D.C. Area Seeing More Bath Salts Abuse

on Thursday, 14 June 2012. Posted in Breaking News, Bath Salts

bath salts abuse

Bath salts seemed to be tied to an increasing number of criminal attacks lately, and authorities in D.C. are concerned about the effect the drug may have on their city.

Just last month an incident occurred in Miami when a man, supposedly under the influence of bath salts, actually chewed off the face of a homeless man.

Another incident occurred months ago that involved a 21 year old man from Louisiana who cut his own throat and shot himself while under the influence of the drug.

Also, a Maine woman attempted to cut out her own teeth under the belief that they were filled with ticks after using bath salts.

Harrisonburg, VA police are currently investigating a case involving a man who died after injecting bath salts into his system.

Authorities say that several other patients have recently been treated for bath salt related overdoses at emergency rooms in Shenendoah Valley.

Last year, the Maryland Poison Center received 75 bath salt related calls. The majority of the users were within the age of 40 and 49.

The use of bath salts is on the rise, and the numbers are scary. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the number of incidences involving bath salts has jumped 2,000 percent in 2011. In 2010, the number of reported calls was 304, while 2011 reported 6,138 calls. Already this year, there have been over 1,000 calls.

You would think something so dangerous would be difficult to purchase, but the drug can easily be found at almost any smoke shop across the country. However, same states, including Maryland and Virginia, have already taken action to ban the drug.

The salts are a synthetic powder, often containing amphetamine-like substances, such as pyroalerone, and mephedrone. Often the concoction is used as a cocaine substitute.

Users typically take the drug orally, snort, or even inject. Little is known about the chemical says the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and currently it is unclear how addictive they are.

Currently, the drug is difficult to regulate due to its recipe, which is constantly being changed by the manufacturers. This poses an obstacle when it comes to controlling or criminalizing the chemical, says Mike Gimbal, a drug expert at St Joseph Medical Center in Baltimore.

Users often experience hallucinations and paranoia, which can cause the “psychotic behavior that we’re seeing in Florida,” says Gimbal.

The use of bath salts is increasing and the manufacturers are playing a deadly game of cat and mouse by constantly rotating the recipe. With little to no research on the drugs short and long term effect, something clearly needs to be done fast.

Although currently there is not much that can be done on the criminal level, there is help out there for those struggling with abuse of bath salts. If you or anyone you know is having trouble with abuse or addiction to bath salts, please contact us.


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