taking five, six, seven, eight people to get these guys restrained," said law enforcement officers.
The drug is still being sold over the counter at head shops and other local retailers such as gas stations. So what kind of person would sell something so lethal, in same cases even to children as young as 12 years old-- a negligent retailer with no accountability for human life.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first dangerous drug I've run across that causes hallucinations, seizures and a disturbingly high number of wrongful deaths. Fentanyl, also known as the Duragesic pain patch is a legal prescription drug prescribed by doctors that has some of the same side effects even though it continues to be widely prescribed for chronic, unremitting pain. During 2009 in Hampton Roads alone, there were 4 deaths and 37 deaths in Virginia (VA) overall, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
So, why is Fentanyl such a dangerous drug? Because it is 100 times more powerful than morphine. The drug was introduced in the 1960s to treat severe pain but it started to be used by people who were suffering only moderate, or even minor, pain and the incredible power of the medication produced terrible results. There continue to be many accidental overdose deaths because either defects or slightly varying the frequency of applying the pain patch to the body can lead to unintended, sudden death.
We hope that retailers stop selling these dangerous "bath salt"chemicals immediately and likewise we have been writing blog articles about the dangers of fentanyl in the hope that many doctors stop prescribing Fentanyl as there are many safer pain medications than fentanyl pain patches as well.