27 January 2011

Abusing bath salts

When Neil Brown got high on dangerous chemicals sold as bath salts, he took his skinning knife and slit his face and stomach repeatedly. Brown survived, but authorities say others haven't been so lucky after snorting, injecting or smoking powders with such innocuous-sounding names as Ivory Wave, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky.

Some say the effects of the powders are as powerful as abusing methamphetamine... emergency calls are being reported over-exposure to the stimulants the powders often contain: mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV...

The stimulants aren't regulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, but are facing federal scrutiny. Law officers say some of the substances are being shipped from Europe, but origins are still unclear... MDPV and mephedrone are made in a lab, and they aren't regulated because they're not marketed for human consumption...

A small packet of the chemicals typically costs as little as $20.


  1. This article seems to follow exactly the typical media template for inspiring new drug terror. The journalist finds a person who has had a bad experience with the drug then they ask the police what they think of the drug.

    Of course the police tell every horror story they can recall or manufacture to keep people off the drug and the journalist reports them uncritically.

    Never does the journalist consult a chemist or other scientist to explain what the scary sounding chemical names mean, or what effects on the body should be expected.

    Instead we get a "scared straight" campaign disguised as journalism. Once the drug has been part of society for a while and the risks are better understood these early campaigns seem dumb and misinformed.

    "Oh, weren't they stupid in the past. Look at all the ridiculous things they thought about cannabis in Reefer Madness" No, they weren't stupid. They had an agenda to make it seem terrifying and truth be damned.

  2. Indecently these chemicals are being marketed as "bath salts" so that they can be sold legally. Here in Indiana the terror surrounds "incense" that is really a mind altering substance.

    These substances are being sold in head shops with a wink and a nod.

    The more interesting story is that underground chemists have become very sophisticated and are manufacturing new drugs faster than legislatures can outlaw them. They are even mining the research literature in search of new psychoactive compounds.

  3. I have to agree with nolandda. Experiences on MDPV seem to vary considerably but psychosis responses don't seem common at all.

    My experience differs from many people that I've spoken to/read about. I got incredibly anxious. A lot of people have trouble with redosing, taking more to avoid a comedown. I didn't as I just wanted to be sober again. I wasn't able to sleep properly until the next night.

  4. Some guy just laid down in the highway at 2am outside of my small-ass town two days ago and was decapitated by a tractor trailer. Found an open bag of Bath Salts in his pocket. Before this happened I'd never even heard of the drug.


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