Bath Salts: More Perilous Than Meth?

Addicts are struggling to get clean

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 23, 2011 8:43 AM CST

(Newser) – Ivory Wave, Red Dove, Vanilla Sky—the names sound more tranquil than menacing, but authorities are calling them the latest in drugs as dangerous as crystal meth. They're bath salts, and can be bought legally in stores, but they contain mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, which can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates, and suicidal thoughts. Louisiana alone had 125 calls to its poison control center in three months last year, leading the bath salts to be outlawed by emergency order.

Now other states are thinking of following Louisiana's lead, reports the AP. Because bath salts are not designed to be consumed, they are not regulated like food or drugs. But people—mostly meth addicts for now, say the police—can snort, inject, or smoke them, giving them a powerful, but scary high. "I couldn't tell you why I did it," said one man who stabbed himself in the face and stomach while high on the salts. "The psychological effects are still there." "Even though it's a horrible trip, they want to do it again and again," said a poison control doctor.



Neil Brown stabbed himself in the face and stomach while tripping on bath salt powder.
Neil Brown stabbed himself in the face and stomach while tripping on bath salt powder.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Bath salts are the latest innovation in the drug war, authorities say.
Bath salts are the latest innovation in the drug war, authorities say.   (Shutterstock)
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