What are bath salts and why are they dangerous?

ivory wave fake cocaine being marketed as bath saltsJust this last week, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill to ban synthetic stimulants, or fake cocaine, from being sold in convenience stores and marketed online as “bath salts”.  Utah joins 25 other states to propose the ban because of an alarming increase in emergency room visits. The bill also officially banned Spice – a synthetic marijuana being sold as incense – from being sold in Utah. Spice has hit the headlines many times over the past few months but not much has been published about the danger of the bath salts being used.

Here’s a few important facts:

  • Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Bliss, Red Dove, and Vanilla Sky are marketed as “bath salts”, and up until now, have been legally sold online and in convenience stores for about $20 a packet.
  • Users can snort, inject or smoke the cocaine-like powder. Chemicals found in these products, such as MDPV (or methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and mephedrone, stimulate the body’s central nervous system, providing the user with a high similar to that of cocaine.
  • Ivory Wave has been shown to increase your heart rate and blood pressure, cause hallucinations, extreme paranoia and delusions. There are reports of suicidal thoughts among users.
  • This year so far, there have been 251 “bath salt”-related calls to poison control centers across the country, according to the Association of Poison Control Centers. To put it in perspective, there were 236 calls made to the centers in all of 2010. And we’re only two months into the year.!The drug use is definitely on the rise.

The bath salts can no longer be sold legally in Utah but as with Spice, there are speculations the product will become available underground or sold online. So parents, if you are concerned about your teen possibly abusing these substances or others be sure to reach out. You can talk to a Youth Services Substance Abuse therapist if you have any questions.  

Tips for Parents

 Here are a few helpful tips about approaching a conversation with your child:

  • Educate, but don’t lecture.Make as much effort as possible to talk with your children about what is going on their lives.
  • To avoid arguments and accusations, listen to your child first then talk. Keep the lines of communication open and be aware of opportunities to engage your kids in emerging trends or topics.
  • Address difficult topics before they emerge as a bigger problem down the road. The earlier, the better. It’s never too young to talk to your kids about the risks and dangers of drug use.
  • Find a good medium. Parents who are too harsh or too permissive have kids who are more likely to take risks.

Ivory Wave and Spice drugs had already been outlawed in a few cities and counties in Utah, and now with the state law in effect, awareness of the dangers these drugs pose will hopefully spread.


About malloryblack

Hi Everyone! I am a Communications Intern for Salt Lake County Youth Services. Currently, I am finishing up my last few credits at Salt Lake Community College and am about to transfer to Utah Valley University to finish my degree in Public Relations this August. I'm planning to head into non-profit public relations for my career. I enjoy reading books about psychology and finance, getting to know new people, and volunteering within the community. I'm really enjoying my time with Youth Services, especially with my contributions to the Youth Booth Blog. I invite all comments :) So, talk with me! I'd love to hear your perspective and opinions!
This entry was posted in Family Counseling, Parenting Tips, Safe Place, SLCO, Substance Abuse, Teen Counseling, therapist and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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