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Unregulated and Legal; The New Drug Threats Targeted at Our Youth

Updated on April 19, 2012

What You Don't Know Can and Will Kill You When it Comes to These Over the Counter Drugs

By: Cow Flipper

You may have heard of them, these designer new agents out there that are capable of causing hallucinations, paranoia, and permanent brain damage. They are called by many names like "Ivory Wave," "Purple Wave," Vanilla Sky," ,"Bliss", "K2", "Gold Coast"... I am talking about bath salts, synthetic marijuana, salvia, and dust off these highly potent , potentially toxic, and dangerous drugs sold under the assumption that they will be used for other purposes but are actually used as a way to get high. These drugs are packaged in almost candy like fashion with bright colors that attract the eye to the psychedelic imagery printed on the packaging. (Can you say kid advertising?).

Bath Salts

In October 2011, the DEA used its authority to place several of the chemicals used to produce bath salts under their control, and it’s likely that they will permanently illegalize the possession and sale of these chemicals and products that contain them. What impact will that have?

Sited: on WebMD

Bath Salts Effects

People using these products, sold as “refreshing, soothing bath salts” are turning up in hospitals, almost in cardiac arrest, with a racing heartbeat, and emotional conditions ranging from psychotic to paranoid, exhibiting panic or anxiety.

Bath salts would appear to consistently cause serious mental and emotional problems for users. Using bath salts has been associated with homicide, suicide, auditory and visual hallucinations. Violence and aggression is frequently a result for young people who use bath salts. Sited on

Bad Trips Can Be Deadly

Bath Salt psychosis / rage and dementia.
Bath Salt psychosis / rage and dementia.

Bath Salts (Mephedrone MDPV or Methylenedioxypyrovalerone)

Bath Salts, you hear it and your mind wanders searching the most familiar image associated with the two words and you think, "What... Do they mean the salt in my bath-water, like epsom salts?" And the pert answer to that is no, the bath salts we are referring to here are the ones being sold in head shops and news stores. This drug is out there and its use is on the rise

“Bath Salts” can be and are snorted, injected, and smoked. The abuse of this substance is primarily by teens and college students because of its widespread availability through the Internet or at local convenience stores, and smoke shops. Though labeled as "not for human consumption", drug manufacturers have placed this extremely toxic substance on the market.

It is a very sobering thought that our children may be out there being pressured by their peers at parties or when out with friends to do these dangerous drugs. It was always bad enough that we had to worry about our kids being pressured to smoke cigarettes, and drink alcohol. It was even expected that our children might one day be exposed to marijuana when at a party, or one of the many other street drugs, but to think that these hallucinogens are being sold over the counter to adults who distribute them to our kids is a very frightening proposition to have to entertain.

The Effects of the Drug on the User and Why They Use Bath Salts:

The drug creates a false sense of euphoria and super-human ability

Much like its stimulant cousins Cocaine and Meth the drug acts as a stimulant elevating heart rate, creating high blood pressure, irritability, extreme paranoia, delusions of invincibility, hallucinations, suicidal tendencies, aggressive behavior, and may even cause a user to commit an act of murder.

Bath Salts a Deadly High

The trend of bath salt abuse can be seen in poison control center calls that have been on the rise since the abuse of this drug began. Kids find it a potential high because they learn that there is no way to test for the drug in the system of a user. So they take it away from the watchful eyes of mom and dad so they can get away with doing something rebellious, what they fail to realize though is that it is extremely dangerous. The psycho-active substance in bath salts is called mephedrone MDPV or methylenedioxypyrovalerone, although newer pyrovaleron derivatives are being created by street chemists.

Signs of bath salt abuse:

  • Erratic Behavior
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Nose Bleeds and Burns from Snorting
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Headaches and Poor Concentration
  • Short Term Memory Loss

The Long Term Effects:

There have been no studies done in the medical field to show any long term adverse effects because of the use or abuse of bath salts. This does not mean that it is okay to consume this drug. The fact is that the chemicals found in bath salts are used in insecticides and fungal killing agents. These substances are highly toxic in nature and are known carcinogens.

There is anecdotal evidence that shows the use of bath salts can be deadly. How so? Well many cases of the over use of the drug show that many of its users develop a chemically induced psychosis from which even after sobering up off the drug seems to cause permanent brain damage and lack of emotional control. Suicides because of bath salt abuse are on the rise as many users tend to cause themselves harm when using the drug. In one case a man hallucinating cleaved his own flesh from off his arms. If that doesn't scare you then I don't know what will.

Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic Marijuana use is on the rise with young people today who find it easier to get a bag of synthetic marijuana off an older teen able to buy tobacco.
Synthetic Marijuana use is on the rise with young people today who find it easier to get a bag of synthetic marijuana off an older teen able to buy tobacco.

Pushed Into a Psychotic Break

Is getting high worth your sanity?
Is getting high worth your sanity?

