Electronic dance music (EDM) parties are often associated with the use and abuse of psychoactive drugs. The drugs available at such parties are generally mixed with synthetic drugs like methamphetamine and bath salts, the use of which can lead to adverse health consequences, including death.
A recent research by the Department of Population Health, New York University Langone Medical Center, used hair samples to test for the presence of known and unknown substances among ecstasy users at EDM parties. Lead author Dr. Joseph J. Palmer said, “More information is critically needed on the extent of unknown or unintentional use of these potentially harmful substances.”
He added that this information will be useful in identifying the drugs used by the people at such parties. All this would then help in designing interventions with the intent of harm reduction. The research, “Hair Testing to Assess Both Known and Unknown Use of Drugs Amongst Ecstasy Users in the Electronic Music Dance Scene,” was published in the International Journal of Drug Policy in September 2017.
The research collected hair samples from 90 self-reporting participants who used ecstasy, Molly or MDMA and attended EDM parties in New York and tested for the presence of other drugs. Though other methods like surveys, and urine, blood and saliva tests, can be used to assess drug use, Dr. Palmer felt that additional tools, such as hair samples, help validate the self-reported drugs and detect unknown drugs even months after their use. It was found that more than 50 percent of the participants tested positive for drugs not reported. The most common drugs found in the tests were synthetic cathinones, also known as bath salts. “Alarmingly, we detected unknown use of the highly potent bath salt called flakka,” said Dr. Palmer.
Unfortunately, many people who tested positive for bath salts, were unaware of the fact that their ecstasy pill or Molly contained bath salts. On the other hand, some users performed their own tests on the pills on offer and then did not use the pills, if they were found to be contaminated.
Dr. Palmer said that further research was needed to understand as to in what form – powder or crystal – was the bath salt used. This would help the users become aware of drug adulteration patterns and its associated risks. Another facet that needs to be studied is whether the danger of adulterated products influences people to discontinue its use.
Bath salts are dangerous street drugs. Chemically similar to amphetamines, cocaine and MDMA, they are also called Cloud Nine, Flakka or Bloom. This illicit drug can be taken orally, snorted, smoked or injected.
Ingestion of bath salts increases the dopamine levels, which in turn activates the reward center of the brain and induces a feeling of euphoria. The other feelings that the use of these powerful synthetic drugs produces is panic attacks, confusion, violent and aggressive behavior, paranoia, agitation and panic attacks. Some of the symptoms of bath salt use include nausea, sweating, nose bleeds, high blood pressure, chest pains and heart palpitations.
Any person can fall prey to an addiction to drugs, including bath salts. Sovereign Health understands that addiction constricts an individual, but does not define him/her. Our state-of-the-art facility offers bath salt abuse treatment in Texas and other states of the U.S. If you or a loved one is addicted to bath salts and is looking for treatment for bath salts drug abuse, call our 24/7 helpline and chat online with our trained representatives for more information.
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