Friday, May 20, 2011

Drug Alert Watch - Bath Salts

Minnesota made national news on March 16, 2011 when a 19 year old male died and 10 of his friends (ages 16 - 21) were hospitalized after using 2C-E (synthetic hallucinogen).  In response to this tragedy, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill that added substances known as 2C-E and 2C-I, plant food, bath salts, and synthetic cannabinoids to the list of Schedule I drugs in the controlled substances chapter of MN law. The Governor has stated he will sign the bill into law.

In addition to Minnesota's response to the abuse of synthetic substances, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a "Drug Alert Watch" to law enforcement and public health officials regarding the increase in the abuse of synthetic substances. 

 The DOJ in their drug alert stated, "Law enforcement officials throughout the country are reporting that products promoted as bath salts have become prevalent as a drug of abuse. Bath salts have recently appeared in some of the same retail outlets that previously sold synthetic cannabinoid products such as K2 and Spice, and also are available via the Internet. Bath salts are abused as recreational drugs typically by injection, smoking, snorting, and, less often, by the use of an atomizer. Effects include agitation, an intense high, euphoria, extreme energy, hallucinations, insomnia, and making abusers easy to anger. Preliminary testing indicates that the active ingredients in many brands contain MDPV (3,4- methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and/or mephedrone." 1

Can I use "bath salts" in the Air Force?

Yes, if you are using the bath salts that are made for bathing.  However, if you use the bath salts without legal justification or excuse, and use the salts contrary to the directions of the manufacturer or prescribing health care provider, and the use of any intoxicating substances not intended for human ingestion (AFI 44-120, Attachment 1.), then the member is considered to have wrongfully used synthetic substances (bath salts) and the member can be prosecuted under UCMJ for the wrongful use of those substances.
Bath Salts

Specifications on Bath Salts:

Description: White, odorless, fine-powder;  a tan, brown powdery substance; colorless oil; or clear gelatin capsules.

Common Effects: Similar to methamphetamine, ecstasy, and cocaine. The drug can increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, chest pains, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations and death.

Packaging: Small jars – The packaging usually has a disclaimer that states, “not for human consumption" on the product.

Can be bought at: Convenience stores, discount tobacco outlets, gas stations, pawnshops, tattoo, parlors, truck stops, and Internet sites.

Common Names: Blue Silk, Charge+, Ivory Snow, Ivory Wave, Ocean Burst, Pure Ivory, Purple Wave, Snow Leopard, Stardust (Star Dust), Vanilla Sky, White Dove, White Knight, and White Lightening, and Blizzard.

Users: Primary users are male or female from the ages of 15 to their late 40s with an extensive history of drug abuse.

Cost: $25 to $50 per 50-milligrams

1Drug Alert Watch, U.S. Department of Justice, SENTRY Watch,, EWS Report 000007, 17 December 2010.