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The Bath Salts Craze Essay

1413 words - 6 pages

What are bath salts? Unlike the lavender bath salts found at Bath & Body Works, the designer drugs (bath salts) are not meant to be used for aromatherapeutic purposes. The drug is typically a white crystalline powder that can be injected, eaten, smoked or snorted .Bath salts, made their significant entrance to the United States from England in the year 2010. In the UK the drugs were used as a cheap alternative to ecstasy at clubs. Science, statistics, law and history help us understand why these drugs are more dangerous than any other drug in the United States.

The term "bath salts" itself, as described by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), "refers to an emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone." Cathinones are natural stimulants found in the catha edulis (khat plant) which is native to East Africa and southern Arabia. Bath salt ‘cooks’ create synthetic cathinones, so that the they can effectively mimic amphetamines (ex. “meth”). The synthetic cathinones in bath salts are the cause of hallucinations, euphoria, and paranoia. Bath salts, have the reaction of both methamphetamine and cocaine. Dr Lovis J. De Felice, professor a Commonwealth University, says that “it would be like taking a very powerful cocaine and a very powerful methamphetamine at the same time. “Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that “processes control movement, emotional response, and ability to experience pleasure and pain.” When dopamine is naturally released, it is then absorbed by the neurons. On one hand, just like methamphetamine, synthetic cathinones increases greatly increases dopamine levels. And on the other hand, cocaine prevents the reabsorption of excess dopamine. Most bath salts increases the dopamine and locks it, yet bath salts have a more severe effect on the user. Unlike cocaine, bath salts do not release the dopamine back to the neurons instead it kills the transporter. Once the transporters are killed the central nervous system is remodeled for the rest of the person’s life.

A bath salt consumer is lucky if they survive and have minimal damage to their psychological, emotional and physical health. Typically drugs provoke hallucinations, increased blood pressure and paranoia.Bath salts are not an exception. Fevers may rise up to 107 degrees Fahrenheit and toxicity in blood may cause kidney failure. Adding to that, bath salts are also known to cause extreme agitation, increased strength and self- abuse. Many doctors refer to this behavior as “excited delirium”. It is also speculated that excited delirium can lead to cannibalistic actions. If an individual experiences excited delirium, doctors will need to treat them with general anesthesia since sedatives will not do the job. In many cases it has been reported that many consumers have said that they felt as if they had the devil inside them or that they felt chased by demons. After trying the drug at least once, the consumer will have long term...

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