Prolonged use of bath salts has its long term effects and these will include increased pressure and heart rate, kidney damage and failure, liver damage, brain swelling and brain death, breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue (this is the breaking down of muscles that bring about the movement of the bones of the skeleton) and worse more prolonged use can lead to death.
Recovering users of these bath salts have described its effects as follows , that it gives them a cocain-ish come down that grows increasingly worse, with the chest tightening and the heart beating faster that can last up to nine hours with everything around seeming to be moving at a thousand kilometres an hour.
The main substance behind the effects of bath salts that is used is known as MDPV (3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone). Studies have revealed that it is highly addictive and possibly even more than methamphetamine, one of the most addictive drugs doing rounds.
The adverse effects of the MDPV can last six to eight hours after use and it has been noted to cause prolonged panic attacks, psychosis and deaths.
Bath salts were first synthesised (artificially created) in France in 1928 and 1929. Some were originally researched for potential medical use, but most of the drugs created were unsuccessful due to severe side effects, including dependency.
Abuse of these drugs started in the former Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s where they were used as anti- depressants. Known as “Cat” and “Jeff” they gained popularity in the United States.
Between 2004 and 2008, these drugs were used in Israel until the key ingredient MPDV was made illegal. In 2007 they gained popularity among drug abusers when they began to appear on internet drug forums.
Ecstasy pills analysed in the Netherlands in 2009 found that half the drug did not contain the primary drug that Ecstasy is associated with but rather found bath salts.
In 2012 two of the key drugs used in bath salts were made illegal in the United States of America. However, underground chemists then created new variations with slightly different formulas and promoted them openly as bath salts or repackaged them as glass cleaner.
Most of the products are not what they appear to be. So in everything that you will use under the name bath salts, watch out for some of the short and long term effects and seek help.
Join the Rechabites in their Citizens unite against drugs campaign and be an instrument of change.
Mthandazo Ndlovu is a drug prevention and rehabilitation specialist. For more information and help contact 00263772399734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org