Herbal Incense – Where are we now?


Herbal incense spice came to the streets years ago like wild fire. So many people that were weed smokers and for one reason or another can not smoke weed anymore just thought this was the best thing since sliced bread. Why you might ask?

Let me give you some reasons why this spice took off not only with teens but adults also. Some adults are on probation or have a high profile job that they are not willing to loose. When you bust your ass for years and have a high profile job its not worth it to risk smoking weed and taking that chance of loosing your job. Now your family would only suffer if you were to get not only fired but thrown in jail for smoking weed. Users have smoked weed for so many years it is just one of those things that is here to stay. Lets face it, many people are for weed.

Many states in the United States have already made weed legal in some states like Cali and Colorado. Its very hard to tell someone that believes so strong in something to just turn there cheek and look the other way. So a few years ago spice was introduced to all these corner stores. The marketing from the spice manufactures was simple. Make a product that gave users a similar effect as marijuana, then take that product spice and market it in packages that focused on teens. They even came out with names that reflected cartoons and words that applied to young youth.

Now you might think that this is crazy and these makers of spice are stupid There not, it was a great marketing plot to ensure they profits came rolling in. Law makers were one step behind the manufactures for years. Only till the last few months have law makers caught up to the dealers with placing strick laws in place. For months the police could do nothing, they were driving to corner stores in every state and “Asking the stores to please not carry spice products”. Now thats pretty sad.

The owner of the stores did not have to listen to the police at all. There was no law in place if they kept selling the spice. Many stores were raided and all there product was striped from there shelves and they were not breaking any law. But the police used threats and scare tactics to take product from the owners of business’s across america.

So today were are we at with spice drugs? Will the manufactures create a new product that is one step of the law makers yet again. I think so, there is to much money on the table and there thinking of new ways to get there loss profits back. Only time will tell what is up there sleeves.

Drop us a comment and let us know your thoughts.

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Synthetic cathinones, often called “bath salts,” are powerful, illegal, and can cause hallucinations and violent behavior, among other dangerous effects.



Synthetic cathinones are often marketed as “bath salts” have names like Cloud 9 and Bliss. They are NOT the bath salts you use in your tub. These are powerful illegal drugs that have not been tested for safety, and users don’t really know exactly what chemicals they are putting into their bodies. The side effects they cause may be permanent.
Poison center experts say these substances are among the worst they have seen. Users have experienced many side effects, such as:
Paranoia and violent behavior.
Hallucinations.
Delusions.
Suicidal thoughts.
Seizures.
Panic attacks.
Increased blood pressure and heart rate.
Chest pain.
Nausea and vomiting.
In 2011, poison centers took 6,138 calls about exposures to bath salts. (Click here for detailed data .) The drug seems to be most popular with people who are between 20 and 29 years old. However, poison centers have seen bath salts exposures in a wide range of ages, from younger than 6 to older than 59.
What should you do if someone has taken bath salts?
Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222. Fifty-seven poison centers around the country have experts waiting to answer your call. These experts can help you decide whether someone can be treated at home, or whether he or she must go to a hospital.
Dial 9-1-1 immediately if someone:
Stops breathing.
Collapses.
Has a seizure.
For more information, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222. Poison centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year for poisoning emergencies and for informational calls, too.
Bath Salts Exposures 2012
Download the facts here https://aapcc.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/topics/Bath_Salts_6.2012.pdf


“These are absolutely the worst drugs (Youtube) I’ve ever seen,” is how one drug investigator described “Bath Salts,” the street name for synthetic drugs that alter the brain—sometimes permanently.

Bath Salts (WebMD) are sold legally under the guise of being added to bath water. The package is labeled “not for human consumption.” But their true use is sinister. When ingested, Bath Salts mimic other illegal drugs, such as cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine, with horrible effects that lead to paranoid behaviors, violence, seizures and too often a trip to the hospital, said Eric Van Fossen, coordinator with the Tri-Rivers Drug Task Force.

Van Fossen will be a speaker at a “synthetic drug” awareness meeting on Sunday, October 21, at 7 p.m. at Zoar Baptist Church in Deltaville. All area middle and high school youth are encouraged to attend.

