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October, 2011

Want to Be a Cool, Fool, Ghoul? The Pros and Cons of Trying "Bath Salts"

by Larry

Who would have thought that taking a bath with a handful of soothing mineral powders would cause this much commotion? Seriously, though, the fact is, all across our country, parents, police, hospital staff, legislators, and others are up in arms against them. The trouble is, these are not the innocent crystals in a box or bottle that are often poured into tubs of warm bathing water. Instead, "bath salts" are the slang term for a relatively new designer drug that apparently has effects somewhat similar to cocaine yet with a macabre twist: while cocaine users typically keep their "highs" to themselves, dabblers in "bath salts" often become paranoid, psychotic, and extremely violent.

A box of ordinary bath salts (Wikipedia image))

One might expect the population of Maine, for instance, to be mild and lackluster. Yet, that state is in the news recently for "bath salts" binges that led to shortages of both security and medical personnel. "Bath salts" druggies commonly are vicious and bizarre in their behaviors, requiring the intervention of several police officers or health professionals to be safely subdued and restrained. Since there may be a number of such incidents in even a small community on a particular day or night, authorities and clinic or hospital workers are now regularly overwhelmed.

The amount of mayhem created by "bath salts" users seems rather impressive: massive and often repeated destruction of private and public property, some evidence of stabbings and shootings under the influence; super strength, so that it can take two or more police officers plus taser zaps to subdue an individual, etc.

The motivation of users is hard to fathom, but I understand that just a little experimentation can lead some to be hooked.

Clearly there needs to be a preventative education program, to warn against the hazards of this as yet still available source of mind alteration, plus treatment available for individuals who have already been affected. In addition, better laws ought to be enacted against dealing in such chemicals. Amazingly, at this point they can frequently be obtained without restriction via the internet or, in places, even just over-the-counter.

More than this, people interested in this means to such cool aims as either adventure or self-exploration might benefit from knowing there are wholesome, healthy, and constructive ways to go about it. For example:

The title of this piece mentioned the pros and cons of trying "bath salts," but the truth is I can think of only one "pro," that afterward one might find a better way to do whatever he or she intended with the experiment. The trouble is, for many, trying them once is all it takes to get addicted, and then the good options are severely limited.

Primary source:

Maine Strained by Use of Cocaine-Like 'Bath Salts'. Jay Field in NPR - All Things Considered; October 18, 2011.

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