Pulling the Plug on Bath Salts

You may have been like some friends of mine this Christmas and pleasantly unwrapped a lovely gift of homemade bath salts. While most would receive this gift and immediately dream of an evening in the bath, my friend and I immediately were alerted. And while this particular gift was harmless and nights of soaking in the tub will follow, we still approached the subject cautiously. Because the bath salts we think of as drug testers in Kansas City have nothing to do with bubbles.

What are “Bath Salts?”

Sure, some bath salts are exactly what you’re thinking of – scented crystals that dissolve into warm bath water and offer thirty minutes of relaxation. However if your teens start coming around talking about “bath salts,” it’s likely that they’re not exactly talking about grandma’s lotions. “Bath salts” refer to synthetic drugs that many are smoking, snorting and inhaling. The drugs start off giving a stimulant high but have also produced complications of hallucinogens, paranoia, seizures, violence, coma and even death. Side effects are becoming very scary and deadly. Some doctors are calling bath salts much more dangerous than some of the “traditional” drugs. These drugs are getting so much attention, the DEA and several states are on the move to permanently ban.

Bath Salt Slang Terms

“Bath salts” is one of the most common terms used to refer to easily accessed synthetic drugs containing MDPV, mephedrone, and methylone. They may also be known as “plant food.” Some manufacturers have produced bath salts under product names such as “Ivory Wave”, “Purple Wave”, “Vanilla Sky” or “Bliss.” Whatever the case, they can be found in many head shops and sold in little packets on the shelves, which might be one of the most shocking things of all.

Easy Access to Bath Salts Provides Immediate Dangers

This Time Magazine article on the evils of bath salts from Dr. Oz, but even more importantly his take on it as a father, is chilling. It’s a must-read for anyone, and especially any parent suspicious of bath salts.

In the article, Dr. Oz tells his story of how easy it was to gain access to the popular “bath salts” on the market. Walk into a store, drop just a little bit of cash, and in no time you hold the power to have a dangerous high. And what might be even scarier than the high (although it’s landing users in the ER each day) is how easily kids can get these drugs. As he says, they are “legal, cheap and very deadly.” It’s as simple as buying baseball cards these days – only instead of $5 for some collectors cards, you pay around $25 and get a dangerous high. Walk into a store, ask for “bath salts” or “plant food” and if you happened to go into the right store (many times a head shop), you’ll walk out with a handful of powerful synthetic drugs.

Banning Bath Salts

The skyrocketing numbers of ER visits and calls to poison control due to bath salts has begun to alarm officials and state governments. Many are on the move to ban substances used to produce these harmful synthetic drugs. Just a few months ago, Ohio moved to ban “bath salts,” pleasing many decision makers, parents and doctors. Not far behind, the DEA also banned the bath salt chemicals for a year this past October. The DEA’s ban is active for twelve months so that officials can study the effects of the drug with the possibility of a permanent ban after studies are completed.

Bath Salts Ban Close to Home

For us, we’re thankful to be located near states that have quickly noticed the growing problem with synthetic drugs and placed a ban even before the well-publicized Ohio and DEA bans. Situated near the state line of Missouri & Kansas, our drug testing facility proudly supported these movements:

Missouri’s ban on Bath Salts

Kansas’s ban on Bath Salts

Bath salts are a quickly growing, very dangerous problem – and especially among teens. Their affordability and easy access are creating danger. If you suspect your teen is using bath salts, do not wait to take action and get help. Immediately discuss this with your teen, have him/her tested, and get a plan of action in place to get bath salts out of your teen’s hands.

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