Jessamine County Coroner

Bath Salts

If you over hear your children or grandchildren discussing bath salts, don’t be fooled into thinking they have suddenly gotten interested in soaking in the tub.  More than likely, they are discussing a relatively new phenomenon that began sweeping the country last year.

“Bath Salts” is an acronym for a new class of designer drug that is readily available in many states at gas stations, tobacco shops, convenient stores, and head shops.  Sold under appealing names like  Ivory Wave, Bolivian Bath, Ocean Snow, Blue Silk, White Girl and Charley Sheene Bath to name a few; these chemical mixtures are considered potentially dangerous and produce multiple side effects in users.

While “bath salts” or methylenedioxyprovalerone, also known as “MDPV, or Mephedrone  are labeled in their small packets or boxes as “not for human consumption”, they are sold and purchased for the sole purpose of snorting, smoking, injecting or mixing with water as a beverage. Used as substitutes for controlled prescription stimulants, they have effects similar to cocaine, ecstasy or methamphetamine.  Most users that have been seen in hospital emergency departments experience increased blood pressure and heart rate.  In addition, many complain of extreme agitation, paranoia, hallucinations and chest pain.  Even worse is the suspicion that some suicides have been linked to this drug, some of which have occurred just days after use.

Bath Salts are not currently illegal under federal law, but a number of states have passed legislation to make possession, manufacture or trafficking either a misdemeanor or felony.

The state of Kentucky recently enacted HB 121 which makes possession of the substance a Class B misdemeanor and manufacturing or trafficking in them a Class A misdemeanor.  This follows the ban on synthetic cannabinoids (K2, spice) passed last year.

At least two states, Louisiana and Florida have made these drugs a Schedule 1 substance putting them in the same class as Heroin, which will greatly stiffen penalties for use or distribution.

In order for the federal government to make these drugs illegal, they must first be declared as Schedule 1, which means they have medicinal value but also have a high potential for abuse. 

In a recent “Dateline NBC” show with Chris Hansen, one designer and manufacturer of the drug told Mr. Hansen that as soon as the federal government bans his particular compound of the drug, called “Bliss”, he is ready to release a slightly different compound that will be legal for him to sell until they ban that one, and so on. 

Even a top-ranking official of the DEA admitted to what seems like a cat and mouse game, where the cat never quite catches up with the mouse.

In perusing the internet for information on “bath salts”, I came across numerous sites that advertise the sale of these drugs directly over the net.  There are others that actually review various “salts” where the reviewer uses the substance and reports the effects. They claim to take great pride in eliminating the guess work so you don’t have to put yourself in harm’s way.

What are your kids doing tonight?

Website Builder