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Bath Salts – An Amphetamine by Any Other Name

On 7 September 2011 the DEA banned mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone, also known and sold as Bath Salts and plant food. It’s chemical name methylenedioxypyrovalerone, and newer pyrovalerone derivatives, is essentially speed.  Speed, meth, amphetamines, Ecstasy are highly addictive and quite simply very bad for human and animal consumption.  They have no medicinal value.

Methyl derivatives come from theme and variation of the molecular compound of amphetamine, adding hydrogen and carbon molecules on a skeletal structure to create slightly different forms of speed.  The compounds are extremely dangerous to the human brain and the human body.  Unfortunately, the effect on the human brain and body initially inspires euphoria with increased energy and stamina not obtainable by any natural way.  The effect is alluring and embracing, the side effects are profoundly dangerous and permanently damaging.

The variation of methyl compounds exceeds the rate of state or federal regulations to ban or prohibit these different variations until now that the DEA imposed the Schedule 1 prohibition.  The boom of Bath Salts came legally selling a highly toxic mood altering substance – marketing their product as plant food and of course bath salts. 

Effects of these methylamphetamines appear as agitation, psychosis, attempts at suicide, hallucinations, chest pains, bizarre behavior, compulsive behavior, irrational thinking and death.  How much a person consumes, the purity of the methyl structure and the individual’s response is so wildly unpredictable it took but a month before the negative effects of these Bath Salts were flooding emergency departments across the country.  The brain damage – especially cognitive thinking- remains profound for long periods of time after one stops ingesting the substance.

There are always two larger questions:  What drives humans to consistently pursue getting high to the point that they become suicidal?  What does treatment do to help people recover from the devastating effects of designer drugs? 

The first question has no simple or brief response; humans are designed to enjoy feeling good and for 10%  to 25% of the population people are prone to feeling good ALL of the time no matter what.  Treatment helps stabilize people – bringing them back to reality and giving them ways to cope with the normal, and not so normal, ups and downs that life gives us.  Treatment gives people 12 step recovery, guides to trusting a recovery and healing process that no drug or chemical can offer.  Treatment offers people the chance to sincerely bond with others to find a depth of happiness and closeness not otherwise obtainable.

Sam Darcy
Executive Director
Vista Taos Renewal Center

References:
Laural J Martin, MD (Editor webMD.com)
Petros Levounis, MD (Addiction Inst of N.Y.)
Zane Horowitz, MD (Oregon Poison Control)

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