A public awareness meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Sunday, October 21, at Zoar Church in Deltaville.
The paradox of Bath Salts is obvious, said a drug investigator with 16 years experience. “Who would pay more than $35 for a package with a teaspoon of crystals to put in their bath water?”

He said there are more than 80 different synthetic drugs with enticing names such as Vanilla Sky, Ivory Wave, Bliss, and Zoom, to name a few.

“Bath Salts are a public health crisis,” said State Delegate Keith Hodges of Urbanna, a pharmacist who serves on the General Assembly’s substance abuse council.

The long-term effects of using unknown toxic chemicals are unknown, Del. Hodges said. However, horror stories are surfacing that seem more like fiction, but are indeed fact.

The Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office responded to more than 20 Bath Salts-related emergencies in two months this spring.

In April 2012, a Middlesex County man on Bath Salts destroyed his own home, and the following week he destroyed the inside of his neighbor’s home.

In May 2012, a Middlesex County teenager was transported to the hospital for elevated heart rate five times in 36 hours after using “Amped.”

In April, a Gloucester County woman saw aliens, FBI agents in trees, and snakes after using “Amped.” She ended up in intensive care.

At this Sunday’s meeting, professionals will be on hand to answer health questions about these highly-addictive drugs.

Other speakers include Middlesex Sheriff’s Office investigators Captain M.E. Sampson and C.B. Sibley. Call Captain Sampson at 758-1335 for more information.

A one-way trip, with no return
At this Sunday’s synthetic drug awareness meeting in Deltaville, parents whose deceased son used Bath Salts will share their tragic story. Their son started using Bath Salts when he was 17. In August his parents had to make the decision to terminate his life-support equipment. Their only son was dead at 20.
Even though the young man quit doing drugs and alcohol and developed a new relationship with God, he still had “flashbacks” of being on Bath Salts, said his father.

He had been clean for 2 years but still hallucinated that people were standing in the road as he drove. His parents spent thousands of dollars trying to correct the damage that had been done to his brain by Bath Salts.

The four-time All-State wrestler had fits of intense anger for no reason at all, and would call his parents from college in the middle of the night and rant for hours seeking relief.

In the end, nothing could reverse the damage done by Bath Salts. Nothing.
“A dead spot in his brain”
The effects of synthetic drugs on the brain can be lethal. No one knows this more than Judy and Kevin Mooers of Heathsville in Northumberland County, whose 20-year-old son died in August.
Matt Mooers started doing Bath Salts when he was 17 years old, after a stranger approached him at a convenience store telling him that for a few dollars he could get high all night. “After he did it once he didn’t want to live a normal life,” Judy Mooers told the audience at the synthetic drug awareness meeting. Matt would later tell his parents, “If only I had said ‘no.’ ”

These “super addictive” drugs cause circulation problems, said Mrs. Mooers. When her son, a 4-time All-State wrestler, worked out, his knee caps would turn very red. He also had severe migraine headaches.

After attending a wedding in Seattle and suffering drug withdrawals on the return trip, Matt wandered off from his parents during a gas stop in Fredericksburg. He met a man who prayed with him. That was the beginning of his comeback, said Mrs. Mooers.

Matt got clean of drugs for high school wrestling season, “but that yearning was still inside him,” she said.

As a freshman at James Madison University, Matt started drinking a lot. By the second semester he was drunk almost all the time. He landed in jail for possession of alcohol and public intoxication. Although he had no shirt, one shoe and a black eye, he had no memory of how or what had happened.

A short time later, Matt was on his way to a Bible study, but may have had the wrong date. However, he heard gospel music being sung and went in the church. At the end of the service, Matt professed that he was an addict and alcoholic. Those in the church rushed to hug him. “He was a different person after that,” said Mrs. Mooers.

Matt remained sober until his last night partying, three days before he died.

He became active in Alcoholics Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, went on a mission trip to the New York City Bowery where he tried to help addicts who had given up.

