Last month the US Navy launched a new campaign to warn servicemen and women about the dangers of bath salts. The informational video is getting a lot of attention for its depiction of a sailor ingesting the synthetic designer drug and then experiencing violent hallucinations, complete with a gruesome demon-type figure.
The Bath Salts campaign’s slogan, “Bath salts: It’s not a fad…It’s a nightmare,” reflects the hallucinogenic effect of bath salts which are a non-regulated drug comprised of a synthetic cathinone that can have a dangerous or debilitating effect on the user.
According to a Navy press release, “The education and awareness campaign from Navy Medicine supports the Navy’s zero-tolerance policy on designer drug use, as well as highlights the real and present risks of bath salts…The campaign’s goal is to decrease the number of active-duty service members who use designer drugs like bath salts and the synthetic marijuana ‘Spice’ because they are falsely marketed as a ‘legal’ way to get high.”
While sold over the counter in convenience stores and head shops, bath salts are labeled “not for human consumption” as a way to get around the legal issue. However the product has no other purpose except as a drug, and those who sell them and buy them know exactly what they are for.
Users continue to risk their health despite warnings that bath salts can cause everything from lack of appetite to kidney failure, muscle spasms, severe paranoid delusions and psychosis. Several cases of long-term inpatient hospitalization and suicide have even been reported.
“As the leader of the medical community for the Navy and Marine Corps, I cannot emphasize enough … that using synthetic drugs is just like playing Russian roulette with [your] health,” Vice Admiral Matthew L. Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general said.
Navy Medicine is a global health care network of more than 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries.
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