Synthetic Marijuana K2 and Spice

Synthetic Marijuana Products:

Synthetic Marijuana is an herbal / chemical mixture that produces a psychoactive effect when inhaled. The effects are said to mimic the intoxicating effects of marjuana. It has been and still is sold under names like "Spice", "K2", "Kronic", “Super Kush” and “Funky Monkey,” and are marketed as "spice product", “potpourri” and “incense.”

New Research Shows Signs of Links With Psychotic Breaks and Use:

Research on the usage and safety of synthetic marijuana is only now beginning to be published. These initial studies found a role in synthetic pot usage and psychotic breaks. It shows that synthetic marijuana can tip the scales in favor of insanity in people who may have had mild and controlled psychosis stemming from a family history of mental illness and that these psychosis can be long lasting if not permanent.

Legal Status:

Synthetic marijuana products are still being classified by the DEA to give them a legal classification of drug usage distribution and ultimately enforcement if found to be an illegal narcotic and therefore a controlled substance. The DEA considers synthetic cannabanoids to be "drugs of concern" citing a surge in emergency room visits and calls to the poison control centers. Adverse health effects associated with its use include seizures, hallicinations, paranoid behaviors, agitation, anxiety, nausea , vomiting, hyper tension, and rapid heartbeat.

Salvia Divinnorum

Salvia Divinorum is a powerful hallucinogen and should not be used buy anyone but practiced spiritual practitioners and a sitter. People under the age of 21 should not conduct in salvia use.
Salvia Divinorum is a powerful hallucinogen and should not be used buy anyone but practiced spiritual practitioners and a sitter. People under the age of 21 should not conduct in salvia use.

Salvia Effects Chart

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Medical chart showing the effects of Salvia on the mind and body.
(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Medical chart showing the effects of Salvia on the mind and body.

Salvia Warps Our Perception of Space Time

Salvia is a hallucinogen
Salvia is a hallucinogen


Though salvia may seem like an enticing experimental drug to try, it is being sold to our children by scrupulous people who just want to make a quick buck. Salvia is sold to kids these days at Jr. Highs, High Schools, and on college campuses around the nation and in other countries as well. It is very easy to get since it is sold in stores and is still in the process of being regulated by the DEA much like above case of Synthetic Marijuana. Since these drugs are so new to the market of recreational drugs they have not been properly tested and approved for human consumption and therefore should be used by adults over 18 and not sold to anyone under 18. These laws are being reviewed state by state and by federal law enforcement as well.

The Effects of Salvia:

Salvia acts as a powerful hallucinogen with a physical impairment as well. With the first few seconds of inhaling salvia the effects take hold. These effects include hallucinations, increase in heart rate and hyper tension, a sensation of spacial and time dilation. The drug peaks at a very rapid state and fades over a period of twenty minutes to a half hour. Concentrated doses of the drug last longer. Users often hear voices or sounds when tripping in the dark and can even have full on spatial separation from reality. Many users use sitters or sober baby sitters to help them come down and through the peak process as some users have known to try to get up and conduct activities while they are hallucinating and may harm themselves.

The Side Effects of Salvia:

Since the drug is so quick in its delivery and that it is so powerful many users react in unpredictable ways often with horrifying experiences or what are called bad trips. With a raised heart rate and rapid breath many users then experience a surge of adrenalin and can hyperventilate or pass out hurting themselves.

Users indicate that the drug is not used in social situations like recreational street drugs and legal substances like alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana because of the powerful hallucinogenic properties. Many people react in differing ways in social situations from mild paranoia to extremely disturbing and violent reactions because of hallucinations.

Dust Off

difluoroethane Dust Off computer and lens cleaning spray. This product is used as an inhalant to get high and is very easy to obtain at any mega store, computer store, game store, camera shop, and drug stores. Many teens have died to inhalant abuse.
difluoroethane Dust Off computer and lens cleaning spray. This product is used as an inhalant to get high and is very easy to obtain at any mega store, computer store, game store, camera shop, and drug stores. Many teens have died to inhalant abuse.

List from of Huffing Symptoms

"Inhalants produce an effect that may be similar to alcohol intoxication. Initial symptoms described by abusers who were "huffing" include:

  • drowsiness,
  • lightheartedness, and
  • loss of inhibition.

Further use can lead to the following:

  • dizziness,
  • hallucinations or delusions,
  • belligerence,
  • apathy, and
  • impaired judgment.

Long-term inhalant abusers can suffer damaging health consequences including:

  • depression and mood changes,
  • weight loss,
  • inattentiveness,
  • lack of coordination,
  • irritability, and
  • weakness."

