When I first heard of the latest drug being ingested called bath salts, my mind immediately went to those nice jars of crystals called bath salts that you can put in your bath water to create this soft feel and beautiful scent.  It's a relaxing connotation that came to mind with that word.  Not any more.

I had to look it up.  I wanted to know what it was made of and where it originated from.  Just like most things in the world, it's old and has found its renaissance again!  It's actually a synthetic drug, mostly made in China and Europe.  I'm sure it won't be long though before the American capitalistic entrepreneurial spirit will rise to take hold of this grand illegal money making opportunity. 

The chemical compound is similar to that in a natural occurring plant, Khat (Catha edulis), a hallucinogenic plant found in eastern Africa.  I wondered to myself why they didn't just use the natural plant.  Seems like a whole hell of a lot of work to chemically create a synthetic version.  Evidently (and thankfully) I don't think like those driving the illegal drug industry.  To avoid detection of growing mass amounts of plants, they scientifically (if that's what you want to call it) created a synthetic version of the compound found in that hallucinogenic plant.  It is combined with some other douzzies to make "bath salts" - a broad and somewhat loose category and suicide mix of drugs. 

Their classification in the illegal drug world is a mix between meth and acid.  It, like meth/cocaine/and speed, stimulates the nervous system, but into overdrive hyper mode.  Instead of being a truly hallucinogenic drug, it is more psychoactive, taking delusional beliefs and acting upon them with violence.  Frightening.  Absolutely frightening.  Not the restive image one would think of regarding the phrase, bath salts.

It was first formulated in France in the 1920's but disappeared until the formula was re-discovered by an underground "chemist" and published on the web in 2004.  That's when it took off.  It's similar to putting instructions on how to build a bomb on the web!  Idiotic!!  Kooks unite and breed on the world wide web, gathering information much like picking up a gallon of milk at the grocery store. 

Balt salts are a relatively inexpensive drug to buy at $25-$60 a packet.  That seems steep to me.  But since I have no illegal drug experience to draw from, and I shop at Goodwill, I might just be a thrifty shopper!  It can be snorted, smoked or injected. Initially they say you feel euphoric, relaxed and warm but those feelings quickly turn dark and evil.  In recent days there have been a number of crimes committed that are linked to the effects of bath salts. 

Interesting statistic though, before you panic about this illegal drug - as horrific as it is; the prescription drug Oxycodone, a pain killer, comes in second as the second leading cause of accidental death losing to car accidents which tops the list.  It seems we have more problems than just drugs, legal or illegal.  We have cars!

I don't know if I can ever use the original bath salts again, the make your bathwater soft and scented kind, without a negative thought now.  Thanks illegal drug makers!  Couldn't you have picked a different word that already had a bad mental association?

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