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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Drug of Abuse....Bath Salts!

     In mid-December, the US Department of Justice released a Drug Alert Watch to law enforcement and public health officials warning of the ascendancy of a new drug of abuse being promoted as "Bath Salts."  According to the release, and other reports, Bath Salts are appearing in the same retail outlets, head shops, service stations, convenient stores, and over the Internet, as did K2 also known as Spice, the new synthetic forms of cannabis that have been on the market for some time now.

     From the DoJ Drug Alert, the drug is marketed in 50-500 milligram packets, with the smaller selling for between $25 and $50, making it affordable and available to our students.  The availability is becoming more common, and knowledge of the drug more common as students have been overheard discussing the pros and cons of the product. Directly from the DoJ publication:
"Effects include agitation, an intense high, euphoria, extreme energy, hallucinations, insomnia, and making abusers easy to anger."  The alert further informs us that, "Common brand names include Blue Silk, Charge+, Ivory Snow, Ivory Wave, Ocean Burst, Pure Ivory, Purple Wave, Snow Leopard, Stardust (Star Dust), Vanilla Sky, White Dove, White Knight, and White Lightening. In central Pennsylvania, these substances have been offered for sale under the brand name “Blizzard.” The Blizzard brand is described as a white, odorless, fine-grained powder similar in appearance to baby powder or flour ... Many other brands are a tan or brown powdery substance." 
Packaging obviously aimed at our kids!

     The effects, described by abusers mirror those of methamphetamine, ecstasy and cocaine.  Some have called it "fake cocaine."   It is generally sold as a white, tan or brown powder in small packets with the consistency of flour or baby powder.  The products have been available in Great Britain for several years, where overdoses and fatalities have been reported. 
      The growing concern with abuse has caused the British government to ban bath salt products that contain the active ingredient MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and/or mephedrone. The US Drug Enforcement Agency considers Bath Salts a "drug of concern."  A quick Google search shows what a pervasive problem is emerging from these new designer drugs.

     Something else to watch for coming through the front doors of our schools. 

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