Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bath Salts and K2

Do you even know what these things are? I didn't until I spent some time with our substance abuse counselor at the hospitaI I work for. K2 is the legal marijuana you may have heard about. It is an incense, sold at smoke shops across the country legally. Kids smoke it and reportedly get a high from it. This has not been tested and we no idea what this is doing to the kids and adults who use this stuff. We do know that it does not show up on drug screens. Our recent news reported a recent death of a young man who regularly used K2. Some states are moving to make it illegal. Bath salts is another such substance of abuse. It is not the bath salts you buy at Walmart that makes your bath watter so luxurious. Bath salts’ contain powerful stimulants methadone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also called MDPV, and there have been scattered reports across the country of drug-induced deaths accidental overdose or suicide. these little packets of powder carrying names like Ivory Wave, Bliss, White Lightning, Hurricane Charlie and Vanilla Sky are akin to synthetic cocaine or methamphetamine – and very dangerous. Several states have moved to make MDPV illegal. There have been tests created to test for these substances, but currently they are prohibitively expensive. The American Association of Poison Control has created a link to information about bath salts.

It is painfully obvious that kids will try anything to get a different feeling than what they are experiencing. Children as young as 7 and 8 are being introduced to these substances during times of critical brain development. There are no studies on the effects of substances like these on the brains of children. There is much concern expressed over the use of psychotropic drugs for children. Perhaps we should focus more on what the kids may be using that we have never heard of in addition to the other things. We think we are seeing the results of abuse of these two items on our units. Kids become very aggressive and violent, breaking doors and windows. If we do not ask them if they have ever used this stuff, chances are they won't tell us on their own. Anytime a drug is prescribed for a child, the physician must know what else they are taking in order to prevent an adverse drug to drug interaction .  Bottom line, there will always be new things for kids to use to get high. We need to stay on top of these types of things and watch for unusual behavior in our kids.

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