Beware of the Bath Salts

This morning, we read in the Metro of poor Katie Wilson who was ‘mistaken for a heroin addict’ (?!), after she stripped off in her local Tesco, apparently as a consequence of taking Benzo Fury. This is just one of many unusual consequences of taking ‘legal highs’, ‘research chemicals’ or ‘Novel Psychoactive substances’,  (a.k.a. ’ Bath Salts’, ‘plant-feed’, ‘room odourisers’ and DVD cleaners), we are told.

To make it easier for you to understand what could happen if you took ‘bath salts or another drug’, I’ve compiled a list of the effects that you are likely to experience according to press sources:

  • Walking around supermarket aisles ‘like a catwalk diva’ (presumably an up-market chain to blend in better)
  • Chewing pens (which makes you look like you have black teeth, unless the ink is blue or red, of course)

Oh and you may turn into a zombie according to the Washington Post, although, thankfully the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have disproved this claim.

So what do these bath salts/legal highs contain? Well, according to a few reports, bath salts are thought to contain (or have similar effects to) a combination of ALL of the following:

  • Methamphetamine
  • LSD
  • PCP
  • Cocaine
  • MDMA
  • Mephedrone

One article describes it as ‘PCP on crack’ and another as ‘like cocaine and other forms of LSD’. Hmmmmm…..

I guess it’s not important to the press what the people in these stories took exactly; the point is they were high and acted like idiots, which is funny. Aside from the tragic stories such as the Miami Cannibal Rudy Eugene or man-eating Carl Jacquneaux, most of these articles are ludicrous scare-mongering reports of ‘legal high’-induced absurd behaviour. However, whilst it is very entertaining to read of a naked man ‘monged’ out of his face, stealing goats, it is worrying to consider that more people are being exposed to these ridiculous stories than real facts about these relatively unknown substances.

Just to clarify, ‘bath salts’ or benzo fury aren’t one type of drug. The phrase ‘bath salts’ is put on labels of psycho-active chemicals to bypass the protection offered by the Medicines Act (1968).  The truth is, ‘bath salts’ (in this context, as opposed to nice relaxing ‘Radox’-type ablution experience) usually contain a number of mostly ‘legal’ chemicals, but unless you were to test every single packet sold, you would never be able to be completely certain of the contents.  Therefore, it is very difficult to be definitive about the effects of any chemical on human beings, particularly if the exact nature of that chemical is unknown.  If you want more accurate information, keep yourself informed on drug forums and read the Release pages on drugs.

Legal highs - a term given to substances that are used recreationally but are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971). However, as more of these substances are becoming controlled, this term is still used by the public to describe substances that were either recently made illegal or are still legal. However, officially, newly controlled chemicals are known as Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS).

Research chemicals - essentially these are legal highs. They are chemicals that are used in laboratories for scientific research but have sought-after effects.