Think bath salts are for soaking in the bathtub? Not this kind of bath salt. People are using chemicals marketed as bath salts to get high, and teens are joining in. Find out more about the dangers of a bath salt high.
Teens and some adults have a new way to get high. But for some this new form of “buzz” is like psychological strychnine. Marketed under the innocent name of bath salts, it resembles a powder you’d put in your bath water to relax. But the impact on the brain is far from calming. The effects of a bath salt high include a racing heartbeat, vivid hallucinations, seizures, extreme paranoia, delirium and, sometimes, death due to suicide.
Bath Salts to Get High?
These “bath salts” are marketed online and in convenience stores as a way to get high, and authorities say that the effects are as powerful as methamphetamine. They contain two potent chemicals – methylenedioxypyrovalerone and mephedrone, coined MDPV. Price isn’t an object with a bath salt high since these powdery chemicals cost only around $20.00. Even more disturbing is there is their lack of regulation. Even a child can buy them.
How dangerous is this new way to get high? There have been deaths reported in several states. Some states are considering outlawing these chemicals, and Louisiana has already instituted a ban after they received over a hundred calls relating to the ill effects of MDPV. Hopefully, other states will follow suit before bath salt highs become more commonplace – and deadly.
Bath Salt High: How Does MDPV Work?
MDPV alters levels of brain neurotransmitters, chemicals that send messages between nerve cells, and it exerts its greatest effects on dopamine and norepinephrine. The effects of these chemicals can last for three to eight hours. People who come down from a bath salt high may experience profound fatigue, depression, muscle weakness and drops in blood pressure. As might be expected, higher doses cause more profound effects.
Will Teens Use Bath Salts to Get High?
Teens are already starting to inject, snort and smoke bath salts, and the numbers will likely grow due to the legality and easy availability of these powders. This makes it all the more important that parents talk to teens about the dangers of these and other “legal” chemicals that can permanently harm their health. Make them aware of what they could experience – delirium, paranoia and extreme depression – and that it’s not worth it.
Yahoo News. “Bath Salts Are Growing Drug Problem”
J. Med. Chem. 49(4): 1420-32.