“‘Bath Salts”‘ are dangerous stimulants, cooked up in underground labs, they come in powder and crystal form like traditional bath salts. These drugs are sold on the internet, smoke shops, at convenience stores and some gas stations. They are marketed as bath salts or sometimes plant food and come with the disclaimer, “not for human consumption.” They’re not yet subject to regulation in many states even though they contain various potent chemicals.
“Bath Salts” can contain methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDV), mephedrone and pyrovalerone, which produce amphetamine-type reactions. The drugs are typically snorted, injected or smoked, the last two methods are associated with the most violent reactions in users.
Dr. Justin Strittmatter, an emergency room doctor at the Gulf Coast Medical Center in Panama City, Fla., said he had treated one man whose temperature had shot up to 107.5 degrees after snorting bath salts. “You could fry an egg on his forehead,” Dr. Strittmatter said. Other doctors described dangerously elevated blood pressure and heart rates and people so agitated that their muscles started to break down, releasing chemicals that led to kidney failure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (The CDC) has released the first report on 35 patients who appeared in Michigan Emergency Departments (EDs) from mid-November 2010 until the end of March 2011. One of the people who ingested the ‘bath salts’ was already dead upon arrival at the ED. The others suffered from severe agitation, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, paranoia and other psychotic symptoms including hallucinations and delusions. Some of these patients were violent. Half of those who came to the EDs required hospitalization, half of those were admitted to the intensive care unit.
The New York Times reports that at least 28 states have banned bath salts, which are typically sold for $25 to $50 per 50-milligram packet under names like Aura, Ivory Wave, Loco-Motion and Vanilla Sky. Most of the bans are in the South and the Midwest, where the drugs have grown quickly in popularity. But states like Maine, New Jersey and New York have also outlawed them after seeing evidence that their use was spreading.