The latest 'trendy' way to get high

Bath salts. Not kidding.

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One of the most recent designer drugs to hit the streets – bath salts – has become trendy among users for many reasons: the perception of innocence, easy accessibility and relative inexpensiveness. But emergency medicine experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham warn that these synthetic drugs are deadly.

“Bath salts can be compared to cocaine or an amphetamine; they’re a stimulant. But bath salts are not as expensive as pure cocaine or heroin,” says Erica Liebelt, M.D., professor in the http://www.uab.edu/news/latest/item/896-ingesting-bath-salts-causes-illn... Department of Emergency Medicine . “Users are snorting or smoking the bath salts and also ingesting or injecting them intravenously.”

There have been http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/ohio-news/3-local-deaths-tied-to-pop... 3 deaths in the last two months in our area from the use of bath salts.

I recently purchased compressed air to clean out our computers, and had to show my drivers license, because it is also on the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inhalant_abuse]list of legal substances that are abused . They are now adding a bittering agent to some brands to try to prevent abuse- and that stuff is AWFUL. You don't have to huff it to get it into your nose and lungs, and the taste of it lingers in the air and in your nose/mouth for a very long time.

People are bound and determined to feel something. Injecting bath salts intravenously??? Kids are often at risk because they are apt to try something they heard about, not realizing the danger. It's amazing to me that you can plug one hole by controlling narcotics, then another by restricting cold medicines, then aerosols, and now- are bath salts the next thing you have to show ID in order to purchase? It boggles the mind.

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Ed Vasicek's picture

This is sad to hear. What a world.

We now cannot buy Sudafed without signing for it, so bath salts will be added to the list. When will it end? Maybe not till the Lord comes. When will that be? HOPEFULLY SOON!

"The Midrash Detective"

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Susan R wrote:
Why not stiffer penalties for those who abuse? Not to mention the parents who allowed teens to party unsupervised with access to alcohol and other illegal substances.

If you go down that road too far, you are basically saying all kids (and it sounds like visiting kids not your own as well) have to be supervised at every moment with everything they find in the house. My kids could easily get to the gas cans to cause arson, almost all the household chemicals, all of which might have uses that they weren't intended for, etc., etc.

I think the solution is to teach the kids well, and hold them responsible for their own actions, not to have stiffer penalties for parents who do not supervise, or not allowing parents to buy things like bath salts. If a kid decides to take a loose 2x4 and kill someone with it, the parent might be responsible for being a poor teacher of his kids, but not, in my opinion, for leaving a stray 2x4 in reach of the kids. The child will have to bear his own punishment.

This is exactly why, in my view, control of substances as having dangerous properties will never work, at least not beyond a short period of time, and trying to control particular uses will be even harder. Sure, kids can't easily buy drugs, alcohol, guns, etc., but they could easily get into the parents' medical or household chemical cabinets and do all sorts of things with what's in there. Making a particular set of drugs illegal in this country has just caused people to find alternatives, and they will keep doing so, even after we can no longer buy bath salts or Sudafed.

Dave Barnhart

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I thought my comment was clear that I was talking about parents giving their kids access to alcohol (which is illegal) and illegal substances (which is really, really illegal).

Of course a kid could use gasoline and household chemicals to engage in all manner of dastardly deeds, but gasoline isn't a controlled substance. Yet. I definitely agree that kids should be taught well, and held responsible for their own actions, but if a parent is negligent or encourages immoral behavior, they should also be prosecuted. You can see some stats http://www.samhsa.gov/SAMHSA_News/VolumeXVI_4/article15.htm here about how underage kids get access to alcohol. Many obtain it from their own parents. There are several other studies done by the http://www.samhsa.gov/samhsaNewsletter/default.aspx ]Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration that are relevant.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Susan R wrote:
I thought my comment was clear that I was talking about parents giving their kids access to alcohol (which is illegal) and illegal substances (which is really, really illegal).

Well, I might have misread it a bit, but it's not illegal for adults to have alcohol, so unless they keep it in a safe, the kids have access to it. And what I was referring to was the generic "illegal substances" you mentioned -- if bath salts are made illegal to buy, does that mean the remaining stock needs to be locked up too, or the parents are responsible? This is the kind of thing that worries me. It wouldn't be that hard for the law to go through most peoples' homes and find *something* that they haven't controlled access to and then hold them responsible for a kid getting hold of it. Sleeping pills, leftover Vicodin or other opioid-type drugs, narcotic cough syrup, bottles of model glue, cars, gasoline, power tools, hammers, I could go on and on -- the typical household will have plenty of things like this around. They can't be all locked up, and as I was trying to say, the things that aren't currently controlled can be at least as dangerous as those that are.

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Of course a kid could use gasoline and household chemicals to engage in all manner of dastardly deeds, but gasoline isn't a controlled substance. Yet.