“A rage”
About two weeks later, Matt called his parents. “I’m in a rage . . . and there is no reason for it.” Eventually, doctors diagnosed Matt. “He had a dead spot in his brain coming from the synthetic drugs he had done years earlier,” said Mrs. Mooers.
Although he had been clean for two years, Matt had drug flashbacks and was hallucinating that people were looking in his windows, and people were standing in the road when he was driving.

Matt’s parents are still trying to figure out what happened the night of August 14, 2012. From Matt’s text messages to a friend, his parents learned, “I need one night of fun . . . I need a break, don’t worry.”

Mrs. Mooers added, “In the mind of every addict is a demon saying, ‘You’ve been good. You deserve some fun.’ ”

His friend found him unconscious around noon on the following day. His heart had stopped. The rescue squad worked 20 minutes to get his heart started.

There was little brain activity. He was placed on a respirator and his parents were called. “We knew it was unlikely he would recover,” said Mrs. Mooers.

His friends filled the waiting room in Harrisonburg Hospital. Some revealed how Matt had helped them break free of drugs, and how he had apologized for influencing them to do drugs.

His parents honored Matt’s wish to donate his organs and made the decision to terminate life support.

The police investigation into Matt Mooers’ death continues, said his father Kevin. Those who partied with Matt on his final night could face murder charges, and “they have retained lawyers,” he added.

The chemicals in some Bath Salts are unknown and those who make and sell them don’t always know the full extent of their effect, said Mr. Mooers. “They don’t know what the drugs will do,” he said. “They only find out when they sell them.”

By the time Matt Mooers learned what their effects were—it was too late.

Parents’ bath salts abuse sends more children to state custody


AUGUSTA, Maine — A spike in the number of children entering state custody because their parents are abusing bath salts has forced the state’s Office of Child and Family Services to add almost $1 million to its budget this year to accommodate 200 additional children living in foster care and in the homes of relatives.

The Department of Health and Human Services — which includes the child and family services office — expects to request an additional $4.2 million for that purpose in upcoming budget packages to be voted on by state lawmakers to cover those expenses through June 30, 2015.

The state’s Office of Child and Family Services has seen a net increase of 200 children in state custody since last November, and officials can trace the bulk of the net increase to situations in which parents have been abusing bath salts, Therese Cahill-Low, director of the Office of Child and Family Services, said Monday.

As a result, the state has transferred $1 million to the office this year from unspent funds so it can afford room and board payments to foster parents and relatives taking in children who have entered state custody, according to Cahill-Low and DHHS spokesman John Martins.

“We kind of got blindsided by bath salts back in November, December,” she said. “As a result of really a lot of bath salts usage in certain pockets of the state, we’ve had an increase in the number of kids in care by 200.”

At the end of last November, the state had 1,450 children in its custody. At the end of September, according to Cahill-Low, that number had risen to 1,657 children who were either living in foster care or with relatives after being removed from the care of their parents.

“We can pinpoint it specifically to substance abuse, particularly around bath salts,” she said.

Bath salts-related situations are particularly common in the Bangor and Rockland areas, Cahill-Low said.

It’s challenging for foster parents to start caring for children whose parents have engaged in any substance abuse, but bath salts present a unique challenge, she said.

“With other substances, there may be a little more predictability. Bath salts, there’s no standard,” she said. “Children are probably more scared and probably have been put in more precarious situations just because the parents don’t have any wherewithal when they’re on bath salts.”

Bath salts emerged on the streets of Bangor in early 2011 and, within months, bath salts abuse had spread throughout the state.

The drug, which is addictive, can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed. It has caused hallucinations, convulsions, psychotic episodes and thoughts of suicide in users.

Maine lawmakers voted to outlaw the drug in September 2011. President Barack Obama signed a federal ban on the primary chemical components of bath salts into law in July of this year.

BANK HONCHO BRIAN MULLIGAN Demands Investigation Into Leaked ‘Bath Salts’ Tape



A lawyer for Deutsche Bank honcho Brian Mulligan is demanding the LAPD launch a full-blown investigation into the leaked audio tape — in which Brian admits to using narcotic “bath salts” — claiming the “leak” was a cheap ploy to smear his good name.

