Column: Designer drug not as harmless as the marketing promises

Collin Hofmann, Staff Writer and Collin Hofmann, Staff Writer

The designer drug dubbed “bath salts” is making its way into America’s convenience stores and head shops. The little packets of powder are dangerous but are being smoked, snorted, and injected by young adults across the nation.

This drug is legal in most of the U.S. However, the Drug Enforcement Administration has labeled the key ingredients, mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV, as chemicals of concern. The substance can be bought for $25 to $40 a packet online or at the inexpensive shops.

When pumped into the bloodstream the powerful synthetic stimulants can induce extreme psychological effects such as paranoia, high blood pressure, and hallucinations.

We need to be aware that this drug isn’t at all related to the scented products added to baths to help with relaxation. The “bath salts” are stimulants sold with harmless-sounding names like White Lightning, Vanilla Sky, Blue Silk, Tranquility, Bliss, and Ivory Wave.

But they are far from harmless.

On Nov. 9 2010, Richard “Dickie” Sanders, a 21-year-old BMX rider snorted a packet of “Cloud Nine” and suffered from illusions. During his three days of intermittent psychotic episodes Sanders looked out the window in terror, counting invisible helicopters, and attempted suicide by slicing his throat with a kitchen knife.

He survived from the knife, but not for long. After three days of delirium Sanders killed himself with a .22 caliber rifle.

Another incident happened in Mississippi shortly after Sanders’ death.

Neil Brown slit his stomach and face repeatedly with a skinning knife while high on the stimulant, The Associated Press reported. “I couldn’t tell you why I did it,” Brown told AP, while pointing to his scars. “The psychological effects are still there.”

It’s sad to see people getting high on whatever they can get their hands on nowadays. People need to understand that the high is temporary and the consequences last a lifetime.

The corrupt chemists are also to blame because they are the ones creating calamities within families and destroying mankind with their concoctions. This is why these stimulants should be banned in the U.S.for its severe side effects on people.

Today only a few states have banned these “salts” from their convenience stores. The U.K., Ireland and other countries have already outlawed this drug for good.

The growing public fever is also putting real bath salt makers on the edge. The San Francisco Bath Salt Company is complaining that the marketing of these chemical compounds are giving their product a bad name.

This powerful synthetic stimulant has created an epidemic amongst the people in America. We as a society can learn from other people’s trials and tribulations and stay away from substances that are detrimental to our health.