There’s a disturbing new drug threat facing our young people, and it's a threat you might not expect. Right now, these drugs are legal, but already young people high on these drugs are dying, or suffering major psychological and physical problems.
Drugs are hidden in other products, but can be bought over the counter and on the internet. We’re talking about synthetic or man-made designer drugs and they are sold as bath salts.
This is not something where people are using ordinary bath salts you can find anywhere to get high. These are bath salts specifically laced with powerful drugs and they can be very deadly.
On the internet, and even on store shelves, they look innocent enough. Bath salts - with bucolic names like vanilla sky, ivory wave and red dove - are nothing less than highly dangerous and addictive synthetic drugs, marketed as a harmless bath product. The names on the wrappers hide a potentially deadly product.
Around the U.S., the consumption of bath salts has led to dangerous situations. In Mississippi one man got high on synthetic drug laced bath salts and repeatedly slit his face and stomach. In Louisiana, another man high on bath salts cut his throat then shot himself to death.
Others who survive are left with depression, anxiety, or paranoia. The reason is that the bath salt drugs are laced with man made drugs designed to mimic LSD, marijuana, methamphetamines, or ecstasy.
They are powerful, but not yet illegal substances. And because these bath salts are created on the black market, no one really knows what is in them.
“The main danger is, we don't know what the main danger is. Actually, because we don't know what the interaction with these types of drugs are in the brain,” said Dr. John Kelley of Mass. General Hospital.
An added problem is that bath salts are relatively cheap at only $15 to $20 a hit. The prime demographic for bath salts is teens to young adults, 14 to 24 years old.
Even though each package reads, not for human consumption, that's exactly what these kinds of bath salts are for, says the DEA. Bath salts laced with synthetic drugs are so new, they are not yet regulated in the United States.
That is changing, as individual states are making moves to ban them. In the meantime, young people are using them and they are risking their lives.
Parents should have a long talk with their kids about these bath salts. Remember, we're not talking about well-known brands of bath salts. We're talking about bath salts that you might find in a mini-mart, a head shop, or on the internet.