|photo by Devese Ursery/Forum|
by Devese Ursery of The Forum
A Synthetic Drug Labeled "Bath Salts" is Ravaging the St. Louis Area
An “Ivory Wave” aka “bath salts” has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, from the U.K. and landed on the front porch of St. Louis. This fad has now swelled into an uncontrollable phenomenon causing its abusers to act savagely toward unsuspecting and innocent bystanders. Police and drug tactical units from the St. Louis area and in St. Clair County have raided over 13 convenient stores and head shops, uncovering numerous amounts of weapons, boxes loaded with synthetic drugs and tens of thousands of dollars. The Midwest is the latest region to succumb to the psychotic influences of bath salts. According to Peggy Kinamore, public education coordinator of the Missouri Poison Control Center, this menacing designer drug has been on the upward swing in Missouri since 2010. During that year there were 18 cases of exposure to the drug. The following year, in 2011, cases of exposure had risen to 269. So far, this year there have been 69 reported cases of exposure.
Bath salts, 20 years ago were absolutely harmless, as a matter of fact, they were deemed beneficial to the skin, body and mind. Bath salts, when used in their natural, absolute form, contain many minerals and nutrients that are advantageous to keeping the skin soft, smooth and supple. The various minerals found in bath salts include magnesium, potassium, calcium, bromide, and sodium. These minerals are freely absorbed into the pores and are known to cleanse and purify the skin, on a molecular level, enhancing the skin’s radiance, tone and texture. Bath salts used to be known as a soaking agent that was found in your grandmother’s medicine cabinet. Now days it is known as a designer drug that turns its user into flesh eating cannibals.
Fast-forward 20 years and the once harmless soaking agent has now transformed into an inexpensive designer drug under the guise of “bath salts”. For the past few years there has been a new phenomenon that has taken a hold of the streets and is eating away at the souls of its populace. This form of “bath salts” does more harm than good, causing its users to have hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and psychotic episodes. Drug Enforcement Administration studies and researchers have discovered three major chemicals that make up the active ingredients to this fatal synthetic drug. Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDV), mephedrone and methylone.. These chemicals are neither controlled by the DEA nor approved for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration. Other tests have found products containing 2-DPMP (desoxypipradrol), an amphetamine-type stimulant related to Ritalin, Lidocaine (an anesthetic) and Pyrovalerone (a hallucinogen).
This Molotov cocktail of chemicals causes its users to succumb to “zombie-like” or cannibalistic behavior. The people that have allowed this deviant stimulant to come into contact with their bloodstream have been prone to “psychotic fits” committing gruesome acts of violence like eating the flesh of their victims, rape, murder and suicide.
This new sensation that is turning “Generation Next” inside out is thundering across America, like a stampeding herd, making stops in Washington State, Los Angeles, Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia, New Jersey, St. Louis and other cities in Missouri, to name a few. Bath salts are geared toward the younger generation. They have found ways to sell it legally in smoke shops, gas stations and online, by marketing it as plant food and “bath salts.” Although it is labeled “Not for human consumption”, users ingest, smoke, snort or inject the lethal combination. This deadly concoction is sold under an assortment of names, including Ivory Wave, Red Dove, Blue Silk, Cloud Nine, Charge +, Lil Butterfly, and Yellow Jacket, Ocean Snow, Lunar Wave, White Lightning, Scarface and Hurricane Charlie. It is described as a white, off-white, tan, brown, or yellow-colored powdery substance, sold in small 50-milligram to 500-milligram packets or 500-milligram jars. Prices range from $25 to $50 per 50-milligram packet. The cheap prices and easy accessibility, combined with its addictive qualities make this a ticking time bomb, ready to explode in countries like the U.S. and the U.K.
The number of calls to poison control centers concerning “bath salts” rose 6,138 in 2011 from 304 in 2010, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. As of May 31, 2012, there have been 1,302 cases of people being exposed to this newfound epidemic. There were 720 calls to the poison control center in the month of May last year concerning “bath salts”. This year in May there were 295 calls. Jana Morris, executive director at the Bangor-based addiction treatment center Recovery Revolution, said bath salts legislation cannot keep up with the pace of its manufacturers. By the time a synthetic drug is banned, a legal alternative has already been developed.
Many states have recently passed laws making “bath salts” illegal, including Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota and West Virginia. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has drafted a bill nationally that would add the chemicals that are used to manufacture “bath salts” to the list of federally controlled substances. In November 2010, Great Britain banned imports of 2DPMP after at least two deaths were linked to products containing it. Australia, Canada and Israel also have implemented some form of ban on the products.
For more information on “bath salts” and other illegal drugs visit www.dea.gov. In Missouri contact the Missouri Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.