Bath Salts: Clearing the Air
Hello and welcome to Mental Marvels; the blog series centered around brain behaviors and mental phenomenons.
It has been a while since I have written a Mental Marvels blog, but I am back. Today, I thought I would discuss an issue that has been circulating through the news and has sparked national concern: "bath salts."
The story regarding Rudy Eugene, a.k.a. the "Miami Zombie", is one that has shaken the U.S. It is a crime that has started to be known as the most appalling crime that our country has recently witnessed. It is an incident that has brought about many different speculations and conclusions. The most common being that the use of any kind of bath salt will compel a person to attempt to eat a person's face. The media has run with this idea, which has generated a nationwide panic. Well, I thought I would take a closer look to recover the truth regarding bath salts.
Bath Salts vs Bath Salts
The bath salts that were said to have provoked Rudy Eugene to do what he did were not the bath salts that we generally think of when we hear the term. Ann J. Curley of CNN explains the difference between the two:
"These aren’t the same bath salts to make your tub water smell nice. “Bath salts” is just a fake name, but users know it’s not really for the bath."
"Bath salts" is just the nickname for a more dangerous drug; like how crystal meth is called "ice" or how cocaine is called "yeyo." Bath salts, however, also have other street names such as: Bliss, Cloud Nine, Meow Meow, and many more.
The bath salt drug is a drug that contains chemicals similar to that of amphetamine. These "fake" bath salts contain chemicals such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone, and pyrovalerone. These bath salts are labeled "Not for Human Consumption", however, they are purchased for that exact purpose.
Bath salts are considered hallucinogens. The long-term effects of abusing bath salts are not entirely known, however, short term effects include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Violent behavior
- Increase in heart rate
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Panic attacks
According to Ann J. Curley of CNN, they are sold as "cocaine substitutes or synthetic LSD." So, they share similar effects.
The Legality of Bath Salts
Presently, bath salts are not considered an illegal drug. There are proposals, however, that are pushing to have certain chemicals in said bath salts to be made illegal. The federal government of Canada is aiming to make the key ingredient in bath salts, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), an illegal substance. The occurrence in Miami was a certainly a wake-up call to the U.S. and surrounding areas.
Health Minister of Canada, Leona Aglukkaq, declared that the Canadian government plans to list MDPV on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Schedule 1: meaning the users of drugs in this category face a minimum of one year of prison with a maximum of seven years of prison).
Aglukkaq claims that "this will make it harder for people to deal in or even manufacture these so-called bath salts."
Hopefully, this will contain the misuse of bath salts before it goes out of control; we'll just have to see what the future holds.