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Are bath salts prone to be abused? Is there such a thing as bath salts addiction? A disturbing, growing trend of abuse is a substance commonly referred to as “bath salts”. Mountainside Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Center in Canaan, CT supports a ban on selling bath salts due to the extreme danger, including death, of this substance.
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Tonight in special assignment: a growing and dangerous trend in Connecticut. The substance labeled as bath salts and sold over-the-counter in shops across the state can produce a high similar to cocaine. Vox Connecticut’s Ayana Harry joins us now with more on the troubling trend.
The labels make them look harmless. They say they’re simply bath salts but for the people who use them, these so-called bath salts are the new cocaine. This dangerous stimulant is on sale in Connecticut and it’s legal. It’s a new cocaine substitute sweeping the nation. It delivers a quick and dangerous high.
In Connecticut, it’s perfectly legal. The label says it’s bath salts with whimsical names like “Ivory Snow” and “Hurricane Charley,” but this powder is so powerful it’s earned the nickname “meth on crack.”
“They can cause convulsions. They can cause high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, heart attacks, psychosis, paranoia, and they’re quite easy to get.”
It’s smoked, snorted, and injected, and now it’s in Connecticut. The state’s poison control center had no reports of bath salts used in 2010, but this year they’re getting calls about overdoses in our state.
“It’s extremely dangerous and I think we’re at the tip of the iceberg.”
What’s marketed as an innocent household item is really an amphetamine with a high similar to cocaine, but with powerful hallucinations. Bath salts are now completely banned in Louisiana, Florida, and New Jersey. The ban in New Jersey passed only weeks after prosecutors there say a 23-year-old murdered his girlfriend during a rage fueled by bath salts.
“I am very concerned about the explosion of abuse in these drugs, which very soon will reach Connecticut in substantial numbers.”
Sales of bath salts and synthetic marijuana have doubled business at Wasteland. To keep up, they’ve hired new staff.
And bath salts is a booming business in another place: drug treatment centers. Mountainside rehab in Canaan treats many addictions, including bath salts. The center just got a new patient last week. The patient here at Mountainside dealing with a powerful bath salts addiction was too fragile to speak with us during our recent visit, but he says that drugs decimated his life.
“It’s very addictive and what we’ve learned from some clients that we have had through treatment here is that people will, not unusually, use this like crystal meth. They will use it for days-long binges, keep using and keep using, and because of the relative inexpensive nature of the product, they can get lots to use and the high can last for days and days.”
The staff in Mountainside want a nationwide ban to pass quickly. Every slot in their rehab program is full and there’s a waiting list. They hope legal help will slow the spread of the innocent-looking drug with a powerful impact.
“It could ruin somebody’s life very quickly. Indeed, it could take someone’s life.”