YRMC Pharmacy Director Explains Bath Salt Effects and Dangers

YRMC Pharmacy Director Explains Bath Salt Effects and Dangers


YUMA, AZ - Bath salts, it sounds safe, but that's part of the catch. The name is deceiving and is a harmful combination of chemicals making its way across the nation causing people to act out in irrational ways.

According to Tom VanHassel the Director of Pharmacy at Yuma Regional Medical Center he says "These drugs block the body's ability to use reason. So, people are able to do things they would not do under any circumstance. It blocks their conscious if you will and they act in a physical manner not thinking about what their doing and not having any control over their emotions."

VanHassel says the substance has a huge effect on the body and brain causing hallucinations, increased blood pressure and tremors. As for long term effects, they include Diabetes, glaucoma, and loss of memory.

VanHassel says what makes them so dangerous is they are made in non approved labs and there is no way to know how pure they are. He says "These are manufactured in peoples garages and backyards and bath tubs and so one lot might be very strong the next lot might be very weak. So, people don't understand what it did to them last time might be greatly exaggerated the next time they take the same size dose."

Currently the DEA for Arizona says bath salts along with K2 and spice is the number two growing problem in the U.S. directly behind legal prescription drug abuse.

VanHassel says the drug mimics marijuana but is worse then cocaine. He says the reason for this is coke is pricey where as bath salts and spice runs between $30 to $50 a dose.

According to the DEA Office in Phoenix 15% of all 12th grade seniors said they've used bath salts and spice in the last year."

Van Hassel says the problem is bath salts are made up of a large group of chemicals making it impossible to control. He says "Every time we control one they change the formula a little bit which makes it a news chemical thus it's not covered by the previous law."

Van Hassel says a solution would be for the Federal Government to ban the entire class of bath salts all together.


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