Psychology Today bath salts
A few weeks ago a story hit main stream media about a cannibal attack in Miami. On May 28, police shot a man who was found eating a homeless man alive, consuming approximately 75% of his face. What on earth would drive someone to such gruesome insanity?
According to police the answer could be found in bath salts. No, I'm not talking about your everyday bath luxury; this type of bath salts has nothing to do with bathing and everything to do with a highly addictive and deadly substance. And just who's consuming bath salts? Teens and young adults, of course. While nothing has been officially released pointing to this drug, based on the evidence of this terrible crime, Miami police suspect bath salts were the culprit.
What Are Bath Salts?
Bath salts are comprised of two synthetic compounds, mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (say that three times fast) aka MDPV. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration was alerted to their presence in 2009 when they showed up in lab tests on substances seized by law enforcement officers in six states. Mephedrone and MDPV are stimulants that act much like Methamphetamine and Cocaine, but produce the added effect of hallucinations.
A bath salts packet contains white crystalline powder, and they're labeled with warnings like "novelty only" and "not for human consumption." While being marketed as your typical luxury bath salts, of which they are not, they are being sold under the names: Red Dove, Blue Silk, Zoom, Bloom, Cloud Nine, Ocean Snow, Lunar Wave, Vanilla Sky, Ivory Wave, White Lightning, Scarface, Hurricane Charlie, and many others. Even though they are labeled "not for human consumption" health officials report that bath salts are being injected, smoked, crushed and snorted like cocaine and even put into beverages.
Where Can You Get Them?
Bath salts aren't hard to find in states that haven't banned them. They can be found on the Internet, in convenience stores, and in smoke shops. They are relatively inexpensive and sell for about $25 to $50 a packet, or as I found in my internet search you may be able to find a buy one get one free.
What Are the Side Effects?
Experts report that the psychotic side effects of these highly addictive bath salts can mirror those of LSD, Ecstasy, PCP, Cocaine, and Meth, and include the following:
- Profuse sweating
- Intense Cravings
- Accelerated heart rate
- Chest pains
Currently, little medical research has been done on bath salts and so far they've not been tested on humans. The medical community isn't 100 percent certain how these compounds are metabolized or how they react with other drugs. Since the ingredients in bath salts aren't listed on the package, users have no idea what they're ingesting. Scary reality!
Are They Illegal?
According to the website of a bath salts manufacturer, certain products marketed as bath salts are banned in all states. Another website stated that it's only banned in 20 states (this number is going up daily). And in some states bath salts are completely legal, depending on the product's chemical makeup.