State of Emergency?
Over the weekend Governor Hassan of New Hampshire declared a state of emergency. Normally, this kind of action takes place after a natural disaster or an outbreak of an infectious disease. On August 14, 2014, Governor Hassan declared a state of emergency in the state of New Hampshire – due to bath salts.
I want you as a reader to let that sink in.
In a matter of three days, 44 people in the Manchester and Concord areas overdosed and ended up in their local emergency departments. This didn’t happen because of an earthquake, hurricane, or Ebola. A state of emergency was issued in order to stop the sale of a legal substance because it is causing a serious threat to the public.
Folks – this isn’t even done when multiple people die from heroin overdoses, and that’s illegal.
Many of you may not know exactly what bath salts are and may assume they are illegal. I’m here helping to give you some knowledge, dispel myths and encourage dialogue within your family. Allow me to briefly introduce myself, my name is Rebecca, and I am a treatment specialist who assesses the individuals who call Vertava Health for help. All day long I work with people struggling with addiction to get them into the right treatment plan so that they can heal. So as you can imagine, I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
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Let’s start with the basics:
What Are Bath Salts?
Bath salts have many names including, Spice, K2, and Smack. They can be marketed as plant food, potpourri, smart phone screen or jewelry cleaner, and herbal incense – none of which are their intended purpose. Think back a few years ago to VCR cleaner. Many bottles of head cleaner were sold and inhaled, even after the death VCR. The main chemical component found in these tiny packages is a chemically engineered compound similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Bath salts are abused by smoking, injecting, snorting and brewed into a tea.
Why Aren’t Bath Salts Illegal?
Technically, it is extremely difficult to make bath salts illegal. The reason for this is because of the chemical compound within the mixture. There are many ways to mix and modify the recipe allowing the manufacturer to change, repackage and redistribute their product. Another way around continuing to use the compound is by adding, “Not for Human Consumption,” to the packaging. Also, they are incredibly easy to find. You can purchase these products at many gas stations, party stores and head shops. They will be located right next to the herbal Viagra. Many websites will deliver them right to your door.
Isn’t It Like Legal Marijuana?
Unequivocally, no. The high from bath salts is extreme like PCP, methamphetamines or cocaine and can cause hallucinations like LSD. Often accompanied with the high are the following side effects; palpitations, headaches, diaphoresis, and hyperthermia. That’s right hyperthermia means your brain is cooking itself.
Will Bath Salts Make Me A Zombie?
Quite possibly yes, but not a, “Night of The Living Dead,” type of zombie. People have been known to experience extreme violent and psychotic breakdowns while abusing this drug. It has been recorded that the use of bath salts has contributed to multiple attacks on human beings and animals. Feel free to Google it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s horrifying. What we’re talking about here is acute psychosis. Patients overdosing on bath salts are combative, self-destructive, suicidal or homicidal. In order to calm down, they are given high doses of antipsychotic medications and sedatives. These symptoms can last a week or longer.
So why does this keep happening? Why do young people continue to use this dangerous drug? Is there something highly addictive that keeps them coming back?
The answer is surprisingly simple. It’s because they want to get high. That’s it. It’s the same reason anyone else, no matter what age or drug of choice, uses drugs and alcohol. We want to be high and escape from reality. It seems easier than the crazy stuff that goes through our heads.
I know this because I started drinking and using drugs at a very young age. I’m proud to say that I’m clean and sober now and have been for over a decade. But I’m here to warn you, parents, that there are some dangerous drugs out there and there is something you can do to help protect your children.
Talk to them.
I want to encourage you to talk with your children. Don’t be afraid. Find out what they are doing and ask if they have any friends that are experimenting with drugs or alcohol. If you find bath salt packets or suspect your kid is high, confront them immediately. I can guarantee that if they’ve tried bath salts before that it’s not the first drug they have experimented with. And I know that they probably have friends that are doing it too.
If you suspect that there is something going on with your child I encourage you to reach out. My team and I are the best people to talk to about stuff like this. We’re knowledgeable, caring and understanding, and will stop at nothing to help you or your loved one get the help they need before it’s too late.
Don’t be afraid to reach out – you never know how amazing it can be,
Treatment Specialist, [email protected]