Print Edition: July 4, 2012
I am sure by now most people have heard of bath salts, or at least the linked case of the “Miami zombie” in which a 65-year-old man was tragically mutilated by a user of bath salts. Bath salts have raised more concern to legal officers, medical staff and government then heroin, cocaine or MDMA in a very short period of time. What little we know about this drug in its short time on the illegal markets is that its emergence has been well-planned and devastating to both users and innocent victims.
Recently this new drug has been brought to the attention of the media, health care system, and the government of Canada. Nicknamed bath salts for its appearance, a dangerous cocktail of Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is growing in popularity as well as becoming a growing concern for the Government of Canada. MDPV has yet to be regulated under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and due to its newness.
Its long-term effects have yet to be determined, but the immediate and short term impacts are devastating, and can be seen across news channels and the Internet. Incidents such as the attack and mutilation of the Miami man by a hallucinating MDPV user and the tragic brain swelling of a young woman in the UK show that bath salts cannot be mistaken for the Epsom salts or scented crystals found in bathrooms.
Already banned in the UK, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and the USA, MDPV has been classified as an amphetamine with violent side effects.
Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq has classified MDPV as a Schedule 1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act – the same as heroin and cocaine. By this fall, the possession, importing, exporting and producing of MDPV will likely be illegal in Canada.
Like heroin and cocaine, making MDPV illegal will definitely not eliminate it from our streets, but it will deter those who do not want criminal charges.
But will it deter them enough? Already dangerous drugs such as MDMA, heroin and cocaine flood our streets no matter the legal risks involved.
Personally, I don’t feel that bath salts will be any different from meth or cocaine The dangers involved seem miniscule to those wanting to use the drug and the profit for those who sell the drug seems worth the risk.
Trying to stop drugs from reaching the hands of the public is impossible; we all know that there are ways of finding things if you look hard enough. No matter the age, there are ways of reaching out to people in order to prevent horrific drug-based tragedies such as the attack in Miami this past May.
Education and awareness are key. The more you know about something, the more likely you are to make the right choice for your safety and well-being, as well as that of those around you.