(NAPSI)—The latest designer street drug sounds like a relaxing spa accessory, but its effects can be lethal. Not intended for bathing, the synthetic drug known as "bath salts" is snorted, smoked or injected to obtain a high and has effects that have been compared with methamphetamine.
In addition to being sold as "bath salts," the drug is also sold as "plant food," "lens cleaner," and "insect repellant." It has been sold under a variety of brand names, including Ivory Wave, Red Dove, Blue Silk, Ocean Snow, Purple Wave, Bliss, Tranquility or Vanilla Sky. Although these products are labeled "not for human consumption," the drug is specifically made to be abused.
The Dangers of Bath Salts
Bath salts can cause seizures, chest pain, increased heart rate, elevated body temperature and high blood pressure, as well as agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, and delusional thoughts.
Even though the dangers posed by the drug have been widely reported, the drug has become popular because it does not appear on a drug test and, in many areas, can easily be purchased online and in some convenience marts, head shops, and gas stations.
Data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) indicates that its use is rapidly rising. In 2010, U.S. poison centers received 303 calls related to bath salts. As of October 2011, they have fielded more than 15 times as many calls—5,625—on the subject.
Where Can You Get Help?
If you have questions about bath salts, find the drug in your home or suspect a possible exposure, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222. Poison centers are ready to answer your questions about the drug or any other product that could pose harm.
Poison centers are staffed by nurses, pharmacists, doctors and other specially trained poison experts. Calls are free and confidential, and help is available in 161 languages. Services are also available for the hearing impaired. Post the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, by your home phone and program it into your cell phone for quick access. If you would like to learn more about the Poison Help line, visit the Poison Help Web site at www.PoisonHelp.hrsa.gov, which is available in English and Spanish.
Note to Editors: For use in all 50 states except California.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate(NAPSI)