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.
Brooke Uptagrafft, MD
Dr. Brooke is a family medicine doctor.