TMZ obtained three letters from Mulligan’s new lawyer, Skip Miller — addressed to the L.A. City Attorney, the Glendale Chief of Police and the L.A. Chief of Police.

The letters state … the audio — released earlier this week — was sent to the LAPD for investigative purposes only (regarding Brian’s police brutality claims) and should NOT have been released to the media.

Brian’s lawyer is adamant, the tape has nothing to do with the alleged beating — and blood tests taken immediately after Mulligan was admitted to the hospital on the 15th came back clean.

As TMZ previously reported … Brian filed a $50 mil claim against the City of L.A., alleging two police officers beat the crap out of him on May 15 — resulting in 15 fractures to his nasal area, a broken scapula, and facial lacerations.

LAPD claims the cops took action ONLY after they perceived him to be a threat.

In the letters, Brian’s attorney states the tape was purposely leaked “out of context” to create a smear campaign against Brian and discredit his accusations against the boys in blue — all in order to sway the public into believing he “had it coming to him.”

Brian’s attorney is demanding the LAPD take action stat — and investigate how the tape got leaked from their department, and explain whether or not it was even legal.

FYI — The released audio tape was recorded May 13 — two days before Brian’s alleged beat down.

In the audio Brian appears to be acting paranoid … believes helicopters are following him … and then admits to a Glendale officer that he has previously used a hallucinogenic narcotic called “bath salts” over 20 times.

UPDATE:
9:55AM PST: The Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) — the organization that released the ‘bath salts’ audio — tells TMZ, Brian Mulligan’s claim is nothing more than a “fictitious tale of abuse at the hands of the LAPD.” They add, “Bath salts lead to delusions, and as in this case, bizarre lawsuits.”

L.A. County Officials Warn Against Use of ‘Bath Salts’



Los Angeles County health officials are warning people against the use of an over-the-counter drug commonly known as “bath salts.”

“Bath salts,” also known under the street names of White Lightening, White Rush and Hurricane Charlie, is a synthetic drug that’s been gaining in popularity over the years has recently been linked to violent and bizarre behavior.

The drug is comprised of chemicals that mimic the effects of drugs like cocaine and LSD and is often sold in tobacco or smoke shops under the label of “plant food” or “pond water cleaner.”

Officials warn that the drug should not be consumed, used as plant food or to clean pond water. It should also not be confused with similarly named bath-related products sold in beauty and drug stores.

“Bath salts are particularly dangerous in that not much is known about what goes into the drug and even less is known about what people are capable of while on this drug,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer.

“We do know that there are harmful risks to users, and there is an increased potential for others to be harmed if someone near them is high on this drug.”

Last year, federal authorities issued a ban on chemicals used in the making of the drugs, which include mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and methylone.

Bath salts recently made headlines after a Deutsche Bank executive who claimed he was beaten and abused by Los Angeles police officers admitted he was under the influence of the drug.

Symptoms of people using bath salts include lack of appetite, decreased need for sleep, sweating, chest pain and rapid heart rate.

More dangerous side effects include seizures, hallucinations, self-mutilation, severe paranoia and kidney and liver failure.

Deutsche Banker Spoke of Bath-Salt Use Days Before Police Run-In


Deutsche Bank AG financier Brian Mulligan spoke of using so-called bath salts stimulants and appeared paranoid days before a violent run-in with Los Angeles police, according a recording released by the police union.
Two days before the May incident, the Hollywood banker told a Glendale police officer he believed people were following him, possibly by helicopter, according to the recording. Mulligan said he had used bath salts, a paranoia-inducing stimulant, about 20 times and as recently as two weeks earlier.
“I know this is going to sound crazy, but I feel like there are people following me,” Mulligan told an officer at the department’s headquarters. “I feel like there was a chopper. Do you hear a chopper?”
The bank executive has filed an administrative claim seeking as much as $50 million in damages against Los Angeles, alleging officers beat and illegally detained him on May 15. The claim is a necessary step before filing a lawsuit.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League released the recording and transcript to defend the officers involved in the incident, without saying how they were obtained. Mulligan’s conversation with Glendale, California, police was taped and later turned over to Los Angeles authorities, said Glendale police spokesman Thomas Lorenz, who confirmed the accuracy.
There was no trace of bath salts or other intoxicants in Mulligan’s system when he was tested at a hospital after the beating, according to his attorney, Louis R. Miller.

