Bath Salts–Not so Soothing
Just when you think there’s not one other substance people could possibly take to get high, bath salts appear. Who would have thought it? There’s been a tragedy in my state thanks to this seemingly innocuous product. A college student killed his girlfriend, and his mother attributes it to the bath salts. It boggles the mind.
The crime was reported in the Asbury Park Press, my local paper, and on New York TV last week. A 22-year-old has had her life cut short, and New Jersey joins other states experiencing violent incidents attributed to bath salts. The woman’s long-time boyfriend, William Parisio, suffers from bipolar disorder and reportedly had problems with alcohol and other drugs. It’s believed he snorted, smoked, ate, or injected the bath salts, which the article said can cause hallucinations, delusions, and agitation, similar to the effects caused cocaine, LSD and other drugs. A Drug Enforcement Administration spokesperson said that the salts also cause insomnia and make one quick to anger.
Appearing on TV, the woman’s heart-broken father said that he had warned his daughter Parisio wasn’t right for her, but she thought she could help him. She’s not the first girlfriend who has mistakenly thought that about a boyfriend who has problems requiring professional help.
Two NJ lawmakers have stepped up to try and avert further incidents in my state. They’ve suggested legislation to make it a third degree crime and result in a stiff prison sentence and fine for manufacturing, selling, or even possessing bath salts – “products containing mephedrone or methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV,” according to the newspaper article.
An expert’s thoughts on bath salts made me shudder: “If you take the very worst of some of the other drugs — LSD and Ecstasy with their hallucinogenic properties, PCP with extreme agitation, superhuman strength and combativeness, as well as the stimulant properties of cocaine and meth — if you take all the worst of those and put them all together, this is what you get,” said Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Center, in one recent published report. “It’s ugly.”
Three states—North Dakota, Louisiana, and Florida—have banned bath salts. However, you can still buy them, under names like Ivory Wave or Vanilla Sky, at convenience stores in other states.