Over the course of the next several weeks I want to discuss certain drugs or chemicals that are abused by many in our society. Drugs and chemicals such as:
#1 Bath Salts (Synthetic Cathinones)
#2 Club Drugs (GHB, Ketamine, & Rohypnol)
#3 Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
#5 Spice (Synthetic Marijuana)
#7 MDMA (Ecstasy)
It is God’s desire that He completely sanctify every aspect of our lives: spirit, soul, and body, according to I Thessalonians 5:23. God desires to direct our thoughts, our words, and our actions – this is called being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
As children of God our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost, as found in I Corinthians 6:19. With this in mind we are to glorify God in our bodies because our bodies belong to Him (I Corinthians 6:20). A child of God dishonors God when they introduce into their body (which belongs to God) harmful substances. These substances are not only physically and soulically harmful, but they also diminish our sobriety which in turn decreases the Spirit’s ability to completely control our lives. When we partake of any of these substances, no matter how little it may be, we start the process of becoming filled with them and less filled with the Spirit.
I pray that all of us will attempt, by the grace of God, to live a Spirit filled life and that none of these substances will ever take away the power of God in our lives.
Bath Salts (Synthetic Cathinones)
The term “bath salts” refers to an emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant found naturally in the Khat plant.
Reports of severe intoxication and dangerous health effects associated with use of bath salts have made these drugs a serious and growing public health and safety issue. Bath salts can produce euphoria and increased sociability and sex drive, but some users experience paranoia, agitation, and hallucinatory delirium; some even display psychotic and violent behavior, and deaths have been reported in several instances.
Bath salts typically take the form of a white or brown crystalline powder and some are sold in small plastic or foil packages labeled “not for human consumption”. Sometimes also marketed as “plant food” – or, more recently, as “jewelry cleaner” or “phone screen cleaner” – they are sold online and in drug paraphernalia stores under a variety of brand names, such as “Ivory Wave,” “Bloom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Lunar Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” and “Scarface”.
Bath salts are typically taken orally, inhaled, or injected, with the worst outcomes being associated with snorting or needle injection.
Common synthetic cathiones found in bath salts include 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone (“Drone,” “Meph,” or “Meow Meow”), and methylone, but there are many others. Chemically, they are similar to amphetamines (such as methamphetamine) as well as to MDMA (ecstasy).
The energizing and often agitating effects reported in people who have taken bath salts are consistent with other drugs like amphetamines and cocaine that raise the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine in brain circuits regulating reward and movement. A surge in dopamine in these circuits causes feelings of euphoria and increased activity. Bath salt ingestion raises brain dopamine in the same manner as cocaine but is at least 10 times more potent.
The hallucinatory effects often reported in users of bath salts are consistent with other drugs such as MDMA or LSD that raise levels of another neurotransmitter, serotonin.[box]NOTE: After mephedrone was banned in the United Kingdom in 2010, for example, a chemical called naphyrone quickly replaced it, and is now being sold as “jewelry cleaner” under the brand name “Cosmic Blast”.[/box]
Common reactions reported for people who have needed medical attention after using bath salts include cardiac symptoms (such as racing heart, high blood pressure, and chest pains) and psychiatric symptoms including paranoia, hallucinations, and panic attacks.
Bath salts have a high abuse and addiction potential. Bath salts show escalation patterns nearly identical to methamphetamine. Bath salt users have reported that the drugs trigger intense cravings and that they are highly addictive. Bath salts are associated with strong withdrawal symptoms.
The dangers of bath salts are compounded by the fact that these products may contain other unknown ingredients that may have their own harmful effects.
Now that we have learned of the tremendous danger associated with the consumption of bath salts, may we by the grace of God never partake of this substance and may we encourage others to steer clear of this destructive drug. May we follow the admonition given by Paul to the Ephesians in Ephesians 5:3, “…let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints…”