Bath Salts…The name is decieving, but the Drug Enfocement Agency (DEA) has caught on. Just because the package says “not for human consumption” does not mean our clients are not using the drug. But it also doesn’t mean that we are not aware of it’s danger. It is true that we are still not completely educated on the negative impact the drug will have or the repercussions of it to our clients after they have stopped using. Enough damage has been done to prompt government action:
“DEA Moves to Emergency Control Synthetic Stimulants Agency Will Study Whether To Permanently Control Three Substances
SEP 07 -- WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is using its emergency scheduling authority to temporarily control three synthetic stimulants (Mephedrone , 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and Methylone). This action was necessary to protect the public from the imminent hazard posed by these dangerous chemicals. Except as authorized by law, this action will make possessing and selling these chemicals, or the products that contain them, illegal in the U.S. for at least one year while the DEA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further study whether these chemicals should be permanently controlled.” (The DEA Website).
This means that the chemicals used to create Bath Salts are now designated as Schedule I substances and this is the most restrictive of the categories, where they find there are not acceptable medical uses for these chemicals in the United States. Such restriction means there is no tolerance for the manufacturing, distribution or selling of these chemicals anywhere in the country. When this restriction was released, 33 states had already taken action against the use of these drugs in attempts to increase public safety.
Bath Salts are a synthetic drug like cocaine and the chemical base makes it like methamphetamine. The director of the Louisiana Poison Control reports that those on Bath Salts appeared to have had a true psychotic break. The symptoms of this break are not just experienced by the users while under the influence, but also days later.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 35 persons were seen in a Michigan emergency department after taking bath salts within a four-month span from November 2010 to March 2011 in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Of the 35 people seen, 17 were hospitalized and one was dead on arrival. Of the 17 people hospitalized, 9 were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 3 were admitted directly to the psychiatric unit. Four people who were admitted to the ICU or general floor were later transferred to the psychiatric unit. (SAMSHA).
The story of Dickie Sanders’ suicide after taking Bath Salts is what really caught my attention to understanding just how serious this drug is affecting our communities. Sanders was a 21-year old BMX biker that tried Bath Salts, began having extreme hallucinations and eventually committed suicide 3 days later by shooting himself in the head. His father found him dead. Please take the time to look at the video on abcnews.go.com