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News > Bath Salts: Not a way to relax
Bath Salts: Not a way to relax

Posted 8/3/2012   Updated 8/3/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Ethan Morgan
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

8/3/2012 - RAF MILDENHALL, England  -- Recently the dangers of "bath salts" have been in the news, though these bath salts are not the kind that promote relaxation, but the ones that destroy lives.

According to information on the Drug Enforcement Administration's website, www.dea.gov, synthetic cathinones, better known as "bath salts," are designer drugs of the phenethylamine class which are structurally and pharmacologically similar to amphetamines. These synthetic cathinones, amphetamine, cathinones, methcathinones, and methamphetamines, are central nervous system stimulants.

"This chemical is a very dangerous synthetic substance that can seriously injure or kill," said Michael Dubroff, RAF Mildenhall Drug Demand Reduction program manager. "When consumed, the drug makes the user a danger to themselves and everyone around them."

According to Rusty Payne, DEA public affairs spokesman, many of the chemicals used to make these drugs have been made illegal in an attempt to stop the production of these drugs. However, even with these drugs banned the problem still exists because the chemists producing them regularly change the chemicals used so that they can be passed off as legal.

"This isn't something we can just enforce our way out of," said Payne. "The labs that are producing this stuff are completely uncontrolled and, after all is said and done, they could be putting anything into these drugs."

Side effects of these "bath salts," according to the DEA website, are palpitations, seizures, vomiting, sweating, headaches, discoloration of the skin, hypertension and hyper-reflexia. Adverse effects associated with consumption of these drugs as reported by abusers include nose-bleeds, teeth grinding, paranoia, hot flashes, dilated pupils, blurred vision, dry mouth/thirst, palpitations, muscular tension in the jaw and limbs, headaches, agitation, anxiety, tremors, and fever or sweating.

Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Vanilla Sky and Bliss are brand names for these drugs, all of which can be found anywhere from a convenient store, smoke shop or via the Internet. These drugs are labeled "not for human consumption," but they are still marketed to and bought by people who are looking for a "legal high."

"What's scary about these drugs is that anyone can get their hands on them," said Payne. "A 13- or 15-year-old kid can walk into a convenient store or go online and purchase them."

The DEA states that in 2010 the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported, poison control centers took 303 calls about synthetic cathinones. However, in just the first eight months of 2011, poison control centers have already received 4,720 calls relating to these products. These calls were received in at least 47 states and the District of Columbia. Individual state poison control centers have also reported an increase in the number of calls regarding "bath salts" from 2009 to 2011.

For more information on "bath salts" please visit www.dea.gov, www.webmd.com or contact your local Drug Demand Reduction office.

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