Sited by -

Other Scary Teen Ways to Get High Trends

  • Choking Out - teens will squeeze a friends neck until effectively choking the friend to near unconsciousness to get the feeling of being oxygen deprived.
  • Prescription Drug Abuse - teens often steel disabled parents and grandparents narcotic pain medications like Vicodin, Percocet , and Oxycontins.
  • Energy Alcohol Drinks - energy drinks mixed with ginseng and caffeine are often marketed towards younger people who are part of the red-bull generation. These drinks are alcoholic beverages with the kick of an energy drink.

Inhalant Abuse (Huffing)

Huffing or inhalant abuse is on the rise after emergency room reports showed several teens have died while using the chemical in the popular computer cleaning product Dust Off which contains the chemical difluoroethane which creates a feeling of floating and a pulsing euphoria that lasts only a handful of seconds. Other household cleaning products are also being abused as inhalants.

As reported by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse showed that most of those using inhalants were between the ages of 12 and 17 while 18% of 8th graders admitted to trying huffing at least once.

Long term usage will cause brain damage. The high experienced from inhalant useage is similar to what happens to the brain when a person is being choked and suffocates. The chemicals that enter the bloodstream head to the brain-stem from the lungs. The much needed oxygen in the blood is blocked by larger chemicals that stop the flow of oxygen to the brain. Millions of braincells die in the brain do to lack of oxygen. This in effect is brain damage and over a prolonged period diminished cognitive functioning, loss of personality, memory impairment, and communication skills all begin to manifest themselves. Other long term side effects are heart, liver, kidney, and lung dmage occure and are irreversible.

In one use a person can die from huffing. It can kill the vetran user just as easy. These chemicals were never meant to be for human consumption and are deadly. It is toxic to the body and over time or even just trying it out can lead to death. It is best to watch your kids for the signs of chronic inhalant use.

Household Inhalants Commonly Abused:

  • Paint Thinner
  • Gasoline
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Model Glues
  • Felt Markers
  • White-Out
  • Spray Paint
  • Aerosol Sprays with Propellants and Solvents
  • Deodorants and Hair products

The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Medical Examiner data revealed that inhalants were involved in over 500 deaths in the United States from 1996 to 1999.

Check Your Kids for Warning Signs of Inhalant Abuse:

Watch your teens parents! Look for signs of huffing like used cans, missing items like gas cans and spray paint. Ask your kids about inhalant abuse and explain why it is not something they want to do. Use this article to show them that any kind of drug they are using for recreation has side effects that can even kill them or leave them damaged for the rest of their lives.

It is important to check your teen for inhalant abuse because it is so easy for them to obtain and a curious teen will probably try something easy to get especially something a parent would never even guess to fathom would be used as a way for someone to get high. Look for sores around the teens mouth and strange odors coming from your child. Pay attention to their body movement for impairment, check your child's eyes for sunkeness and redness and yellowing of the white of the eye, check the fingernails for whitening and signs of toxification. Be open with your kids and let them know you are only talking to them about this because it is a real danger and a threat to their lives and safety.

I Hope This Information Has Helped

Being a parent myself I know we have to pay attention to our kids. We want to trust them with all our hearts and most of the time we do, but there those moments where you see a lapse of judgement on their part and realize it is their youth and ignorance at work. We must guide them and show them that just because something is sold at a store to adults doesn't mean they should want to participate in its use.

Education is always the key to teaching our kids how to live healthier and happier lives. That is the reason I'm writing this article is for you the parent to help you with a tool to show them the dangers of these drugs. Thanks for reading.


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    • tamron profile image


      7 years ago

      Just when I thought I knew it all! Now I know I know nothing. I wasn't aware of most of the ways that you got listed to get high. Great info.

    • Cow Flipper profile imageAUTHOR

      Sean Jankowski 

      7 years ago from Southern Oregon

      NP Alastar :)

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Appreciate the insightful reply CF.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Very sad. Good Hub. Good job of educating with facts. Oh Lordy, it's dreadful. Growing a bit of weed in the bathroom seems a far cry now.

      Thank you. Hope it makes a difference.

    • Cow Flipper profile imageAUTHOR

      Sean Jankowski 

      7 years ago from Southern Oregon

      Kids model themselves after their parents and peers. Teens going through so many changes often feel they are different and misunderstood by their parents and other adults. They listen to their own kind of music, watch their own shows... so they often feel that mom and dad or that teachers and councilors are out of touch with their world. In a way they are right. I don't relate with my 13 year old son as far as what he finds interesting. He likes video games, cell phone usage, facebook and all the social trappings of this new world we all live in. But I can't know what it is like to grow up in a world where these things are common place.

      The point is yeah of course they are unhappy. They feel like they are alone but then all teens feel this way even the teens that don't use drugs or drink. It is more about acceptance, experimentation, a coming of age ritual with their peers. It is a sad truth but we must educate our youth about what these drugs are capable of doing to them.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Good write and info CF. There must be a lot of teens unhappy with how they feel out there. Isn't that the real reason they would ever try these dangerous substances- to change how they feel?


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