Bath Salts Use Linked to Paranoia, Overdose and Suicide

2011-01-28 09:13
Bath Salt

Use of so-called “bath salts” won’t do anything for your skin but these potent synthetic stimulants can put users in a state of paranoia that leads to an overdose or even suicide. Bath salts are the latest designer drug, and the small packets of powder are readily available and still legal in most of the United States.

Bath salts are sold online and in convenience stores

Packets of the deadly bath salts say “Not for human consumption” and tell consumers that the powder should not be used as snuff. But these warnings apparently have served as invitations for those who want to experience the stimulatory effects of the drugs in these powders, which act on the neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain that regulate signals between the cells).

The ingredients in these products labeled as “bath salts” typically include mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), and users either snort, inject, or smoke the powder. These chemicals can cause paranoia, hallucinations, a dangerously rapid heart rate, and suicidal thoughts.

Although a recent search on the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s website did not turn up any information on bath salts, that will likely change in the near future as the number of individuals, mostly young people, turn to this drug. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, their centers took 235 calls related to the use of bath salts in 2010, but there have been 214 calls, or about 8 per day, already in 2011.

According to Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Center, individuals who have taken bath salts have shown up “off the wall. Some of them looked like a true psychotic break,” he was quoted in the Los Angeles Times. Louisiana has had the most cases of bath salts poisoning.

Advertisement

After more than 160 cases related to bath salts were reported in Louisiana, the state’s Governor, Bobby Jindal, instituted an emergency ban on the chemical ingredients, and law officers confiscated packages of bath salts from stores around the state. The state Legislature needs to act to make the ban permanent. Other states, including Florida, North Dakota, Mississippi, Kentucky, and others, have already banned or are taking steps to ban bath salt ingredients.

The drugs in bath salts are made from a substance called cathinone, which is derived from an African plant. Both MDPV and mephedrone are made in a lab, and although the Drug Enforcement Administration has listed MDPV and mephedrone as chemicals of concern, they are still legal at the federal level and in states where they have not been banned.

In Mississippi, Neil Brown took bath salts and then repeatedly slit his face and stomach with a skinning knife. Brown survived, but others have not been so fortunate. In Louisiana, Dickie Sanders III experienced intermittent psychotic episodes and then shot himself in the head after snorting “Cloud Nine” bath salts.

The bath salts have already been banned in Britain, Ireland, and other countries. In the United States, it remains to be seen how many more cases of paranoia, overdose, and suicide will occur before they are banned in the states. Even when they are banned, experience tells us that the overdoses and suicides will still go on.

SOURCES:
Los Angeles Times, Jan 28, 2011
Washington Post, Jan. 22, 2011
Image source: Flickr

