Substance Abuse: New DEA Emergency Ban for Bath Salts
Published: Thursday, 06 October 2011 16:19
Recently the DEA took emergency action to ban for one year bath salts that are composed of PABS, methylenedioxypyrovalerone, which is structurally and toxicologically related to pyrovalerone and a-pyrrolidinophenone compounds that inhibit norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake and act as central nervous system stimulants. These salts are deadly, and are sold under the brand names: Ivory Wave and Vanilla Sky.
Users take it orally, intranasally, intravenously, or rectally and achieve a high that is similar to methamphetamine. It enhances alertness, increases energy, and is an aphrodisiac. On the street, it is being called "legal cocaine".
Doses as low as 3-5 mg will produce an effect. The average dose ranges from 5 to 20 mg, and the risk for overdose is high because packages contain up to 500 mg. In fact, it was the increase in overdose, emergency room visits, and death that prompted the DEA to take action. Orally, absorption is rapid, and the rush (euphoria) that is produced peaks at 1-2 hours after ingestion, and the total effect lasts about 3-4 hours.
The physical effects of PABS include tachycardia, hypertension, arrhythmias, hyperthermia, seizures, stroke, myocardial infarction, and even death. Behavioral and mental effects include panic attacks, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis, aggressive or violent behavior (such as self-mutilation, suicide attempts, and homicidal activity), insomnia, anorexia, and depression.
Emergency treatment consists of benzodiazepams for sedation and IV fluids to prevent hypercatabolic rhabdomyolysis. Metabolic acidosis, if present, is treated in the usual manner.
Click Here: to obtain the New England Journal of Medicine article in PDF format