Emerging Drug: “Bath Salts”

February 28, 2011

You won’t find these “bath salts” in with Calgon or Epsom Salts. For that matter, you won’t find them in any grocery store. As you can see from the picture above, $27.99 worth wouldn’t be enough to soak your big toe if it were legitimate.

That’s because they are actually designer drugs, sold as “not for human consumption” and ingested by smoking, snorting, injecting or rectal insertion.

The drug is MDPV and is referred to as “Synthetic Speed”. It’s packaged with names like Ivory Wave, Blue Wave and others.

It’s just now starting to appear on our radar here in the northwest, but it has the potential to bloom quickly.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were 251 calls related to “bath salts” to poison control centers in the first month of 2011. This number already exceeds the 236 calls received by poison control centers for all of 2010. Doctors and clinicians at U.S. poison centers have indicated that ingesting “bath salts,” containing synthetic stimulants, can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart
rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions.

Other than Louisiana the stimulant uncontrolled in US -It is already banned in UK, Finland, Denmark & Sweden.

This past October the Oregon Pharmacy Board listened to prompting from Oregon Partnership and other concerned groups and banned the sale or possession of so-called “synthetic marijuana”. They need to quickly enact the same ban on “synthetic speed” or “bath salts”.

Quick action is that “ounce of prevention” you’ve always heard of – “worth a pound of cure”.

– Tom


Getting Ready to be Deployed

February 18, 2011

(Editor’s note: Tim is an Army Ranger Lieutenant who was instrumental in helping us launch the Military Helpline. He has been called up and is receiving final training before shipping out overseas)

I drove across the country in 4 days during one of the most massive snow storms in the Midwest’s history. I have gotten lost on base more times than I can count and have felt more like a Private then a Officer on more on then one occasion as I try to get myself situated. I have been worked into the ground and spent easy days lounging about. I have met guys from every corner of the country and work with an NCO that was in Restrepo. I made a fast friend that turned into an on base housing roommate.

My inception into Active duty has been an experience that I have nothing to compare to. I am at the same base that I became a young PFC at, my only experience has been from basic training and for that matter, is a bad comparison now looking back, but seeing as it was all I had, it’s what I focused on. When I showed up here last time, I had had about 5 hours of sleep and was looking at a 36 hour-long day ahead of me – full of getting shots, shaved head, and enough verbal abuse to last a lifetime. When I showed up this time, I was welcomed with a handshake and a intro into what would be required of us the first week. Its been an odd change, from going to absolutely no power or control, where every decision is made for you to complete freedom when you’re not training has been odd. With that transition comes responsibility.

It has been an odd experience so far, full of life experiences, traveling through the country to report in to become an infantry officer. On occasion I dread, not the decision I made, but the hard work that accompanies the job I choose. While it is still difficult adjust being away from everything I love in Oregon, I keep moving knowing that, eventually, I will return and that my family and friends will support me through all my struggles.

So, from one moment to another, life has changed rather quickly, and while I have known it was coming for a while, no matter how much I try to adjust or accept it, it’s still a shock, it’s still a drastic change from the usual.

The only difference now is that we are meant to do this, we are supposed to do this. We can do this.

– Tim