Ads by Google

Comments

As an ems provider I have herd many recent possible overdoses on bath salts. Does anyone know what kind of treatment plans are out there for these overdosedaside to the obvious abc's and basic life saving interventions?
have a baby! and a loving girlfriend lol just dont touch the shit
if love for another could keep people off drugs there wouldnt b such an epidemic.if a mothers love for their child isnt enough, what is?u have to learn to love yourself.using is a defense,an escape,a way to cope.until the reason to quit is for yourself it will never last.im a recovering heroin addict,im 25 and was on the needle for 8 years.i went thru the dare drug education program in middle school and the motto "just say no" is a crock, but I want to let all those out there struggling to get or stay clean that u cannot fail unless u quit
I thought i could get my dad to quit doing the stuff. He couldnt im assuming theres no way out. he took his life recently and it will happen to many more doue to the wide interent sellers. please sign my petition to ban
This drug called " bath salts " is it the same bath salts that people use in their bath to relieve tired achy muscles ?
No, the illegal bath salts are different; they contain psychoactive substances and are sold under names such as White Lightning, Scarface, Hurricane Charlie, Red Dove and Ivory Wave.
Hi, I'm currently a user and in the process of treatment. I have only been a user for two months and I've seen, heard, felt, and thought some of the craziest ideas of my life. And the addiction is like no other. I've almost committed suicide three times. Once from having nobody believe me about all the bugs I was cutting out of my skin and putting them in the sink for everyone to see. There was nothing there but meaty chunks. The other two were because of the overwhelming paranoia of always being "followed and watched". This stuff is no joke and all I wanna do now is help others get off of this. Here are some signs to look for: the pink under fingernails is white, sweaty hands and feet, extremely fast weight loss, not eating, staying for days or u don't notice that then when they do sleep its for like 18 hours, constant but extreme mood swings, and memory loss. Hope this helps.
Thank you for sharing your experience, and best of luck with your treatment!
Two years ago I met and got engaged to the man of my dreams. There was an age difference, and he was nothing like anyone I had been attracted to before. We had an unbreakable connection. The future was brighter than the sun. I didn't think it was a big deal when you told me he had occasionally used drugs to boost energy and stay fit. I thought what could be so bad about a packet of powder sold in a boutique right next door to where i worked. Sure we had fun time to time staying up and laughing telling stories all night long a few occasions since we werent a social couple. What I did not realize is that he was snorting this stuff every single day going on months. His behavior turned a bit odd and controlling and it was deemed acceptable to me because he was apologetic and wanted to attend anger management. He was going through a rough patch in life and as usual it would pass...it didn't. Over the period of under a year, I watched the person I knew best who could never do anything but make me smile turn into an enraged confused hurtful paranoid psychotic and extremely violent person. He borrowed, stole money, credit cards, everything I had trusted him with to fund this habit and I'm talking hundreds of dollars a week. When is stopped being sold locally he did anything by whatever means no matter who was in his way to get more and more. He became physically violent and threatened to kill me for things I hadnt done but he was convinced of. He saw phone numbers always outgoing on my cell which were never once there. He started tracking my every move and accused me of going on vacation out of state with another man. What he didnt realize is that it was him on the actual vacation. I somehow never realized the drug was causing this. I sought psychiatric help, even hospitalization for him. He pretended to take psych meds and I swore to be at his side through what I saw as a nervous breakdown. He often "quit" using but I would find out that was never the case. He became careless mindless vindictive and pure evil. He reported to authorities one time after an apparent overdose that I had tried to poison him and I was the addict and also a drug dealer. He believed 100%you there were men coming to the home at all hours, when during months I had not a single visitor. I had my two young daughters, who loved him and basically looked up to him as a Dad and all around loving caring friend, removed from my custody tempoarily until I could get away from my REALLY SOON TO BE husband. I had a miscarriage and he did not react at all to it. In fact he abandoned me left me bleeding without a vehicle then turned off my cell phone for days I couldnt get help. Finally the court system came through with a PFA allowing me to be a Mom again. I got away with my life but several devastating injuries. Since I had no choice but to leave him he was left with no clue how to care for himself. He got multiple traffic violations, hit a child on a bike with his vehicle, lost health insurance, car insurance, his family disowned him. He was evicted from his apartment but sneaks in to keep living there without any utilities. He developed a seemingly terminal bout with a severe respiratory infection. I get word quite often that now he is trying to overdose but ends up in the hospital always using the same story, someone is trying to kill him. My birthday was this week so I saw him to make one final request, that he go to rehab and somehow I will find a miraculous way to fund the stay at a high end facility. All he had to do was make one phone call and he could have began the road to recovery and possibly regain our friendship or relationship. The call was never made and the very day after promising he would stop everything to save his own life, he showed up under the influence violating the PFA so psychotic no words out of his mouth made sense. It was theraputic to type this story and I do hope that anyone curious about this substance found the answers they were looking for but hoping not to find. If the life I want to save is not spared, I truly hope that perhaps somehow what happened to me can help aid in saving someone else out there.
