A Louisiana woman lost much of her upper body to amputation after injecting an intoxicating product labeled as “bath salts.”Â This, along with other disfiguring injuries and even death is a very real danger of a new synthetic drug that is easily available.
Labeled as “bath salts, not for human consumption” and sold at convenience stores or “head shops.” They go by names like “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Vanilla Sky” or “Bliss.” The chemicals involved are Mephedrone, 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDV) and Methylone. They are purported to mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD, MDMA or methamphetamine.
In case you have not yet heard of this new drug “bath salts,” you are really not alone. Law enforcement agencies have been rushing to catch up with this new category of drug to get it banned from sale.
Bath salts are just recent additions to a lengthening list of new chemical substances that are being sold to unaware consumers. Law enforcement bodies struggle to keep up with the constant flow of new drugs, both in the US and Europe. All a chemist has to do is to change a formula slightly, give it a new name and it will escape the efforts of law enforcement to take it off the market. Brand new legislation must be compiled and passed to outlaw these new drugs.
The Drug Enforcement Agency intervened in the case of bath salts last year, using its federal powers to put a temporary ban on this drug until specific legislation could be passed to outlaw this list of drugs. Of course, the drugs could still be obtained by someone willing to buy them illicitly.
The effects these drugs have had on their users have been appalling. According to news sources, there was a 21-year-old man in Louisiana who snorted some of the drug and then tried to cut his own throat. He missed doing the job right and so shot himself in the head.
In Mississippi, a man was so terrified by the hallucinations that resulted from the drug that he sliced his face and stomach.
In Washington State, a man killed himself and his wife after killing his young son. The couple had bath salts on them when their bodies were found.
And in New Orleans, a woman attended a party and injected bath salts into her arm. Two days later, her arm was painful and red and she went to the hospital. She was given antibiotics and responded for a day or so when suddenly her condition worsened. At this point, she finally admitted the bath salts use a few days earlier. Doctors prepared her for surgery as the reddening spread rapidly and other severe symptoms appeared. The damage spread so fast that by the time she made it to surgery, doctors had to remove her entire arm, shoulder, collarbone and breast to save her life.
There are so many unpredictable aspects of substance abuse that a person takes his (or her) life in his hands when he abuses drugs. Cocaine can be cut with veterinary wormer, heroin can be contaminated or unexpectedly possess a purity that makes it easy to overdose. A substance sold as Ecstasy may contain no Ecstasy at all but be quickly-addictive methamphetamine. And new Synthetic drugs keep hitting the market that have dangerous, even fatal effects.
Becky Winslow is a freelance writer and consultant forÂ NarcononÂ where her primary goal is to educate young adults of the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. Winslow has been drug free for 3 years now and writing is her anti-drug.