THE LORDS of the bath have a message for all young sailors - lay off the salts!
A spate of violent psychosis-induced attacks in the United States has their navy so concerned it has commissioned a video as part of a campaign to prevent its sailors from turning into sea monsters. Designer drugs known as "bath salts" or "spice" are designed to mimic the effects of cocaine and methamphetamine. The fad is rapidly becoming a nightmare for the military, with 90 sailors from two San Diego ships drummed out of the service in one incident last year.
The drug, which can be snorted, swallowed, smoked or injected, is often promoted by pushers as safe and legal. "I cannot emphasise enough to our Sailors and Marines that using synthetic drugs really is just like playing Russian roulette with their health, not to mention their career," Vice Admiral Matthew L. Nathan, a US Navy surgeon general, said. The video shows a sailor snorting "bath salts", vomiting - and then suffering demonic hallucinations. He goes on to attack his girlfriend, pass out, have seizures and arrive in a hospital emergency room.
Psychiatry physician Lieutenant George Loeffler told ABC News that "bath salt" users risk side-effects lasting several weeks after ingesting the drug. "When people are using bath salts, they're not their normal selves", he said. "They're angrier. They're erratic. They're violent and they're unpredictable. People will start seeing things that aren't there, believing things that aren't true. "We don't have really good treatments for this ... (users) in effect make themselves schizophrenic."