"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bath Salts: The New Drug of Choice

Now these are not the kind of bath salts that one can buy at Bath and Body Works; they are synthetic drugs that can be purchased legally over the counter.  They are chemicals that look like cocaine, but are not intended for human consumption; however, they are being sold as such and have become the new drug of choice.  They are legal because as soon as the main ingredients are banned by law, the manufacturers in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other such countries change one molecule or compound and the ingredient can be called something else.  There is no dosage and for $20 you can get high for a day, three days, end up in the Emergency Room, in the Intensive Care Unit or dead.  You can smoke it, snort it, inject it, insert it rectally or swallow it. 

The WMHS ED is averaging two overdoses per day as these have a profound effect on the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system.  We have had patients end up in ICU, near death as a result of the synthetic drug or their actions while in an enraged state resulting from the drug.   We have had teenagers, pregnant moms and even a grandmother in the ED due to an overdose.  We have had a 130-pound young man who overdosed on bath salts and in such a rage that he jumped through glass windows of the homes of strangers; it took three large men to subdue him then transport him to the hospital. 

A new bath salts convenience store recently opened about two miles from my house so I ride by it every day.   Each time, day or night, the parking lot is almost full.  Their patrons are of all ages, sizes, shapes and colors.  Even the County Sheriff went in uniform and purchased bath salts to prove a point.  We have to figure out a way to get the message out as to the dangers associated with bath salts and other synthetic drugs without introducing young unassuming teens with an insatiable curiosity to this newly crowned drug of choice.

1 comment:

  1. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about.
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