Psychoactive Bath Salts (PABS) are becoming one of the more frequent drugs that Emergency Departments are seeing patients abuse and lead to overdose. Bath Salts go by names like Zoom 2, Aura, Vanilla Sky, Ivory Wave and White Rush and can be found in gas stations, truck stops and on the internet. The DEA has now banned these drugs as of Sept 7, 2011 and moved to make these a controlled substance in the US. In fact, the DEA used its emergency scheduling authority to temporarily control the substances in bath salts, giving them a year to decide with the US Department of Health and Human Services if it should be permanently made illegal.
PABS are made with a main ingredient called methylenedioxypyrovalerone which gives them their stimulant effect. (This ingredient is not found in aromatherapy bath salts used for bathing.) These drugs are abused by taking them orally, intranasally, intravenously or rectally. PABS are a stimulant and give a high similar to meth, causing symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis and delusions. Overdose can lead to renal failure or death.
Most studies suggest that an average of 8 hours of quality sleep per night is what people typically require to maintain their mental and physical health. Not getting quality sleep in the right quantity for your body can have detrimental side effects on your well being. Some of these include decreased cognitive function, depression or anxiety, low energy, decreased libido, poor judgement, increased risk of dying (especially from motor vehicle crashes or work place accidents), increased blood pressure and heart disease, decreased immune function and increased appetite! Our sleep is important to rejuvenate our bodies so that they can work properly for us. Here’s a quick test to see if you have excessive daytime sleepiness which may be related to poor sleep quality at night.
How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations? Use the following scale to answer the questions then add up your score at the end.
0= would never doze 1= slight change of dozing 2= moderate chance of dozing 3=high change of dozing
1. Sitting and reading
2. Watching television
3. Sitting inactive in a public place ( a theater or meeting)
4. As a passenger in the car for an hour without a break
5. lying down to rest in the afternoon
6. Sitting and talking to someone
7. Sitting quietly after lunch
8. In a car, while stopped in traffic
If you score a 10 or greater, check with your doctor for an evaluation. You may have a sleep disorder preventing your body from getting the good quality sleep it needs, not to mention making you cranky and overweight!
Brooke Uptagrafft, MD
Dr. Brooke is a family medicine doctor.