But of course, kids could use those things to cause as much or more damage than they can with bath salts. My point is that anything can be abused, and if done enough, some people would start to think it should be illegal or strictly controlled. The only reason bath salts are taking the blame now is that there was a discovery that they are easy to use and abuse in place of something harder to get, and word is getting around. But kids have done a lot of stupid things and gotten themselves injured or killed before. This one is just the current news fad. As soon as they are impossible to get, something else will pop up in its place.

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I definitely agree that kids should be taught well, and held responsible for their own actions, but if a parent is negligent or encourages immoral behavior, they should also be prosecuted.

As long as simply having something dangerous around the house (that isn't secured like Fort Knox) isn't considered "negligence," then I would generally agree. However, if a parent actually encourages their kids to drink or misuse bath salts that's a big difference from having those substances around the house.

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You can see some stats here about how underage kids get access to alcohol. Many obtain it from their own parents.

There is (or should be) a qualitative difference between parents buying alcohol for their underage kids and having it in a cabinet where the kids can find it. Kids do a lot of stupid stuff, and if they really want to, they can find a way to keep doing so, even if you take a lot of precautions. Holding parents responsible only makes sense with gross, intentional negligence, and before I would be in favor of more laws holding parents responsible, there would have to be many safeguards in place to distinguish between encouragement of wrongdoing, and simply having something available that can be used for wrongdoing.

I don't have any good solutions to this problem other than proper child training, which of course, many parents will not do, but making more and more substances illegal will not make even a noticeable dent in preventing kids from harming selves by abusing something.

Dave Barnhart

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I completely agree that a loose definition of 'negligence' is very much a slippery slope. Many would think it negligent not to childproof the house, but we chose to houseproof our kids instead. So I am much more in agreement with you than you might think. My boys' rooms look like they raided a Klingon garage sale, and my daughter has been using her own 6" chef's knife since she was 8. They can all use a variety of power tools. I totally get it.

My comments were directed more at the story of the teens with access to controlled and illegal substances, and the wording of the story leads me to believe that the homeowner might have been complicit in the incident. Far too many adults harbor the misguided notion that as long as the kids are 'experimenting' with drugs, alcohol, and sex 'in the home' where 'they are safe', that it's ok. Other rather warped individuals believe that kids are 'going to do it anyway' and since they are just big kids themselves and still want to be 'cool', they provide controlled and illegal substances and even their homes to teens who want to party.

I think penalties for those kinds of offenders should be harsh and should be enforced. Which is where the legal system tends to fall apart, IMO.

I am definitely against controlling every substance that can be abused. There is very little that can't be abused in some fashion- brussel sprouts, perhaps? A law abiding citizen need not feel like a criminal for wanting to buy compressed air or Sudafed or bath salts. And a nimrod who wants to risk their life breathing in or shooting up chemicals to experience a high should be allowed to reap what they sow, one way or the other.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Susan R wrote:

My comments were directed more at the story of the teens with access to controlled and illegal substances, and the wording of the story leads me to believe that the homeowner might have been complicit in the incident. Far too many adults harbor the misguided notion that as long as the kids are 'experimenting' with drugs, alcohol, and sex 'in the home' where 'they are safe', that it's ok. Other rather warped individuals believe that kids are 'going to do it anyway' and since they are just big kids themselves and still want to be 'cool', they provide controlled and illegal substances and even their homes to teens who want to party.

I think penalties for those kinds of offenders should be harsh and should be enforced. Which is where the legal system tends to fall apart, IMO.


I generally agree with you here, again as long as it can truly be shown that the parents encouraged that behavior.

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I am definitely against controlling every substance that can be abused. There is very little that can't be abused in some fashion- brussel sprouts, perhaps?

Those are abused any time they are ingested in any fashion, or maybe I should say that if we use them we are abusing ourselves, but that's just my point of view. Smile My wife and kids love them. I guess they got an addiction to them at some point, and my 12-step program is not helping. "Hi, I'm a Barnhart and I like Brussels sprouts ..." I think those were the first plant Adam encountered after being thrown out of the garden -- they probably didn't even exist until after the fall.

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A law abiding citizen need not feel like a criminal for wanting to buy compressed air or Sudafed or bath salts. And a nimrod who wants to risk their life breathing in or shooting up chemicals to experience a high should be allowed to reap what they sow, one way or the other.

And on this, I couldn't agree more.

Dave Barnhart

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I think the media is trying to get folks worked up about this. There are news stories all over the internet, and local incidents have made the front page in our area for a couple of weeks. I feel like I can see where this is going- after all, bath salts aren't a 'necessity', and compared to the life of a child, they are definitely less than essential. Soon there will be the chorus of "If gov't control saves the life of just one child...", but the underlying question is really how many freedoms are we willing to lose to 'save the life of a child'?

So let's look at how the gov't operates- http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/family-lifestyle/new-fda-gu... it took the FDA 33 years to decide on sunscreen standards . Do we want to put the lives of our nation's children in the hands of a deficient and corpulent gov't or leave the chips to fall where they may with the parents?

More laws don't resolve problems because most of the time the laws that are already on the books aren't being enforced. IOW, what good is it to pass a law requiring higher fences when the fences are made out of toothpicks and dental floss?