Bath Salts, DEA Ban and Addiction
In the beginning of March 2012, the DEA extended the ban against the sale of bath salts and other synthetic drugs such as Spice and K2 for another six months. Last March the DEA banned five chemicals whose ingredients mimicked THC found in marijuana. The DEA ban places these substances on the Schedule I list: highly addictive without any acceptable medical use.
In the fall of 2011, the DEA placed mephedrone , MDPV, and methylone (better known as bath salts or plant food ) and marketed them under such innocuous names such as Ivory Wave, Purple Wave and Vanilla Sky. The composition of the chemicals is quickly manipulated, changing the legal status of the drug, so the DEA then bans one drug’s chemical composition only to have it quickly manipulated even by one small chemical shift which makes it legal.
While these bath salts and synthetic marijuana products are being used and growing in popularity, the devastation caused by these drugs mounts. Emergency rooms are seeing more and more admissions of people suffering from agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain and suicidal ideations after ingesting one of these drugs. The concern deepens as those who present with suicidal ideation at the hospital can still be suicidal after the drug’s effects have worn off.
(Adapted from article on WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/bath-salts-drug-dangers?page=2)
Over the past several months, more disturbing signs of the dangers associated with these drugs have also been seen in emergency rooms. Many of those who choose to inject substances such as Spice come to the ER with horrific medical conditions of skin, muscle and bone being eaten away.
The recent action by the DEA is in response to law enforcement, emergency room physician reports and poison control centers. The DEA views the growing problem as an “imminent hazard to the public safety.”
The bans will end in six months at which time Congress will have to take action. As of March 2012, the Senate has not taken action to make these drugs illegal, though the U.S. House has passed legislation to make these drugs illegal.
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