An NBC news report from Collier County, Florida, states that kids and teens are increasingly search for legal substances that will produce the same “high” effect as drugs. County officials assert that teens are smoking, snorting or injecting bath salts. These salts are commonly found in grocery and beauty specialty stores, and are appropriately used in bathwater to soothe the skin and give the body a light fragrance.
Emily Castillo with the David Lawrence Center in Florida expressed concern that these products are so easy for children to buy. “I think the scary part of it is that they’re labeling it as something as simple as bath salts,” she states. Other drug advocates also confirm that bath salt abuse has increased from 2010 to January of 2011, when the NBC report was conducted. Although bath salt addiction is a fairly new problem in Southwest Florida, where Collier County is located, there have already been deaths reported from the abuse of bath salts in the states of Louisiana and Kansas. Young people overseas have also lost their lives from snorting or injecting bath salts.
Maribel Dearmas with Drug Free Collier states that one reason bath salts are so dangerous is that the substance provides an extreme high, followed by a drastic low. Dearmas asserts that bath salt addiction can also cause insomnia, seizures and paranoia.
Because of the danger of bath salts, some states are seriously considering banning bath salts from their stores. However, as of now, parents are encouraged to be on the lookout. Castillo asserts that parents should have an open conversation with their children about bath salts, and warn them to stay away from the substances unless they are using them as instructed. The salts can lead to the use of other drugs, which can be even more dangerous.