What are bath salts?
“Bath Salts” is the common name for drugs which are technically known as synthetic cathinones (so not what you put in your bath tub). “Bath Salts” produce similar effects to stronger drugs, such as cocaine and ecstasy. Until recently Bath Salts have been easily accessible because they are sold as bath salts or plant food, as by law they cannot be sold for human consumption, in order to get round legal loopholes. They can be used to induce a whole host of feelings from across the board, Bath Salts can be bought as stimulants, sedatives, and hallucinogens.
Bath Salts can be extremely dangerous. For one, there is little scientifically known about them, until recently there has not been enough data on them to ban. Their biggest risk however is their unreliability. Because they are not tested for safety, in using Bath Salts you cannot be sure what you are putting into your body. For all you know it could be a cocktail of substances that will leave permanent damage to your health.
Popularity of Bath Salts
Bath Salts tend to be popular among young adults in their twenties, which is a worry as this could make them popular to the next generation. Despite the risk and uncertainty involved in using Bath Salts, their popularity is high, and in 2010 and 2011 the American Association of Poison Control Centers showed a rapid rise in the use of bath salts. The widespread availability and the low cost of Bath Salts has increased their popularity in times of economic downturn. Due to this many people have substituted high cost cocaine and ecstasy for these cheaper substances which create similar effects.
What the Federal Government has done?
With the rising popularity of these precarious drugs, the Federal Government has become involved in order to tighten the State laws which were easily broken by cross border dealing. President Obama banned Bath Salts as a part of the “Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act”, which he signed into law in July 2012. The Bill bans 31 substances with over 25 synthetic marijuana and hallucinogens.
The Act was largely thanks to the work of NY Senator Charles Schumer (NY already has a ban on Bath Salts). Schumer said of the act’s signing, “President Obama’s swift approval of this federal ban is the final nail in the coffin for the legal sale of bath salts in smoke shops and convenience stores in New York State and throughout the rest of the country” He went on, “This law will close loopholes that have allowed manufacturers to circumvent local and state bans and ensure that you cannot simply cross state lines to find these deadly bath salts, and I’m pleased that after a great deal of effort, it has become law.”
Is that enough?
The honest answer: it’s too soon to tell. For the ban to work, there needs to be rigorous enforcement to close the supply of a very high demand. This Bill does enable the DEA with greater power of reinforcement which will allow proper investigations into “Bath Salts” as well as the ability to target the sources of Bath Salts production.
The drug world is a master of adaptation and innovation. Whatever laws are passed, they will attempt to find ways around the barricades. However, the promise from those in power that more needs to be done to prevent Bath Salt production and consumption, moreover the legislation to ratify that promise, is a sure start to reducing and further preventing the sale of bath salts.
About the Author: This post was written by Stanley Martinson. Stanley is a health and wellness writer who has a deep interest in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. For more information go to this site.