Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bath Salts Danger

Sheriff Warns of Bath Salts Danger

Sheriff Wendell Hall and local health officials would like the public to be aware of a growing danger in the area. The danger comes from chemicals being marketed as innocent sounding bath salts that are being used as a dangerous new drug. These bath salts are a legal product sold on the internet, on the street, and even in local gas stations. They are also being marketed as "plant food" and "insect" repellent and often labeled as "bath salt." (Please note that the Florida Legislatures have outlawed the drug for ninety days) The problem arises when people snort or even inject the chemical to get a high. This problem is hard hitting in Louisiana where the poison center is now getting four or five calls a day about the drug. Law enforcement has reported that they've already had a number of violent encounters with people who were high on the drug. Louisiana has more reported cases than any other state to date. Eighty-four people across the region have been treated in hospitals. According to "In the Know", Education Specialty Publishing, LLC (2010) of Metairie, LA this "synthetic cocaine is a growing problem throughout the western world. First identified in the U.K., retail marketed cocaine substitutes are creating problems for people looking to get high and escape detection. Sold as bath salts in psychedelic packets through online and real-world head shops, fake cocaine is a combination of chemicals that are, according to some researchers and many recreational drug abusers, actually more dangerous than the real thing. The active chemical in most of the American synthetic cocaine is MDPV, short for 1-(4-Methylphenyl)-2-pyrrolidin-1-yl-pentan-1-one. MDPV is illegal in a number of states, and that number is growing. Even in the states where it is not yet illegal, buying and selling a fake version of a real drug is against the law and carries the same penalties as buying and selling the real thing. As with many widely available substitute highs, MDPV is a research chemical. That means that scientists are still testing its effects. Because of the risks, these test are usually performed on pig or rats and other rodents. These animals often die. MDPV is a powerful stimulant, in slang an upper. It makes everything in your body work faster than it is supposed to. MDPV is just one of the ingredients in these so-called bath salts and it is considered many times more powerful than cocaine. The negative symptoms of MDPV use can be brief or long-lasting but they are always severe. Because they're sold as bath salts and labeled not for human consumption, cocaine substitutes aren't required to list their ingredients. An independent study discovered that 18 different brands were using a host of illegal substances and research chemicals as their active ingredients, some of which were known to cause heart attacks, severe paranoia and other dangerous effects. One brand in particular claimed to have switched its active chemical from one that had become illegal to a different, still uncontrolled substance, but had actually not done so. They had only changed the packaging. Anyone tested for the illegal substance would have failed and been facing jail time. The chemicals they use are so potently addictive that users have compared it to crack. When a user is coming down from a bath salt high, all they can think of is getting another packet. Fake coke vendors bet on your addiction and bank on your self-destruction. This will continue until the feelings become unbearable or the user can no longer maintain the use. This can take days, even weeks, during which the real world becomes a blur. The user is hurting their body, damaging their heart and often not sleeping at all. No one really knows the long-term effects If you get hooked on fake cocaine, expect terrible results. Severe weight loss will leave the body ravaged and looking like a skeleton. Long-term lack of sleep can lead to psychosis, fear or a feeling of unreality that never goes away. Some users even report serious paranoia and audio hallucinations. Social isolation becomes a concern as well. The real problem is that no one really knows the long-term effects of chronic MDPV use because it has not been reliably studied. Stories by users, however, are horrific. They mention feeling insane, unable to trust themselves, not sleeping for days, spending massive amounts of money and being unable to control their use of the drug until it becomes so unpleasant they have to force themselves to stop. This mimics the well known long-term effects of other powerful stimulants such as diet pills, cocaine, methamphetamine and Benzedrine. Just like with methamphetamine, the MDPV user encounters a terrible cycle of use. It begins with experimentation. They get a little stimulated and curiosity causes them to take more. It feels exciting, interesting, and gives them a lot of energy. Coming down makes them feel just the opposite, so they take more. It takes a bigger dose to maintain the high, and they want to get even higher, so doses continue to increase. Curious about the effects of fake coke or how it feels? If you try fake cocaine, here's what you encounter right away: Intense sweating, higher blood pressure, tightening blood-vessels, hyperawareness, an inability to stop paying attention, becoming easily startled, serious agitation and annoyance, anxiety and fear, loss of appetite, loss of ability to sleep, and possible long intensive panic attacks. After those go away you'll be hyper energetic and unable to sit still for 6-8 hours. Coming down from the effects is even worse. There's an intense craving for more. A feeling of dirtiness that seems to come from inside. The comedown is characterized as similar to methamphetamine: depression, absolute loss of energy, headache, more anxiety, severely bloodshot eyes, stomach or kidney pain, irregular heartbeat. These continue for another 4-8 hours." Readers may click here to review an article from the Florida Sun-Sentinental.

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