Posted by: Kathleen Whelton and Avi Pinals who both work in the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services
Bath Salts have been in the news a lot lately, but what are they? Bath Salts are a group of chemical compounds that when taken orally, inhaled, or injected mimic the effects of stimulants (like cocaine). According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, these compounds have been named “Bath Salts” in order to hide their actual purpose and to avoid government regulations.
Since Bath Salts are a relatively recent invention, there is limited research on their long term consequences. We do, however, have information about some of their short term effects, which include violent behavior, confusion, chest pain, hallucinations, paranoia, vomiting, seizures, anxiety, and even death.
Fortunately, Governor Deval Patrick recently signed legislation making Bath Salts illegal in Massachusetts. Furthermore, a federal law signed by President Obama in July makes it illegal to sell, own, or use any products containing the chemicals used in Bath Salts, including buying and selling online.
For resources for parents on how to keep kids safer from drugs and alcohol, visit the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services’ website. To learn about activities and services in your area for youth visitwww.mass211help.org or call 2-1-1 (TTY: 508-370-4890). If you have concern about a loved one’s drug or alcohol use, visit www.helpline-online.com or call 1-800-327-5050 (TTY: 1-617-536-5872) 7 days a week.
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014