I love taking baths. Bath time allows me to relax, read a book, enjoy a beverage, or just clean my body. My favorite activity though, is eating the salts that I use to provide me those luscious bubbles and that edible smell. Joke. Totally, a joke. BUT for some, there is a bit of truth behind that previous joke… and it’s not a joke. The name is simply just the name to deter authorities when marketed. Actual bath salts or Epsom salts do not have psychoactive properties. Marketers will also advertise under the names of plant food, phone screen cleaner, or jewelry cleaner. The package is sold containing white or brown crystalline powder with labels stating, “not for human consumption.” Maybe brand names exist for this chemical: White Lightning, Scarface, Vanilla Sky, Cloud Nine, Ivory Wave, and Bloom. I have no experience with this drug, but I do know a good friend who personally does. If anyone has any suspicion based on a previous or current drug addiction, look for these names along with the symptoms. The chemical can be taken orally, inhaled, or injected. The brain is affected by the substance that includes MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone), mephedrone, and methylone, along with many others that much are unknown. The properties are similar to meth and MDMA. This hallucinogen creates an energizing effect that raises the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain that is responsible for movement. That may not sound THAT bad, especially because of the increased activity and euphoria. I know that I need about three cups of coffee a morning to help me with that. Want to hear a scary fact that I myself just learned? I bet you do. Before the rapid popularity of bath salts in Europe and the United States, it was considered a legal high. Did you read that right? Yes, yes you did. As of July 2012, two of the primary ingredients, mephedrone and MDPV, were made illegal. Still not convinced? If you need to snack on your bath accessories, you are now in risk of a few things. JUST a few though: a racing heart, high blood pressure, chest pains, psychiatric symptoms, paranoia, hallucinations, panic attacks. Nope, not finished: dehydration, breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, and kidney failure all can result in death. So why is this drug worth the risks? What kinds of hallucinations happen?
Let me get off researched facts and tell you a story. That friend I told you about earlier, she told me about her experience and why she would NEVER do this again. She was in public. She did not want to eat other people, as reported from other users of the salts. She did however, think she was a pretzel. She tried to contort her body into positions and tried biting herself after she licked her arm and tasted warm butter. I myself am always hungry. Easy access to food? No, I am not a cannibal. Delirium is a syndrome from ingesting bath salts. They are also HIGHLY addictive. Frequent consumption will induce tolerance, dependence, and strong withdrawal. My friend, who is now a loving and wonderful mother of twins, and a soon-to-be bride, was treated for substance abuse, along with medical care for her self-inflicted wound. Not everything, if anything, can be solved on your own or without the help of a professional. Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s something to be proud of. No substance should take over your life.