Monday, January 24, 2011

Are "Bath Salts" the new designer drug?

There is an old joke that asks, "Who was the first person to look at a slimy snail and think, 'That looks tasty!'" But human ingenuity knows no bounds when it is trying to fill it's belly. And unfortunately, it appears it is equally brilliant in finding ways to destroy the brain. Consider this: evidence that next wave in the Drug War is bath salts. I can't imagine anyone willingly snorting something as random as this, "just to see what happens". And yet, this scourge is so widespread that many states are considering emergency bans.

Sold under such names as Ivory Wave, Bliss, White Lightning and Hurricane Charlie, the chemicals can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates and suicidal thoughts, authorities say. The chemicals are in products sold legally at convenience stores and on the Internet as bath salts and even plant foods. However, they aren't necessarily being used for the purposes on the label...

Ryan said cathinone, the parent substance of the drugs, comes from a plant grown in Africa and is regulated. He said MDPV and mephedrone are made in a lab, and they aren't regulated because they're not marketed for human consumption. The stimulants affect neurotransmitters in the brain, he said.

"It causes intense cravings for it. They'll binge on it three or four days before they show up in an ER. Even though it's a horrible trip, they want to do it again and again," Ryan said.

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