You might as well take the lock off the medicine cabinet, Mom and Dad. Your teenagers already have all they need to get high on the side of the tub. They're stealing your bath salts to make the hot new drug.
When I first read kids were snorting, injecting, and smoking the salts to get a high comparable to methamphetamine, I did a little snorting of my own. Bath salts? We soak in this stuff, let our skin get all pruney with it. How could it be BAD for our kids?
Here's the thing -- they're not bath salts at all. That's just what they're being marketed as to throw the cops (and us parents) off the trail. What I found out was enough to make every mom worry about her kid's motives when Junior shows up with a nice "bath salt" gift basket for Valentine's Day this year. Let's break this down:
According to Dr.. Richard J. Geller of the California Poison Control System, the problem is what's inside these so-called salts. The most common ingredient used in bath salts is called 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV (marketed as Ivory Wave and Energy-1). But also commonly found inside that "instant spa at home" is Mephedrone, aka 4-Methylmethcathinone, a compound very similar in structure to Methamphetamine. It's marketed with names like Bounce, Bubbles, M-CAT, Mad Cow, and Meow Meow.
Other substances Geller says are "implicated" as “bath salts” include 3,4-Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Methylone), 4-Methoxymethcathinone, 4-Fluoromethcathinone, and3-Fluoromethcathinone. All four are derivatives of Methcathinone, also known as Khat, Jeff, and Cat, a drug Geller says is structurally and pharmaceutically similar to methamphetamine. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has it listed as a "schedule one" drug under the Controlled Substances Act -- the same class as heroin, pot, and mescalin.
Now for the good news. Experts say a traditional bath salt that contains sodium chloride (sea salt) or magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) is not what the kids are looking for; so if that's in your bathroom, your kids are safe ... until they discover the next homemade high.
Do you worry your kids will try this one out?
Image via judepics/Flickr