Stimulating Bath Salts — Avoid At All Costs
I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? You should start smelling great? Believe me, I’ve had some people in my office that could use some abusive bathing.
But on a serious note, there have been some street drugs that are sold as bath salts and those can cause a lot of problems.
As far as the FDA is concerned, soap, bath oil, and legitimate bath salts aren’t regulated. As for the Fair Trade Commission, there are some labeling requirements for products that make a claim (such as moisturizing the skin).
But the bath salts that have the feds worried now are a legal high – and they want to make all “highs” illegal.
This seems more political than pharmacological. People seek a substance that is full of “feel-good” in a world that rarely feels good. Perhaps it goes back to the Puritans that founded our country and instilled the ethic that “if it feels good, it needs to be controlled or banned.” (I’m paraphrasing a little here, obviously).
To achieve “feel-good”, people do not sit around studying metaphysics or even religious philosophy or even ecstasy dancing. They like to imbibe a substance of some kind. Substances are fast, and quick, and easy, an “on switch” for “happy now,” in a world that cares little about burning neurons badly enough to require custodial care in time for an early retirement with the state paying. This new designer drug referred to as “bath salts” to slip through the loopholes in the law, are apparently a hallucinogen or stimulant, and a lot closer to Ecstasy — the substance all too often favored at “raves.” It might give the user a good time for a while, but it leaves people depleted of serotonin. Thus, if they feel depressed and go to a doctor, the modern antidepressants – which are serotonin reuptake inhibitors – don’t do much good.
Of course, routine depression is the most common reason people show up at county mental health clinics where they are begging to get such meds free.
It amazes me how people can afford their drugs of abuse, but don’t seem to be able to afford their own prescriptions – leaving the taxpayer to pay the bill.
There is some sense of community among those who are living by amateur pharmacology. Never the less, they seem to be missing at least two thirds of the story. “Bath salts” – the street-drug type – are known formally as methylenedioxypyrovalerone — a norepinephrine and dopamine re-uptake inhibitor.
Hoo-whee! Adrenaline and dopamine means stimulation and pleasure. Some folks have estimated the stimulant type power at four times that of ritalin. As far as I am concerned, that means short lived attacks that wear out, risks of psychosis (I mean seeing and hearing things that are not there) and stroke. Not bad for young folks, but folks who have made it to the age of consent are probably safer in another country, or at least another county, from this stuff. Avocadoes have lots of dopamine but someone would have to consume the entire California crop to get back from the depletion on this one, if they could eat avocados fast enough. Our designer bath salts are illegal in a bunch of other countries. It is not FDA approved for any kind of use I can find, but a lot of natural substances have avoided the blessing of that august body, so what the hell is going on? Department of Justice established a lot of objective data on this compound, which can be identified if someone has a gob of it, March 2010 publication. There are lots of people in lots of countries on the internet, who are trying to sell this stuff. I refuse to list either them or their markets or their sites, as this can kill and I simply do not want to go to those sites or help anyone get this stuff. Emergency calls to action have already made it illegal in many U.S. states. As far as I can tell, the facts about the abuse of this compound are reported honestly and decently on this site. Since this drug seems to have become a political issue, the loophole will be closed. The problem seems to me to be one of why people keep finding loopholes. Physical addiction may be part of the reason. I have come to believe that too many people started on stimulants in childhood, even if good honest decent child psychiatrists tell them they grow out of the need. I just have seen too many stimulant seeking people. No experimental data on this one; just experience. Culturally, we value people who find loopholes. I even overhear people asking each other about how much they can get away with without getting caught. The football player who can do something not quite right and have no penalty flag thrown down. The military man who can smuggle booze into the barracks witout getting caught. I have known, talked to, and even treated who have these social norms.
Religious “what can you get away with” loopholes are common. My early childhood I knew pious Jews who had ingenious ways of getting around the Sabbath laws, like leaving electric switches on over the Sabbath so you did not have to turn one on to “light a fire.” Bill Maher, in his film Religulous, had a lot of fun with the high tech ways modern pious Jews do this. I am just being nice by picking on my own religion and not picking on others. Pehaps even deeper is the need to be stimulated — that “on” switch. I can actually empathize with this more than the substance abusers who want a nice long sleep, be it from alcohol or from quaaludes. After all, the world is a wonderful place with lots of things to do. When I was a little child I hated going to sleep because it meant shutting the world off until the next day. I could write and observe videos without sleep. But sleep has dreams and its own rewards; I know now. Also, I could never risk my life for stimulation. People have different needs for stimulation. There is plenty of research suggesting the animal kingdom does this, too. Like everything else this has been scaled and measured and studied. Perhaps it is our unique biochemical brains that make some of us seek this more than others. But people who do quick fixes need, on some level, to know better.