Sold as bath salts, stain removers and other household products, new designer stimulants drugs also known as “bath salts” have become a growing problem for law enforcement agencies and in many instances, offer life threatening consequences for users.
Over the last few years, use of designer stimulants has surfaced as an epidemic in the United States. In 2009, there were virtually no calls to call centers and authorities by users of these drugs. That figure rose to about 300 in 2009 and to more than 6,000 in 2011.
Packaged and sold as common household products to evade drug laws, designer stimulants are among the newest type of recreational drug. “Although packages are conspicuously labeled “not for human consumption,” they are clearly intended for use as psychoactive substances,” according to Addiction Medicine Specialist Dr Erik W. Gunderson of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
These potentially poisonous products have become easier to purchase and can be found on the Internet and other outlets. It has been reported that the effects are similar to those of cocaine, amphetamine and other stimulants. The dose, compound of drugs used and the method of administration may affect the actual intensity of the results. Users may sniff, swallow or even inject these drugs. Symptoms found in patients treated range from agitation, accelerated heart rate, argumentative or violent behavior and even hallucinations. Use of other drugs and underlying mental illness only serves to worsen the effects.
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