Caustic Bath Salts Kill

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

New drugs

Bath salts.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Calling these things bath salts is fiction if I ever heard a fanciful tale.

There are also called plant foods. No one I know of is putting this stuff in water and plants that get this stuff aren’t long for this world. What these so-called “bath salts” do is put people in the hospital emergency room. Sometimes they are fatal.

By calling them bath salts or plant food and putting a notice on the label that says “not intended for human consumption” the manufacturers and sellers of these products are getting around the Controlled Substances Act. These products are often found in head shops and boutiques along with glass pipes and “body detox” products. That the sellers know what people will do with these products is clear.

There are no specific ingredients for these products and manufacturers keep changing their formula to keep ahead of the laws. In the process, one key ingredient is becoming the dominant one. Most of the bath salts contain Methcathinone in one form or another.

Don’t confuse Methcathinone with Methamphetamine or Methadone. Pseudoephedrine is a precursor for both Methcathinone and Methamphetamine but the similarities don’t go much farther than that.

Dr. Smith of the Cookeville (Tennessee) Regional Medical Center wrote a two-part series on bath salts recently which appeared in the drugfree.org newsletter. He reports that the effects of Methcathinone are like those of Ecstasy (MDMA) in the early stages but as time goes on the effects become more like Methamphetamine. While Methcathinone was a rare event in the past Dr. Smith reports that he regularly sees people in the emergency room as a result of bath salts.

Methcathinone is a synthetic version of Khat which I mentioned in my recent post 7 New drugs Parents should be aware of.

The effects Dr. Smith reported seeing in the ER from bath salt users included sweating, high body temperature, high blood pressure, low thirst, paranoia, hallucinations, seizures, violence and self-injurious behavior, including suicidal thoughts and actions.

Deaths have been reported as a result of smoking bath salts, but how common this is, remains unknown. Most toxicology screens are not intended to pick up these rapidly changing synthetic chemicals and they are probably being under-reported.

A further concern is that people who buy their drugs in head shops are consuming an ever-increasing number of synthetic chemicals. The belief here, especially among teens is that since they are being sold legally they are safe or relatively safe. Most young people have no sense of the amount of risk they are taking by using these products.

Adding to their popularity is the belief, not always correctly, that these products will not show on a drug test and therefore are not going to cause any problems.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a report to physicians on spotting the side effects from smoking synthetic drugs. These drugs, particularly “synthetic marijuana” or synthetic cannabinoids resulted in over 4,500 calls to poison control centers in the United States in a one year period.

Among the reported symptoms of high levels of synthetic cannabinoids are agitation, excess sweating and inability to speak.

The sale and use of synthetic recreational drugs, both bath salts, and synthetic marijuana, is an evolving problem which is currently poorly recognized or treated.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Grandma is the drug connect.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Drugs

Drug counseling.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Grandparents are some teens drug supplier of choice.

Medicine cabinet.

Bathroom medicine cabinets. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Grandmas. along with grandpas, mothers and dads are becoming the major suppliers of illicit drugs for today’s teens. Grandma may not know it yet, but the drugs she supplied could put her grandkids in the hospital emergency room. This hasn’t happened just once; it has occurred repeatedly all across America. Teens are getting their drug supplies by raiding the old people’s medicine cabinets and dresser drawers.

This is not an isolated incident. Abuse of prescription medications, popping the old folk’s pills, is replacing Methamphetamine as the drug of choice for today teens in many places across America.

Kids have always raided the old folk’s stash, purloined the liquor and smoked dads weed, but this is different and more ominous. Kids are ending up in emergency rooms from overdoses of unknown prescription medication. Frequently the teens don’t know what they have taken. Not the pharmaceutical names or the consequences. With the rapid increase in prescription drugs on the market the standard drug tests don’t begin to detect all the life-threatening drugs or combinations teens may have taken.

Combine unknown prescription drugs with alcohol or the new synthetic drugs and the results can be fatal. The casualties add up at an ever more rapid rate. Today’s teens are more likely to become addicted to prescription painkillers than to illegal street drugs.

The liver may work hard, but put alcohol in the bloodstream and that poor little liver is overwhelmed. It just can’t cope with all those pills. Lots of bad things including death can happen.

We try to control this. At least I hope doctors are trying. When they see someone who is abusing prescription drugs, or just that grandma is using too many, they may not write more prescriptions. Grandchild’s supply may dry up.

Deprive a hooked person of their prescription Opiates or Opioids and it is a short progression to the illegal ones. You can buy the pills on the street, but Vicodin and Oxycodone sold at the bus stop don’t come cheap.

Teens in my town have caught on to smoking heroin to avoid the withdrawal symptoms from the prescribed opiates. Smoking heroin gets expensive fast. They soon find that most of the potency goes up in smoke. So the new connection, the one grandma never expected, is all too ready to show the new addict how to assemble a rig and how to shoot up a vein.

There is a solution to the problem of keeping kids out of the old folk’s pills. Lock the meds up and keep the key a secret. Unfortunately, we older types forget where we put the key. We also don’t remember that there are leftover meds for all sorts of things, in cabinets, drawers and on the kitchen table. We used to have to take these pills but stopped taking them. We still have pills left.

Some people try flushing them down the toilet. Not recommended. It does all sorts of things to the environment. There are other ways I have heard of, but I won’t tell you about those ways here as they are also not recommended.

There is a much better solution. Surrender unused medication at the next:

NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY on April 28, 2012.

A list of the collection sites is found at: Collection sites. 

Please consider – This is no small thing!

Over the last 13 months, the American public has turned in almost 500 TONS of unneeded prescription drugs. That is – for us non-math majors just short of ONE MILLION POUNDS of drugs that were lying around the house. These were drugs that might have ended up sending your kids or grandkids to the hospital emergency room or worse.

Please turn your unneeded drugs in and don’t become the next grandma drug connect.

This post was featured in “Best of Blog – May 2012

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.