A member of the West Virginia state police teamed up with students at Wesleyan College, to spread awareness about bath salts. According to WDTV.com, the college had a bath salts drug summit Wednesday evening. Bath salts have become increasingly popular and increasingly dangerous, and many people are not even sure what bath salts are.
There have been numerous incidents involving bath salts where the users have become violent and combative, as well as suffering severe hallucinations. Bath salts are completely synthetic, and they are made in a lab. They come in a crystallized powder form, often sold in a tea-bag sized package or a glass vial. They do not contain any fragrance or soaps, although the packages are designed to make the drugs look like harmless bath products. A warning, "Not For Human Consumption," comes on every package. They are often purchased at a specialty smoke shop, or even a convenient store.
Once law enforcement saw the presence of this drug, they began testing the ingredients. The chemical structure of bath salts is similar to meth and ecstasy. Users often report the effects of the drug to be similar to meth, only more potent. Bath salts are thought to be 200 times stronger than cocaine. It has been referred to as "legal cocaine," as well.
The side effects of this drug can be scary. They include anxiety, seizures, delusions, paranoia, increased heart rate, and intense cravings for more. Several bath salts users, interviewed from jail, claim that the cravings they experienced from bath salts were more intense than any other drug cravings they had experienced.
Scientists say they do not know what bath salts can do to people long term, but several mental health professionals have reported long-term hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. Police say the drug makes users both combative and paranoid. Police feel bath salts have made their job more dangerous, and often when they respond to a bath salts call, the user thinks the law is there to harm them.
Bath salt use is rising all over the country. Lawmakers have begun to ban these chemicals in many states, and law enforcement is trying to enforce these bans, but chemists can easily change the formula for the drugs to have the same effects on the user without technically being under the ban. Harrison County, West Virginia is ranked number one in the country for bath salt use, with over 5,000 abusers in 2011. As this drug rises into the spotlight, spreading awareness about the substance and its potential dangers becomes vital.
If you or someone you know is struggling with bath salts addiction, please contact us.