‘Beating Case’

“This is a beating case,” Miller said yesterday in a telephone interview. “He was severely, horrifically beaten. The police union that put out that press release and so forth, they’re just trying to make my client look bad.”
The City Attorney’s office hasn’t brought charges against him, according to Frank Mateljan, a spokesman.
Mulligan specializes in financing for Hollywood film and TV studios and has participated in deals including Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer Inc.’s $500 million credit facility announced in February. He joined Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank in 2009 and previously was chairman of Brooknol Advisors LLC, an entertainment adviser and investment firm. Before that he had senior roles at Seagram Co., Universal Pictures and Fox.
Bath salts, synthetic stimulants that may include mephedrone and methylone, can cause paranoia and hallucinations, according to WebMD.com.
Mulligan was forcibly subdued in May after he took a fighting stance and charged officers who approached after seeing him attempt to enter moving vehicles in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood, Los Angeles Police Lieutenant Andy Neiman said at the time.

Second Encounter

The same officers had questioned Mulligan about two hours earlier after responding to citizen calls that a man was trying to get into occupied autos in the drive-through lane of a fast- food restaurant nearby, Neiman said. The complaint against Los Angeles says Mulligan will require reconstructive surgery and psychological care that may cost as much as $1 million.
The Glendale officer urged Mulligan to stop using bath salts, warning him the effects worsen with repeated use.
“I guarantee you that if you continue using that stuff it will change who you are and it will destroy your family,” the officer said. “You will stop being who you are and you will become something totally different.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Deutsche-Banker-Spoke-of-Bath-Salt-Use-Days-3951467.php#ixzz2AoSo1JjS

‘Spice’ used to reach drug-like high but with adverse effects


ENID, Okla. — The bright, eye-catching packets are labeled “incense,” “potpourri,” “bath salts” or “spice.” The labels read, “aromatherapy use only” and “not for human consumption.”

But the substances inside the packets are far from the innocent labels and disclaimers make them sound.

Using them produces a marijuana-like, amphetamine-like or LSD-like high, but their adverse effects are powerful.

Enid Police Det. Zeke Frazee is well aware of the frightening aspects of “spice.” He pointed to common side effects, including hallucinations, seizures, extreme paranoia, nausea and dangerously accelerated heart rate. Yet because the products are used simply to get high, people won’t admit using it.

“They don’t tell anyone what they’ve smoked,” Frazee said.

Michelle Hennedy, director of the emergency department at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, agrees.

Patients have come to the emergency room numerous times with symptoms that make the medical staff suspect they are high on “spice” or “bath salts.”

“A lot of what we’re seeing is patients whose behavior is not appropriate,” Hennedy said. “They can be confused, combative, they’re very angry.”

Hennedy said they often are brought in because they have fallen, passed out or some similar incident. She estimates most are between 18 and 40 years old.

But not every user is 18. Amber Fitzgerald, human resources and communications director for Enid Public Schools, said a student at Enid High School was arrested twice in April on charges of public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrests were 19 days apart. A second student also was arrested for public intoxication.

When patients are brought to the hospital with symptoms of drug overdose, physicians can order drug tests – but the tests don’t disclose synthetic drugs.

When patients are asked what they’ve used, “they’re not honest with us,” Hennedy said.

Likewise, there is no standard field test for law enforcement to use in order to find out if a packet of “incense” is a formula already illegal or a newer formula.

“It must be sent to OSBI lab and the result comes back in two to three weeks,” Frazee said.

Frazee said product reviews and instructions for use of “incense” are easy to find online.

“If you go on YouTube, there are kids talking about how to smoke this,” he said.

Some of the online videos Frazee has watched warn that synthetic marijuana is far more potent than marijuana from a plant.

