Before the infamous “zombie attack” that took place in Miami last year, the chemical concoction dubbed “bath salts” was relatively unknown to the general public. Though forensic reports ultimately revealed that the Rudy Eugene – the assailant who attacked and chewed the face of a homeless man – did not have these drugs in his system, the rumor that he was under their influence has brought bath salts into the public eye.
Despite the relatively low usage rates, this surge in public interest led the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to feature the drug in its 2012 “Monitoring the Future” survey, which is administered to high school students across the country each year to shed light on alcohol and drug abuse among teens.
According to the 2012 survey, only 1.3 percent of 12th grade survey-takers had experimented with bath salts last year. However, the source notes that this could be because the drug is still relatively new.
So what are bath salts, exactly?
Bath salts are typically a mixture synthetic stimulants that include mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), similar to methamphetamine. MDPV is a psychoactive drug as well as a stimulant, which may factor into the extreme side effects this concoction can produce. Bath salts are usually snorted in powder form, but can also be swallowed or injected. Taking bath salts can lead to extreme paranoia and agitation, which may drive users to act out in violent ways. They can also affect the body’s natural rhythms, causing high blood pressure and an increased heart rate.
The gradual emergence of bath salts is a serious cause for concern among healthcare professionals. Bath salts drug abuse, the NIDA explains, has also “been linked to an alarming surge in visits to emergency departments and poison control centers due to cardiac and psychiatric symptoms.”
Bath salts can transform the person you love into a whole other figure, one that is essentially a stranger to you. To help your loved one turn away from this addiction, consider enlisting professional interventionists to hold a drug abuse intervention.