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Bath salts led to 23,000 ER visits in one year

A new government report has assessed the dangers of bath salts — the synthetic drugs created with methamphetamine-like stimulants. The analysis, conducted by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), found bath salts to be linked to nearly 23,000 emergency department visits in 2011.

“Although bath salts drugs are sometimes claimed to be ‘legal highs’ or are promoted with labels to mask their real purpose, they can be extremely dangerous when used,” said Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, SAMHSA’s chief medical officer, in a press release. “Bath salts drugs can cause heart problems, high blood pressure, seizures, addiction, suicidal thoughts, psychosis and, in some cases, death — especially when combined with the use of other drugs.”

The researchers also concluded that of the bath salts-related ER visits, 67 percent also involved the use of another drug, most commonly marijuana or a synthetic version of it. In total there were 2.5 million drug-related ER visits in 2011, according to the report.

Bath salts are stimulants, similar to methamphetamine, and have become increasingly popular among recreational drug users, due to their price and accessibility. Despite the name, these synthetic drugs have nothing to do with the therapeutic crystals that people sometimes sprinkle in a warm tub of water.  They are also sometimes referred to by cute-sounding names like Ivory Wave or Vanilla Sky.

Drug abuse can have a detrimental effect on an entire community. If you suspect a friend or relative of abusing drugs or alcohol, contact Intervention Services today. We can connect you with an experienced interventionist who can help your loved one get into an effective treatment program.

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