“It’s more like acid or LSD,” Frazee said.

Frazee said synthetic marijuana was first developed in the early 1990s as part of legitimate medical research being done by John Huffman, organic chemistry professor at Clemson University. After Huffman’s research papers were published, entrepreneurs copied his formula and began marketing it.

Gas stations, gift stores and convenience stores sell it in Enid. Sometimes it is kept out of sight and the customer has to ask for it. Other times, it is displayed in plain sight behind the counter, Frazee said. After all, despite its dangerous qualities, it’s a legal product.

Some of the earlier formulas were outlawed in Oklahoma last year, but the people making “spice” tweaked the formula and quickly were back in business.

Store owners Frazee has talked to, said that since it’s not illegal and they make good money off it, they’ll continue to sell it. He said he believes the stores pay $3 to $4 per bag for it.

“When you see it in plain view, they are selling it as incense,” Frazee said. “They know what it does. I’ve even spoken with those store owners and operators. They said it’s legal and they make good money off it, and until it’s illegal, they would continue to sell it. If you have to hide it and it’s selling for $30 a bag, shouldn’t that tell you something?”

Maine Street Mini-Mart is one of the many businesses in Enid that sells “spice.” Store owner A.J. Marand, contacted by telephone on Wednesday, hung up when asked if he would talk about why his business sells the product.

Glen Kuhn, charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute because his business, Your Quality Store, allegedly stocked illegal “spice” for sale, also declined to comment for this article.

“I’ve talked to people who sell this and they’ve told me a million stories about people who’ve bought this and had bad trips,” Frazee said. “They sell it anyway. It’s about money.”

Because the envelopes are marked “not for human consumption,” and “for aromatherapy use only,” the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the formulas and no consistency exists from one batch to the next. Additionally, there is no age limit to buy it.

“This stuff is new, so it doesn’t have long-term studies yet as for the effects,” Frazee said.

Hennedy said the more someone uses the product, the more their judgment is skewed, and they can put themselves in danger because they are not thinking clearly. But, while Hennedy worries about the safety of the patients who are using “incense,” she also worries about the safety of the emergency room staff when rendering treatment to them.

“It’s a concern because you never really know what you’re treating,” Hennedy said. “You always want to do the best for the patient. I wonder if they are going to go home and do it again or introduce someone else to it — someone younger.”

“Smoking synthetic marijuana is playing Russian roulette, because you don’t know what it’s going to do to you,” Frazee said.

The bad news about bath salts


For several months, Will Moffitt has been warning us about “bath salts.”

Bath salts is the innocuous name given to a group of designer drugs that resemble Epsom salts. The recipes for these drugs vary, but usually contain a synthetic benzoylethanamine or cathinone, which have effects similar to ecstasy and cocaine.

Moffitt is a former La Cañada Unified School District board member, past president of the LCF Educational Foundation and current chairman of the La Cañada Community Prevention Council.

From October 22 to 26, Moffitt and the Community Prevention Council will conduct Red Ribbon Week, an annual alcohol, tobacco, drug and violence prevention awareness campaign. The timing is perfect.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the news reports concerning 52-year-old La Cañada businessman Brian C. Mulligan. A few months ago, Mulligan filed a $50-million claim against the city of Los Angeles alleging that in May, he was imprisoned in a motel room by the Los Angeles Police Department and then brutally beaten. The photo of Mulligan’s battered face went viral.

The police report mentioned that Mulligan had been using White Lightning, a type of bath salts. Mulligan’s lawyers vehemently denied the allegation. Last week, an audio tape emerged in which Mulligan (if it was Mulligan) called the Glendale police to say that a helicopter was following him, and admitted using bath salts at least 20 times.

The tape story was reported everywhere. L.A. Times. CBS. Huffington Post. The Valley Sun.

The legal status of designer drugs constantly varies. As new synthetics are designed, state legislatures try to pass laws that criminalize their use. Extreme cases and media publicity drive the process. Until a new law is passed, the new designer drug is probably legal, or at least there’s a defense on that basis. When a state cracks down on one drug, the vendors vary the formula slightly and invent another drug.

