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Researchers have discovered that the key ingredient in bath salts — that leaves users of the lethal drug struggling with the after effects for days — is MDPV. The ingredient is ten times stronger than cocaine, according to the National Science Foundation. It causes users to become paranoid, violent and agitated, and prone to hallucinations.
Doctors are noticing that people using the drug are suffering for days after snorting it. It’s unlike users of cocaine and ecstasy. “Some patients were in the hospital for 5 days, 10 days, 14 days,” Director of Louisiana Poison Control Center Dr. Mark Ryan said. “In some cases, they were under heavy sedation. As you try to taper off the sedation, the paranoia came back and the delusions.”
Dr. Ryan’s colleagued, Louise De Felice said the drug is one of a kind. “MDPV is irreversible, it won’t let go. ‘I don’t know of any other drug that has that same feature of not allowing you to escape from it.” Louisiana and Kentucky have been especially hit hard by the drug. Drastic measures were taken early January to ban the five ingredients commonly found in bath salts products: MDPV and mephedrone, methylone, methedrone and flephedrone. Dr. Ryan noticed that upon snorting the powder, labelled with names including Hurricane Charlie, NOLA Diamond and Bayou Ivory Flower, users all suffered repetitive psychotic episodes; however, there’s concern that drug dealers will simply change the ingredients of the drug to legal chemicals that still provide the same side effects.