Household Products The New Drug of Choice

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Who would have thought you could get high from bath salts? Bathing products are just a few of many things that can be abused around your home, especially by children and teenagers.

According to sigforum.com, “Law enforcement officials throughout the country are reporting that products promoted as bath salts have become and easily accessible drug to abuse. Bath salts have recently appeared in some of the same retail outlets that previously sold synthetic cannabinoid products such as K2 and Spice, and also are available via the Internet.

Bath salts are abused as recreational drugs typically by injection, smoking, snorting, and, less often, by the use of an atomizer. Effects include agitation, an intense high, euphoria, extreme energy, hallucinations, insomnia, and making abusers easy to anger. Preliminary testing indicates that the active ingredients in many brands contain MDPV (3,4- methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and/or mephedrone.”

The abuse of bath salts and similar substances appears to be increasing, especially over the past year. The chemicals contained in Bath salts appear to be what the user is after, and they can obtain it from a number of products like, plant food, and herbal incense. A large number of brands are marketed from coast to coast in the U.S., also via Internet web sites. The most common names are, Blue Silk, Charge+, Ivory Snow, Ivory Wave, Ocean Burst, Pure Ivory, Purple Wave, Snow Leopard, Stardust (Star Dust), Vanilla Sky, White Dove, White Knight, and White Lightening. In central Pennsylvania, these substances are sold under the brand name “Blizzard.” It is called “Blizzard” because it is white, odorless, fine-grained powder similar in appearance flour.

I guess abusing bath salts is no stranger than teenagers from my generation huffing gasoline or sucking nitrous oxide out of cans of whip cream. To most of us sniffing things you might find around the house seems very odd. Why would anyone want to inhale or inject household chemicals? Experts at inhalant.org say, that huffing or inhaling chemicals is so addictive because they are rapidly absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream and quickly distributed to the brain and other organs. Within minutes, the user experiences intoxication, with effects similar to those produced consumption of alcohol. With Inhalants, however, intoxication lasts only a few minutes, so some Users prolong the “high” by continuing to inhale repeatedly. What are some of the things that people have tried to inhale you might wonder, well let’s see:

Adhesives like, Model airplane glue, Rubber cement, PVC cement.

Solvents and Gases: Nail polish remover, Paint thinner, Paint remover, Correction fluid, Toxic magic markers, Lighter fluid, Gasoline, Carburetor cleaner, Octane booster, Fuel gas, Air Conditioning Coolant (Freon), Lighters, Fire extinguishers. Aerosols: Spray paint, Hairspray, Air freshener, Deodorant, Fabric protectors, Computer Cleaner.

Cleaning Agents: Dry cleaning, fluid, Spot removers, Degreaser. Food Products: Cooking spray, Whipped cream. Gasses: Nitrous oxide, Butane, Propane, Helium, Ether, Chloroform, Halothane.

Inhalant use is a form of substance abuse that is not so well known, however, it is just as deadly. According to www.ncjrs.gov, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service reports that and estimated 2.1 million children in America experiment with some form of an inhalant every year and the Centers for Disease Control says inhalant abuse is second only to marijuana for illicit drug abuse among youth.

A big problem is that parents aren’t aware of the problem and simply are not talking to their children about this deadly problem. The Alliance for Consumer Education’s research study shows that, Inhalant Abuse is 50% less known by parents than alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that 18 percent of all children in the eighth grade have used inhalants, but nine out of 10 parents deny that their children have ever tried or abused inhalants. Many parents don’t understand that inhalant abusers can die the very first time they do it.

It is known as, Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome it is caused in one of two ways. Either the Inhalants force the heart into cardiac arrest, or the fumes from an Inhalant enter a user’s lungs and nervous system, where the lower oxygen levels enough that the user is unable to breathe and suffocates. Long term abuse of these hazardous chemicals can seriously harm to vital organs. Childdrugabuse.com states, “that despite all of your efforts to keep your kids drug-free, one day you might suspect that your son or daughter is using drugs or alcohol. Perhaps you have found an odd-looking pipe in his room, cans and bottles in the car or rolling papers in her laundry. Or you overheard a conversation not meant for you. Whatever the signal, your gut instinct has been activated and you have got to do something!”

“Every day, approximately 4,700 American youth under age 18 try marijuana for the first time. That is about equal to the enrollment of six average-sized U.S. high schools. In 2003, nearly nine out of 10 twelfth graders reported marijuana as being accessible. By the time they finish the eighth grade, approximately 50 percent of adolescents have had at least one drink, and more than 20 percent report having been “drunk.” Drug and alcohol use by teens increases the risk of addiction and can change the developing brain for life.”

Russell W. Dickson, lives in upstate NY, and is a Freelance journalist. He has written for both print and online news/opinion pages.Russell holds a B.A. in English, minor Journalism from The University at Albany, Albany, NY. His writing experience spans more than a decade and his work has graced the pages of newspapers, magazines, online news orgs, and political websites in both the U.S. and abroad.