Posts Tagged bath salts abuse
It sounds like a harmless product, but don’t let the heavenly name of Cloud 9 fool you.
Cloud 9 is a drug that is gaining popularity among teenagers. The product is actually bath salts mostly sold in liquid form for use in e-cigarettes. Much like any other bath salt product, Cloud 9 contains the active component methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), a substance that has exceedingly higher hallucinogenic effects than meth or cocaine.
The liquid drug is easy to procure in some retail stores, but is usually purchased online fairly easily. This convenient access to Cloud 9 bath salt poses a real danger to the young generation, based on a report by Inquisitr about more than 20 teenagers hospitalized as a result of taking bath salts within this year.
The drug’s meteoric rise to infamy stems from the fact that aside from its availability, it can mimic the euphoric effects of popular illicit drugs such as coke, meth, LSD and ecstasy. Immediate health risks arising from use of Cloud 9 and other similar bath salts include high blood pressure, irritability, nausea, dizziness, faster heart rate, and delusions. Meanwhile, some of the long-term effects are depression, neglect of commitments, and violent tendencies.
Other names of bath salts aside from Cloud 9 include Bubbles, Hookah Relax, and Purple Wave. Many of these products are sealed in packages that circumvent existing drug prohibition laws by labeling the substance “not for human consumption.”
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State Senator Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, invited the Indiana Attorney General’s office, Indiana State Police, Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council, and Indiana Sheriffs’ Association to an emergency meeting geared at eliminating the sale of synthetic drugs in Indiana.
Although no schedule has yet been confirmed, Merritt’s invitation came after a TV reported about a teenager who was hospitalized for using a synthetic drug which was allegedly purchased from an Indianapolis gas station, the Courierpress.com reports.
In his request letter, Merritt urges state officials that it’s high time “to let synthetic drug makers, retailers and users know that it must stop and will stop.”
Earlier this year, lawmakers have passed a legislation designed to crack down on retailers that sell illegal synthetic drugs, such as bath salts and spice. In addition, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced last month they were collaborating to take those drugs off store shelves.
“The legislature has spoken twice now with two separate laws empowering law enforcement with the tools to identify and crack down on the manufacturers, distributors and retailers providing synthetic drugs,” Merritt wrote in a letter requesting the meeting.
Merritt added he wants to ensure that the police and other state officials are “aggressively pursuing new ideas to fight these synthetic drugs still plaguing Indiana communities.”
The senator also took a stand on the case of the 17-year-old girl who was admitted to the hospital after using synthetic drug.
“If the pending investigation finds this Indianapolis gas station sold the girl synthetic drugs, I’m absolutely calling for its retail license to be suspended,” Merritt said. “They’ve had formal notice of the outlawed substances and the penalties for selling them.”
San Diego County has adopted on Tuesday a drug ordinance that targets synthetic drugs, such as Bath Salts and K2/Spice.
The Board of Supervisors temporarily approved an ordinance declaring synthetic drugs a public nuisance and making stores that sell them face civil abatement actions, the Fox5sandiego.com reports.
County officials admit that San Diego teenagers have not been spared by the dangers of synthetic drugs. Local grocery stores and supermarkets are selling a lot of these products which are often marketed “not for human consumption.” What’s more alarming is that teenagers who use them do not have the slightest idea on what the drugs can do.
“We have seen an increase in the use among our children. It’s being marketed to them in a way that they don’t quite understand and the types of behavior we see are violent. They are psychotic and they are something that none of these teenagers really can anticipate,” said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
The ordinance, to be voted on April 3, would also make it a public nuisance to possess the products when it injuriously affects the heath, safety, welfare or comfortable enjoyment of life or property of someone other than the person in possession.
In addition to the ordinance, the board also voted 5-0 to support Assembly Bill 2420 aimed at outlawing the products.
“Combining these two measures will put San Diego County at the forefront of the efforts to combat what is a growing and dangerous problem facing our society,'” said County Supervisor Greg Cox.
Something good is coming out from New Jersey’s efforts to ban the sale and use of synthetic drugs; that is, a decline in reported cases related to synthetic marijuana and bath salts.
State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa announced on Thursday that the number of reported incidents involving the two drugs has dropped significantly.
