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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

High School Seniors Using Bath Salts

Synthetic drugs, such as “bath salts,” have become increasingly popular among teenagers and young adults. These drugs are part of a family of substances known as synthetic cathinones, and they have been found to cause a number of serious side effects on top of the euphoria that users seek. While only 1 in 100 high school seniors have tried bath salts, new research suggests a fifth of those who try the drug become regular users, Newsweek reports.

Synthetic drugs are extremely difficult for authorities to combat due constant chemical reformulations designed to stay one step ahead of government bans. In the United States, there are now more than 70 varieties of bath salts, many of which have formulations that have not been banned, according to the article.

Joseph Palamar, a researcher from New York University analyzed the National Institutes of Health’s data regarding drug use habits amongst 8,600 American teens. The research showed that a fifth of the high school seniors, who had tried synthetic drugs, went on to use them 40 times or more.

“Most ‘bath salt’ users have used alcohol or marijuana, and use of other drugs such as powder cocaine, LSD, crack and heroin was at least ten-times more prevalent among [them],” according to the study.

The researchers found that those who “reside with fewer than two parents, who earn less than $50 per week from sources other than a job, or who go out multiple nights per week for fun are at increased risk for use”.

The study was published in The American Journal on Addictions.

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