Bath Salts and Spice: The New Designer Drugs

Bath Salts

Bath Salts and Spice (K2) have become the new designer drug. They are inexpensive, readily accessible drugs found in gas stations and thrift marts. What’s not widely known is that Bath Salts and Spice can cause a psychotic break resulting in permanent brain damage and even death.

A school in San Diego, California, recently showed a video to parents of someone manufacturing bath salts in their home and a male having a psychotic reaction after using one of the synthetic drugs. Another video clip showed a dad and mother, both physicians, whose son slit his throat while under the influence of Spice. He survived, was released and later shot himself at home, they said.

The meeting was concluded by asking parents to write to their local legislators and demand that Spice and Bath Salts be banned from sale in their community.

There are other reports of serious side effects of these drugs. The normal medical treatment for drug overdoses doesn’t seem to work in the case of bath salts. Patients experiencing actual toxic psychosis from a “normal” cocaine or methamphetamine overdose will respond to sedatives and gradually calm down after treatment. Bath salt overdose cases do not seem to respond to normal sedatives like valium, even when administered in high doses.

Another concern is the alarming suicide ideations in these patients, even after the immediate effects of the drugs have worn off. These chemicals act in the brain like stimulant drugs (they are sometimes touted as cocaine substitutes); thus they present a high abuse and addiction liability. Dr. Nora D. Volkow of the National Institute of Drug Abuse advises that these products have been reported to trigger intense cravings not unlike those experienced by methamphetamine users. Clinical reports from other countries appear to corroborate their addictiveness. They can also have a high risk for other medical adverse effects. Some of these may be linked to the fact that, beyond their known psychoactive ingredients, the contents of “bath salts” are largely unknown, which makes the practice of abusing them that much more dangerous.

If you suspect someone you know is abusing Bath Salts or Spice, please get them help immediately before their addiction grows more grave. Call now to speak to one of our drug counselors at our drug rehab.