Dangers of Legal Bath Salts and Incense

Dangers of Legal Bath Salts and Incense

Creators of drugs such as K2 Spice are hiding behind labels like incense and bath salts to keep their products legally stocked at tobacco shops and specialty stores across the country. But just because these drugs are classified as legal doesn’t mean that they are safe.

In fact, the number of ER visits connected with directly ingesting these legal substances is increasing. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that over 6100 individuals called to report bath salt scares in 2011.

Side effects of these substances can be extremely dangerous ranging from psychosis, hallucinations, abrupt mood shifts including a tendency toward violence, and heart issues. Because they are known by a variety of names, a lot of health professionals may not fully understand how to treat this class of drugs, simply referred to as synthetic legal intoxicating drugs (SLIDs).

The main ingredient in so-called natural bath salts creates a high similar to that of methamphetamines. But because they are touted as herbal remedies not for human consumption, they evade scrutiny from the FDA. Others drugs are classed as incense but deliver the same mind-altering effects. Another worry with these drugs is that they may also be very addictive.

The fact that these drugs are highly abused and produce symptoms of withdrawal, suggest that their use can indeed result in addiction. And, an Internet survey revealed that those using one form of SLIDs were likely to use others, a scary proposition since little is known regarding the strength and composition of these drugs.

Physical symptoms of SLIDs ingestion may include high blood pressure, headaches, queasiness, vomiting, and possible seizures. Mental effects include erratic behavior, hallucinations, psychosis, agitation, and paranoia. Doctors must be very careful in treating individuals with these symptoms as many of these drugs may be taken in toxic combination with one another. Proper tests must be administered so that the health of the patient isn’t further compromised.

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