Legal, synthetic drugs are increasing in popularity, and are now starting to also gain the attention of authorities. White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske released a statement this week about one new drug, saying, “At a time when drug use in America is increasing, the marketing and sale of these poisons as ‘bath salts’ is both unacceptable and dangerous.” (1)
Making and Selling Synthetic Drugs
The drug under investigation is bath salts, also known as Ivory Wave or Purple Wave. This substance is manufactured using MDPV, or methylenedioxypyrovalerone, and other substances. Authorities, however, are unsure of what other chemicals are even in this drug. This and other synthetic drugs are created by chemists who make small changes in molecules of known substances to form new drugs.
Ivory wave is growing in popularity among young people, mainly because it is legal and cheap. It can be found in convenience stores and on the Internet, and is usually labeled as bath salts. But the intended use for getting high is common knowledge among young people, and is all over the Internet. This drug is not even labeled for human consumption, and some packages even have a warning label on them, but that may be just to cover up the intended use from authorities. However, as with any substance that becomes more and more popular, a greater number of people suffering adverse affects are coming to the forefront, and the authorities are becoming aware. The American Association of Poison Control Centers has had 251 calls about bath salts this year already, compared to 236 calls about it throughout all of last year.
Side Effects of Bath Salts
Bath salts, though still legal, can cause effects among users similar to cocaine, meth, or LSD. The drug can be snorted like cocaine and it can cause extreme energy, rapid heart beat, insomnia, chest pain, heart attack, and stroke. It is also known to cause hallucinations, psychosis, and paranoia, which can be very concerning. “People are becoming violent, or psychotic, and sometimes the psychosis is lasting a week or longer, which is quite unusual.” said Dr. Karen Simone, Director of the Northern New England Poison Control Center in Portland, Maine. (1)
Know the Dangers of Legal Drugs
The federal government is investigating a few different synthetic drugs, and most likely will have many more as these synthetic drugs continue to be developed. The DEA has taken steps to fast track a ban on the synthetic drug K2, or legal weed, that quickly spread across the country. Ivory wave, so far, has proven to be a more serious health risk than K2. Emergency rooms across the country have seen patients on bath salts that are agitated and psychotic, that can’t be calmed with regular doses of sedatives. This drug, and others like it, will most likely be made illegal in the near future. Until then, parents need to be aware of what their children are getting involved with, and warn them of the dangers of these legal substances.