According to CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Health and government officials throughout the country have began a collective movement to ban a synthetic drug known as “bath salts” throughout the first half of 2011 because of its many severe side effects, including dangerous hallucinations. Emergency bans are already in place in many states, and others are continuing to try and get the dangerous drug off the shelves, the news source has reported.
CBS reported that although advertised as plant food or an insect repellant, and labeled “not for human consumption” users of the drug generally snort it like cocaine or even inject or smoke the bath salts. Sold under brand names such as Ivory Wave, Cloud Nine and Blue Silk, CBS claimed that the bath salts contain a chemical named methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), which isn’t approved for medical use in the US.
The article explains that bath salts are comparable to cocaine and methamphetamines in terms of their highly addictive properties, including a number of extremely harmful physical and mental side effects. CBS reported that the synthetic drug can act as a stimulant of the central nervous system. In the process of increasing the heart rate and blood pressure, ingesting the bath salts also carries the risk of stroke, heart attack, or chest pains. According to CBS, the psychological symptoms include paranoia, delusions and psychosis. This wide range of symptoms, combined with the addictive nature of a drug like cocaine, can make bath salts extremely harmful.
Increasing calls to poison centers throughout the country show rapid growth in the use of the synthetic drug. According to the CBS article, after no reported calls of health problems related to bath salts in 2009, the number jumped to 291 in the year 2010. CBS claimed that in the first half of 2011 alone, there have been over 400 calls to poison control centers in the U.S. reporting problems caused by bath salts.
Unfortunately, implementing more severe regulations on this dangerous drug is progressing slowly. Ashton claimed that current legislation identifies bath salts a controlled substance and labels them a “drug of concern". Stronger warnings often take time. The CBS medical correspondent reported that a combination of things must come together, stating “they first need to hear reported cases, then they need to get their scientific medical communities, as well as legal ducks in a row.”
A major problem that arises is that bath salts fall under the cosmetics category of the DEA, and may not fall under the authority of the FDA to regulate. This will depend on whether bath salts actually work in their intended use as an insect repellant or plant food. There’s currently no enforcement to date from the FDA and officials refuse to comment on whether there’s an ongoing investigation at this time.
According to Ashton, bath salts are one of a growing list of synthetic drugs that are easily available in stores. Ashton claimed “Just because they may come there synthetic substances or natural substances does not mean they are safe.” A growing list of side effects combined with a highly addictive nature make some of these synthetic drugs, like bath salts, extremely hazardous to take even once.
If you or a loved one has experienced serious side effects or health concerns with use of bath salts, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with synthetic drugs. Not only will they be able to give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Ashton, Jennifer CBS Newswire (February 1, 2011) “DEA Names Bath Salts a Drug of Concern” Retrieved on June 6, 2011 from CBS