Countless law enforcement agents and researchers have sited “bath salts” as the latest drug for which parents need to watch out for.
While Rudy Eugene, the perpetrator in the Miami face-eating espisode, has not received the toxicology reports, many experts have said that he displayed the “classic” signs of someone who had used the drug. Many have taken off their clothes, become violent with an almost “super human” strength, suffer from hallucinations, delusions or have behaved in an irrational paranoid manner while being high on this powdered substance.
“Bath salts” are technically known as a drug called MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone) mixed with Mephedrone. Users say its effect is much like that of methamphetamine. The substance is smoked, injected or snorted. After getting high, the users body temperature rises. It also raises heart rate and blood pressure. Additional effects of the drug includes hallucinations, agitation and paranoia. The results and cravings for more may last for days due to which there are increasing risks of suicide.
The DEA banned the sale of the chemicals used to make the drug stating that it was an “imminent threat to public safety” in 2011. As bath salts are inexpensive compared to cocaine and ecstasy, the drug has become popular among teens and adults alike. Many states like Louisiana banned bath salts in an attempt to criminalize the drug. Still, bath salts are legally sold in many places like head shops, convenience stores and even liquor stores.
How can you tell if your child is taking bath salts?
Good guidelines for parents on this drug are listed on Drugfree.org. Here are a few to keep in mind:
Be on the look-out for small packets similar to those that contain moist towelettes. The packet might say “For adults only”, “Not illegal”, “Not for human consumption.” “Stain remover”, “insect repellent”, “plant food” and obviously also sold as “Bath salts”. Some commercial names include “Thunda”, “White Snow” and “White Lightning”. The drug usually does not show up on standard drug tests and is perceived to be safer than methamphetamine, which is why teens are gravitating toward this drug in record numbers. The speed of onset is about 15 minutes, and the high can last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours—or longer once it is taken. Call 911 or take your child to a hospital immediately if you observe that your child is displaying signs of paranoia, disturbance or has an increased temperature or heart rate.
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