With a sharp rise in incidents involving the synthetic drug "bath salts", the following information is being provided to help parents and others become informed about this dangerous substance.
Though the name may sound harmless, bath salts are a dangerous synthetic stimulant that carry the risk of easy overdose, hallucinations and even death. These are NOT the traditional bath salts used for water softening or aroma-therapy purposes.
OTHER NAMES FOR IT: Brand names include Blizzard, Blue Silk, Charge+, Ivory Snow, Ivory Wave, Ocean Burst, Pure Ivory, Purple Wave, Snow Leopard, Stardust, Vanilla Sky, White Dove, White Knight, White Lightning, Bliss and Amped.
WHAT IS IT? A synthetic, stimulant powder product that contains amphetamine-like chemicals, including mephedrone, which may have a high risk for overdose. Because the drug is new and some of the contents unknown, using it in any way is highly dangerous. Right now, bath salts are illegal in a growing number of U.S. states, including West Virginia, as well as foreign countries like Canada, Australia and Great Britain. THE RISKS Between January and February 2011, there were over 250 calls to U.S. poison centers related to bath salts. This is well over the 236 calls received for all of 2010. Bath salts are a dangerous drug whose full risks and effects are still unknown. What doctors at poison centers have reported is that bath salts can cause rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, chest pains, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia and delusions. LONG-TERM EFFECTS Bath salts are a relatively new drug, so it's hard to know the full long-term effects, but they seem to have many similarities to methamphetamine (meth). Taking a lot of it for a long time can lead to emotional and physical "crash-like" feelings of depression, anxiety and intense cravings for more of the drug.
THE BOTTOM LINE Since it contains amphetamine-like chemicals, bath salts will always carry the risk of stroke, heart attack and sudden death. It may be legal in some states, but so is rat poison, and you probably wouldn't want to ingest that either.