Two years ago I met and got engaged to the man of my dreams. There was an age difference, and he was nothing like anyone I had been attracted to before. We had an unbreakable connection. The future was brighter than the sun. I didn't think it was a big deal when you told me he had occasionally used drugs to boost energy and stay fit. I thought what could be so bad about a packet of powder sold in a boutique right next door to where i worked. Sure we had fun time to time staying up and laughing telling stories all night long a few occasions since we werent a social couple. What I did not realize is that he was snorting this stuff every single day going on months. His behavior turned a bit odd and controlling and it was deemed acceptable to me because he was apologetic and wanted to attend anger management. He was going through a rough patch in life and as usual it would pass...it didn't. Over the period of under a year, I watched the person I knew best who could never do anything but make me smile turn into an enraged confused hurtful paranoid psychotic and extremely violent person. He borrowed, stole money, credit cards, everything I had trusted him with to fund this habit and I'm talking hundreds of dollars a week. When is stopped being sold locally he did anything by whatever means no matter who was in his way to get more and more. He became physically violent and threatened to kill me for things I hadnt done but he was convinced of. He saw phone numbers always outgoing on my cell which were never once there. He started tracking my every move and accused me of going on vacation out of state with another man. What he didnt realize is that it was him on the actual vacation. I somehow never realized the drug was causing this. I sought psychiatric help, even hospitalization for him. He pretended to take psych meds and I swore to be at his side through what I saw as a nervous breakdown. He often "quit" using but I would find out that was never the case. He became careless mindless vindictive and pure evil. He reported to authorities one time after an apparent overdose that I had tried to poison him and I was the addict and also a drug dealer. He believed 100%you there were men coming to the home at all hours, when during months I had not a single visitor. I had my two young daughters, who loved him and basically looked up to him as a Dad and all around loving caring friend, removed from my custody tempoarily until I could get away from my REALLY SOON TO BE husband. I had a miscarriage and he did not react at all to it. In fact he abandoned me left me bleeding without a vehicle then turned off my cell phone for days I couldnt get help. Finally the court system came through with a PFA allowing me to be a Mom again. I got away with my life but several devastating injuries. Since I had no choice but to leave him he was left with no clue how to care for himself. He got multiple traffic violations, hit a child on a bike with his vehicle, lost health insurance, car insurance, his family disowned him. He was evicted from his apartment but sneaks in to keep living there without any utilities. He developed a seemingly terminal bout with a severe respiratory infection. I get word quite often that now he is trying to overdose but ends up in the hospital always using the same story, someone is trying to kill him. My birthday was this week so I saw him to make one final request, that he go to rehab and somehow I will find a miraculous way to fund the stay at a high end facility. All he had to do was make one phone call and he could have began the road to recovery and possibly regain our friendship or relationship. The call was never made and the very day after promising he would stop everything to save his own life, he showed up under the influence violating the PFA so psychotic no words out of his mouth made sense. It was theraputic to type this story and I do hope that anyone curious about this substance found the answers they were looking for but hoping not to find. If the life I want to save is not spared, I truly hope that perhaps somehow what happened to me can help aid in saving someone else out there.
I tried to get my husband of 12 years, best friend and partner of 15 years to read this six days prior to his death on August 19, 2012. He left behind myself and our two kids. We were turned away time and time again from hospitals, treatment facilities, his bags packed in tears trying to get help to get his life back. I read your story and still read it and cry each time. Your reality was one that many of my friends and family would not believe as my own. Our story is almost identical. I just hope and pray that he received the help he needs, before it is too late. Your story breaks my heart, we have lived a hard life because of this addicition and illness carried by this drug. I pray that you are happy.
I am so, so, so sorry to hear of your loss. In reality you should be relieved that his suffering is over. When i read the reply I lterally felt like i had been stabbed in the heart. My fiance is still alive, but most days I look at him now, compared to the days he talked of suicide, and I don't honestly know if I am glad to say he made it. Even though he quit using the drug three months ago, he has never returned to reality. The brain damage is permanent. We have to live seperately due to the PFA which was extended two more years, so I have pretty much given up on the thought of our wedding. But I will never move on, and i will be here waiting if he ever gets better. I have to struggle with the balance of raising my girls alone with the pain of the injuries I suffer from when he was trying to kill me. I am not angry. I forgive him because he was sick, he had and still has absolutely no idea what he is doing. Most days it's impossible to make it through the day without crying or having to lock myself in a room so my kids dont know how bad I am. They ask of him constantly, will he ever come home? Will he ever not be sick? I am out of answers. I have to do alll of his paperwork applying for disability, trying to pay medical bills, trying to even get his health insurance renewed. He refuses to sign a power of attorney so paperwork that normally would take 10 minutes is drawn out for weeks and months. He ha sno one in his family that will take him in, so he lives in the same run down apartment with no electric, no heat, no hot water. His comp checks barely make it to pay my own bills an I'm terrified of losing my home, it's my dream house. One day there we were my dreams had come true, but now here we are still apart. He has a heart condition, and much other damage from his extreme addiction. I get to see him maybe once a week, the last time he had one of his anger outburts and it went on for hours i had to hida on my own front porch until finally the cops took him back to jail. I have absolutely no idea how to get him out of trouble and into a hospital that will actually help him. Almost every rehab I have calle din the country says I am wasting my time and they won't accept him at any price, it's too risky for the staff, and theres no known recovery when you get past a certain point. His relatives are nice to me outright but I hear all the rumors they blame me, they dont understand I risked my life alkmost every day to even get him this far. I am not embarrassed or ashamed, I just truly love him but I have to try to accept the fact we will probably never be together. I have to spend the rest of his days outcast from his life of misery and pain and confusion, watching and not being able to help.
Legalize cocaine