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    Bath salts are for bathing not snorting

    Date: 03.04.11 | by Judge Tom.

    Poison-control centers and emergency rooms across the country have been receiving calls regarding exposure to the chemicals contained in bath salts. Users who have injected, snorted or smoked the powders from the salts have reported side effects as powerful as abusing methamphetamine.

    Sold under such names as Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky and Bliss, the powders can cause hallucinations, paranoia, suicidal thoughts and rapid heart rates. During the last three months in 2010, the state poison-control center in Louisiana received over 125 calls involving exposure to the chemicals. The state legislature acted quickly and by emergency order in January, 2011, outlawed bath salts. The identified chemicals include mephedrone and another known as MDPV.

    Theme Park Mom (Flickr)

    Other states including Mississippi and Kentucky are considering similar action. Neil Brown of Mississippi has his own story to tell. After getting high on bath salts, he began to suffer terrifying hallucinations. He took a knife and cut his face and stomach repeatedly. He admitted using everything from heroin to crack, but he was so shaken by his experience that he wrote a local newspaper urging people to stay away from bath salts. In February, 2012, the governor of Arizona signed a bill outlawing seven chemicals used to make bath salts.

    In Missouri, at least 12 calls came in during the first two weeks of January, 2011 about teenagers and young adults using the salts. The stimulants aren’t regulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration but are being closely watched. It may be up to states to regulate or ban the products with these chemicals. This is similar to what’s happening with synthetic marijuana.

    Update: According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, calls about bath salts rose from 303 in 2010 to 2,371 as of May 31, 2011.

    In July, 2012, two arrests in Arizona were connected to the use of bath salts. Twenty-year-old Michael Hurtado crashed into an apartment gate, causing $2,500 in damage. Then 23-year-old Sean-Paul Branscome was seen jumping fences in a residential neighborhood and throwing himself into walls. He was naked and admitted when arrested that he had ingested bath salts. Several reported cases have led to deaths of persons using bath salts. Brandon Doucette, age 21, started smoking spice in 2010. He moved on to bath salts and in June, 2011, he hanged himself from his third-story apartment balcony in Arizona. In May, 2012, 20-year-old Yasin Kassamali, was found dead in his room at a treatment facility in California. He got hooked on spice and progressed to using bath salts. His death is under investigation.

    Also in July, 2012, President Obama signed a bill into law banning the sale, production and possession of more than two dozen of the most common bath salt drugs. A national sting operation called Operation Log Jam resulted in the arrest of more than 90 people and the seizure of the equivalent of 18 million drug packets. Some officers in the undercover sting operation posed as members of the Hells Angels.

    For an interesting info-graphic about bath salts, see here:  http://www.reclaimingfutures.org/blog/adolescent-substance-abuse-infographic-bath-salts-abuse

    Use your head when alone or with your friends about drugs or something new. You don’t know what chemicals are in something you ingest or the effect it may have on your body and brain. Is a temporary high worth the risk?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    4 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Askthejudge.info
      Fri, 04 Mar 2011 at 06:16

      Teens snorting and using bath salts are suffering serious side effects & bad hallucinations. http://fb.me/J1JNrXqc

    • Coy
      Fri, 29 Apr 2011 at 11:14

      what people dont know is that those ppl die from killing there self because they used to much of it you dont need that much and if people are stuiped enough to do that then they shouldnt be doing it you have to control youe self
      Thanks, Coy, for your thoughts on this. Moderation in all things, right? But also resistance to harmful substances is the wiser choice.

    • Oklahoma City Divorce Attorney Matt Ingham
      Fri, 15 Jul 2011 at 05:12

      If the chemicals contained in those powders have the same potential effects as meth, then something needs to be done. Immature kids will be immature kids…if there is something that parents and law makers can do to protect the immature kids from themselves, then taking preventative action should be considered.

    • Bully gets three years behind bars | reportergary.com
      Sun, 26 Aug 2012 at 03:22

      […] had no criminal history but reportedly had used bath salts in the past. He graduated from high school and enlisted in the Army. He was scheduled to begin […]

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