Bath salts are a designer drug that is being misused and causing dangerous poisoning in emergency rooms across the United States. Bath salts are not, as the name implies, healthy bath additives, but dangerous synthetic cathinones. Cathinones are stimulants found in the khat plant, which grow in East Africa and southern Arabia. These mind-altering drugs are powerful central nervous system stimulants that block the reuptake of dopamine and noradrenaline.
Oyster salt can have serious, even fatal side effects. However, the drug has a similar effect to methamphetamine (speed). It is often sold on the street as a cheap alternative to other stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine.
What are the ingredients in bath salts?
The most common ingredient is methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDPV), but other stimulants such as mephedrone and pyrovalerone may also be present.1 MDPV belongs to the phenylethylamine group and is structurally similar to cathinone, an alkaloid from the khat plant that has a similar structure and effect to amphetamine, which is native to East Africa and Saudi Arabia in a bushy form. Mephedrone is believe to cause high levels of overdose.
Is bath salts illegal in the US?
I 2011. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has announced an emergency plan to control the chemicals MDPV, mephedrone and methylone in bath salts.
- US President Barack Obama signed a law banning mephedrone, methyl ketone and MDPV and placing them on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
- Under no circumstance may Schedule I substance be sale or prescribe for medical purpose.
- The Act also bans all future chemical compounds intended to mimic the effects of bath salts.
- It is illegal to possess or sell these chemicals or products containing them in the United States.
How is bath salt used?
Users usually inhale the substance, but they can also spray it, drink it, swallow it or ingest it rectally. Toxic dose of new synthetic cathinones (e.g. bath salts) have not been establish and may vary due to the illegality of the substance. There is a high risk of overdose, with up to 500 mg per pack.
What are the effects of bath salts?
Bath salts are known to be available in high dose similar to methamphetamine: the expecte effect may include.
- Increased alertness and concentration.
- Increased sexual desire.
- High emotional levels, high levels of hypnosis, increased libido.
Acute side effects are possible.
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps or tremors.
Higher doses may cause serious behavioural and psychiatric effects, such as
- Severe panic attacks
- Compulsive attention
How long does the bath salts last?
The effects or ‘rush’ of bath salt use can last from four to eight hours, with some reports suggesting that they disappear in as little as two days. Dangerous physical side effects, such as tachycardia and high blood pressure, can last for a long time. Hallucinations and psychotic behaviour can also occur long after the drug has left the body.
Prevalence of bath salt use
The use of bath salts is increasing. In addition to the US, the DEA has reported illegal use of MDPV in Europe and Australia. In 2007, MDPA was seize for the first time in Germany. The UK, Australia, Canada and Israel have banned these chemicals.In 2015, but florida authorities warned that the use of a new type of cathinone called farka can cause delirium in users. Many countries banned at least some of the chemicals in these products before the federal ban.
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