We blogged about Bath Salts two years ago in April of 2010 – then the new kid in town, drug-wise. Now it’s resurging in an alarming way. No, it’s not turning people into zombies (contrary to initial reports), maybe just cannibals.
To begin with, the drug marketed as Bath Salts has hung around in spite of a September 2011 Drug Enforcement Administration emergency order to ban or restrict these stimulants already off limits in at least 37 states. An internet search on bath salts will turn up increasing incidents of out-of-control people high on these drugs.
The famous ‘heads up’ came at the end of May 2012, when a naked Miami man chewed off the face of another man, continuing his attack even after being shot by police. Described as a ‘zombie attacker’, he was thought to be under the influence of bath salts – a synthetic marijuana. Later it was found that he had ‘just’ used regular marijuana.
In early July at the Atlanta Golf Center, a man wearing only underwear, came out of the woods and began to scream about ‘religion, Tupac Shakur and cannibalism’. It took four Taser hits to stop and arrest him. Bath salts were the culprit in this case. Police around the country have observed that bath salts can kill pain for several hours and make a person delusional.
Soon after this incident President Barack Obama signed a bill that banned the sale, production and possession of some chemicals used for making many types of synthetic drugs, and the DEA has temporarily banned some chemicals found in synthetic marijuana.
Then on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 Operation Log Jam, a joint effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration and federal and local agencies, was conducted in more than 90 cities spanning 30 states. Seized were $36 million in cash and more than 4.8 million packets of synthetic cannabinoids along with synthetic amphetamines that mimic the affects of marijuana and meth.
As parents we can be thankful for this crackdown. According to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart these drugs have been deceptively marketed to young people as bath salts, K-2 and Vanilla Sky. In spite of disclaimers on the packaging stating ‘not for human consumption’ most young people knows what these products are used for. The results of use are varied, but include hallucinations, aggressiveness, attempted suicides and murder as well as a twenty-fold increase in calls to poison control.
Let’s keep aware of what’s ‘out there’ so that we can advocate for our kids. Are you worried that your teen or young adult is abusing these or other drugs? Come to a StandUp Parenting group near you for ideas and support.
Sources: Internet news, especially Louis Casiano, NBC News