“Before we took action to ban these dangerous drugs in New Jersey, they were sold as a so-called ‘legal high’ by shady retailers with no regard for their catastrophic side effects,” Chiesa said in a press release. “Today it is unambiguously clear that, here in New Jersey, synthetic marijuana and ‘bath salts’ are just as illegal as cocaine or heroin. Thankfully, the numbers demonstrate that our bans on these drugs are working.”
New Jersey, on the first quarter of this year, imposed a ban on synthetic drugs — making the possession, sale and manufacture of synthetic marijuana and synthetic stimulants “bath salts” punishable by three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Less than a year of implementing the initiative, the State Police Office of Forensic Science reported a 77 percent drop in synthetic marijuana incidents. Furthermore, the Poison Control hotline reports that received calls related to synthetic marijuana exposure dropped by a third, while calls about exposure to bath salts declined by 66 percent.
Synthetic drugs have rapidly become an emerging threat to adolescents due to easy accessibility in convenience stores and gas stations. The use of synthetic marijuana and bath salts have been found to cause muscle cell break down, kidney failure, seizures, tremors, anxiety, chest pain, convulsions, hallucinations, and heart palpitations.
Karen Simone, Pharm.D, director and chief toxicologist of the Northern New England Poison Center, explained that bath salts overdose cases “are just very difficult to manage.” She added, “Users are seeing things that aren’t there, they’re paranoid, they’re frightened, and sometimes they’re quite violent.”
For several years, synthetic drugs have been landing in the hands of adolescents and high school students who are looking for a cheap and “legal” high. Synthetic marijuana (often known as K2 or Spice) and bath salts are easily purchased from head shops, gas stations, convenience stores, and via the Internet. Though labeled “not for human consumption,” an alarming number of youth are turning to synthetic drugs under the wrong perception that they are harmless.
According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future survey of youth drug-use trends, 11.4 percent of 12th graders used Spice or K2 in the past year, making synthetic drugs the second most widely abuse drugs by high-school seniors. The American Association of Poison Control Centers says the calls they received relating to human exposure to synthetic marijuana double from 2,906 calls in 2010 to 6,959 in 2011; whereas, the number of calls received related to bath salt exposure was 20 times higher from 2010 (304) to 2011 (6,138).
Sadly, parents are facing extreme pressure to be more involved with their children’s lives to keep them away from using synthetic drugs and other illicit substances. They are even more challenged by the fact that they have little control over what’s happening to their children’s lives the moment they step out of the home.
In schools, teachers and school administrators are urged to exercise the same vigilance to students. As a result, some school districts are enforcing random drug test to curb illegal drug use, as well as launching programs to educate students about the dangers of synthetic drugs.
Lately, a handful of research are being published by experts to step up education and prevention campaigns that will pave the way to combating the problem.
In the hope to raise public awareness on the issue of substance abuse, TestCountry designed an ebook that will help parents and teachers address the problem of synthetic drug use. The book, which provides concrete steps to take in order to determine level of use in your teen and get them the help they need, was developed to be a resource on synthetic drugs. It also included some difficult questions on parenting a teen who uses drugs, and researches cited from a variety of credible resources.
A free download version of the Synthetic Drug Abuse: Guide for Teachers & Parents Book is available for a limited time only.
Fort Lauderdale is the latest to join the growing number of cities wanting to ban the sale or display of bath salts and synthetic marijuana, according to the CBS Miami report.
Broward County commissioners have asked the county’s attorney on Tuesday to draft an ordinance banning products that contain illegal substances or ingredients that mimic the effects of those substances.
“We’re talking about products that carry names such as ‘Innocence’ and are sold at convenience stores and gas stations, et cetera,” said Commissioner Sue Gunzburger who requested the ordinance.
Synthetic marijuana and bath salts have become an alarming concern to US officials and law enforcement following reports about teenagers and adults who have been abusing them. As of 2012, at least 44 states have already banned one or both of these substances.
Last year, Gov. Rick Scott signed a law prohibiting bath salts; however, manufacturers have managed to elude banning penalty by slightly altering the drugs’ chemical makeup.
In Miami-Dade County and the cities of Miami, Sunrise and Sweetwater, ordinances banning synthetic marijuana and bath salts have been either passed or already in the final stages of passing.
Fort Lauderdale’s drafted ordinance is scheduled to come back for commission review in the fall.