Monday, September 30, 2013

Bath Salt Related ED Visits On the Rise...

Bath salts are becoming ever popular.  You may not have even heard of the bath salt high until the now famous Miami face eating attack.  The attack happened on May 26, 2012 (my birthday oddly enough).  Unknown to the general public data was being compiled just the year before focusing on the break down of emergency department visits relating to the new synthetic bath salts.  In 2011 alone, 23,000 of the 2.5 million drug related emergency department visits were due to these new synthetic concoctions.  These drugs have been "legally" marketed as being true bath salts or even jewelry cleaner.  They can be ingested, inhaled or injected.  The real culprit in the dangerous high that results from these drugs is a chemical called "3, 4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone or MDPV for short.  This chemical has now been deemed under the schedule 1 category by the DEA.  This means that the substance is highly addictive and has no accepted medical use.  The numbers continue to show an increase in ER visits due to the substance.  Even the poison control has reported increases in bath salt related exposures.  The numbers show an increase from 300 cases in 2010 to over 6,000 cases in 2011.  Doctors have not found a specific way to act against the drug and control all of its effects, which can include: heart and blood vessel problems, depression, suicidal thoughts, psychosis, and death.  Right now the best thing to focus on is prevention, and public awareness. 

For more information on the physiological effects, I found this detailed list:

  • rapid heartbeat
  • elevated blood pressure
  • vasoconstriction (narrowing blood vessels)
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • stomach cramping
  • grinding teeth
  • elevated body temperature (up to 107°F - 108°F, which may be life-threatening)
  • dilated pupils
  • headache
  • kidney pain
  • tinnitus
  • dizziness
  • overstimulation
  • hyperactivity
  • difficulty breathing
  • agitation
  • paranoia
  • confusion
  • psychotic delusions
  • extreme anxiety
  • suicidal thoughts/actions

  • Chemical involved:

        3, 4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)



    1 comment:

    1. Interesting post. As someone that works in EMS it's always good to be aware of the latest new street drugs.