Teens Getting High on Bath SaltsBy
The White House Office of the National Drug Control Policy just released an alarming statement pertaining to the abuse of bath salts as a way to get high. Products such as Ivory Wave, Red Dove, Purple Haze or Vanilla Sky are readily available for purchase by both teens and adults. Sold as bath salts or plant food, the packages warn against inhalation or consumption by humans. As the names would infer, however, the tongue-in-cheek purpose of the contents a little less benign.
The brightly colored packages can be picked up at the local convenience store, or delivered to your door via the internet. The chemical composition of the contents, includes things like MDPV (3, 4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) or mephedrone, a powerful stimulant similar to methamphetamine. The crystals can be eaten or smoked, and produce a high similar to that of Ecstasy.
Unfortunately, the side effects can be fatal. Already in 2011, there have been over 250 calls to poison control centers regarding these products. That pace drastically exceeds the total of 236 cases received in all of 2010. Chest pains, high blood pressure, hallucinations and paranoia are just a few of the bad sides. In one case, reported on by the Associated Press (click link for story), a man high on “bath salts” used a knife to slash open his own face and stomach. Another slit his own throat, and several others are suspected of committing violent crimes while under the influence of the synthetic stimulants.
While the data is still coming in, it seems that internet marketing and social contagiousness has fueled the fire. The overriding message for parents: Talk to your loved ones. Don’t assume that they know the dangers of abusing these legal products. Be the voice of reason and help guide them through the pressures of commercial marketing, social-media propaganda and misguided peer influences.
The best defense against drug use is not fear or shelter alone. Give them the knowledge, and focus on the development of strong internal assets. Foster trust with your child and help them develop the character traits necessary to lead a healthy, influential life, drug free life!