Bath Salts

Bath salts also known as  “monkey dust” in Great Britain

A group of manufactured  recreational designer drugs,an easily obtainable mind altering substance

The name originates from occurrences in which the drugs were concealed in packaging to smuggle through borders as bath salts. The white concentrate, particles, or minerals often resemble Sugar or Epsom salts, but are totally different chemically. wake up Bath Salts: The Zombie ApocalypseThe smuggled narcotic was packaged in a packets labelled “not for human consumption” in an effort to avoid drug ban laws. They are also labelled as plant nutrition, domestic powdered cleaner, and other similar products.

The Zombie Apocalypse??

Many of us have heard tales of drugged up men and women cutting their own skin open, violently attacking each other and eating human flesh while intoxicated on bath salts. The stories are horrifying, reminiscent of a Rob Zombie feature film. But what are the facts? What are the signs? And what are the real effects of this new age drug?

Growing in popularity and known as “flakka” in SA , and now available online  ‘Bath Salts’ have become an easily attainable mind altering substance. This is an emerging drug gaining traction amongst addicts. The drug contains synthetic chemicals that are related to cathinone. This is an amphetamine-like substance.

Reports have surfaced revealing the dangerous effects associated with the use of bath salts. It has been ascertained that bath salts pose a serious safety and health issue. The synthetic stimulant produces increased social interaction, increases sex drive and creates a sense of sheer euphoria. Sounds like a typical amphetamine right? The drug has also made headlines for its other horrifying effects. Users have experienced hallucinatory delirium, showing psychotic behaviour, full blown psychosis and violence (to the point of murder, suicide, and self-harm). Death has been reported in several cases.

Effects and Symptoms

The common physical symptoms of bath salt/flakka abuse can include:

  1. Chest pain
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Agitation
  4. Rapid heart rate
  5. Extreme aggression
  6. Psychosis
  7. Severe hallucinations
  8. Seizure
  9. Raised body temperature
  10. Death

The psychological symptoms of bath salt abuse include:

  1. Paranoia

  2. Panic attacks
  3. Anxiety
  4. Hallucinations

Tests for Bath Salts

Bath Salts: The Zombie ApocalypseThere are no decent tests at present for these designer drugs, something that might appeal to users looking for a high without being able to be tested for narcotics losing their jobs. Though, if you listen to the description of the results of doing the drug by a first time user who describes a horrible experience, when he decides to the drug:

“So the high was just a scatter! It is a really pushy adrenal rush from this drug and I have heard people use the phrase ‘jumping out of my skin’ but never really felt like this – this is a very good analogy for how I felt. I was Mr. King of Tension, the tension lord. Felt very tripped out (not in a nice trip way just a messy horrible way).”  -Name withheld

Some users experience a syndrome that has become known as ‘excited delirium.’ Alongside this delirium comes dehydration, kidney failure and the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue. These effects have proved fatal in many instances.

Only in the early stage of studies, Cathinone has indicated high addiction potential. In a study of the rewarding and reinforcing effects of the substance, rats displayed self-administration patterns and escalation of drug intake almost identical to methamphetamine addiction. The danger of bath salts, much like the substance cat, is that the drug contains other unknown elements and ingredients. Combined, the effects may be disastrous. The quality and strength of the narcotic is never stable and is therefore dangerous and liable to be used excessively causing overdoses that can be disastrous or fatal.

Bath salts were only recently removed (2015) from convenient stores in the United States. South Africa is yet to tackle this problem head on. It is up to us to educate ourselves and the community at large about the harrowing effects and dangers that come with this new drug trend.

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