Cat and mouse.

Last May, the use of bath salts was not illegal in California. By July, the president signed a federal law banning some forms of bath salts. Three weeks ago, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that criminalizes the use of synthetic drugs such as bath salts. The new crime will be a low-grade misdemeanor, with a maximum punishment of a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. The law takes effect on Jan. 1.

The L.A. Times recently reported that the danger of bath salts is not well known (“Bath salts dangers underscored,” Oct. 17). For months, the media has reported cases of unexpected side effects in otherwise normal people that result in grisly assaults, such as chewing off the face of a homeless man, strangling an 80-year-old neighbor and slashing one’s own throat.

Given the thousands of people who have used bath salts, it is obvious that not everyone has a bizarre psychotic reaction. That’s why the ad horrendum argument (“you’ll go nuts”) is ineffective. Not everyone who uses designer drugs goes crazy. It’s like Russian roulette. Sometimes, there’s a bullet in the chamber. Sometimes not. In the user’s mind, that risk is balanced against the perceived legal advantage of getting high on a drug that is not yet illegal.

Bottom line: If you get sick, see a doctor. If you get arrested, see a lawyer. And if you are a concerned parent, see Will Moffitt.

Despite the recent news coverage, the sky is not falling. La Cañada is a pretty safe community. So, why is Will Moffitt spreading the word on designer drugs?

Bath Salts Label Used to Disguise an Increasingly Popular Drug


Last week a man reportedly interrupted a Tennessee church service, clutching a hammer and saying he was high on bath salts. Although he did not hurt anyone, the incident is reminiscent of the grisly attack in Miami earlier this year when a man falsely rumored to be high on bath salts bit and tore the flesh off of another man’s face. Together, these incidents highlight the confusion that surrounds a new category of mood- and behavior-altering synthetic drugs that, while advertised as bath salts, contain no legitimate home-spa therapy ingredients and are bought by individuals who intend to use them to get high.
During a presentation at the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) OMED 2012, the Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition in San Diego, Marla Kushner, DO, who treats teens dealing with addiction in her private medical practice in Chicago, asserts that there are indications bath salt drug use is increasing. Citing data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, Dr. Kushner notes that calls to poison control centers in the United States regarding exposure to bath salt drugs have drastically increased over the past three years with zero calls in 2009, 304 calls in 2010 and 6,138 calls in 2011.
While only time will tell if these types of calls will continue to increase, Dr. Kushner, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and addiction medicine specialist, points out that changes in federal drug laws have helped to make selling bath salt drugs illegal.
In July 2012, key ingredients in bath salt drugs, including methylene-dioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone and methylone, were officially categorized as schedule I substances, meaning they are now considered to have no legitimate medical purpose and require special licensing to be purchased or distributed. While many physicians like Dr. Kushner are hopeful this change will lead to fewer cases of bath salt drug use and addiction, Dr. Kushner cautions that many sellers are still successfully peddling the drugs over the Internet.
“Though the name would otherwise suggest, bath salt drug users typically inhale or snort the products,” says Dr. Kushner. “Users are usually looking for a sense of euphoria or use the drugs as a substitute for other stimulants, looking for a cocaine-like high.”
The reasons users give for taking bath salt drugs are numerous, adds Dr. Kushner. They also include sexual arousal, a heightened sense of music appreciation and hallucinations. However, she warns, these drugs are highly addictive and the adverse reactions can be very dangerous. They include:
anxiety;
agitation;
paranoia;
panic;
violence;
headache;
suicidal thoughts;
dry mouth;
insomnia; and
seizures.
Treatments for bath salt drug addicts are dependent on each patient’s case but a treatment regimen, notes Dr. Kushner, may include a combination of the following:
therapy with an addiction psychiatrist;
completing a drug rehabilitation program;
practicing sober living; and
having a family support network.
While many of the treatments are similar to those used to treat patients with other addictions, Dr. Kushner emphasizes that the stories told by recovering bath salt drug users are cautionary tales of incomparable struggles.