Sunday, January 16, 2011

A soak in bath salts won't fix stupidity

(The following was my 'Undercurrents' column for today.)

I’ve heard of brainwashing, but using “bath salts” to get high?

Staff writer Felicia Kitzmiller reported last week that so-called “bath salts” are being sold in the area in small, flat packages ($35 each) that contain a half gram of a crystal substance users crush and snort. Side effects include chest pains, hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, seizures and increased heart rate — and if that doesn’t sound like a good time, I don’t know what does.

“You couldn’t bathe a hamster in this,” Bay County Sheriff’s Capt. Faith Bell told Kitzmiller.

I always wonder about the people who sit around and try to figure out what is in their house that they can get high off of. How many people snorted crushed Drano, or shot up rat poison before they figured out this “bath salts” thing? What is their thought process — “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stranger”?

Every kid with a chemistry set thinks he’s a rocket scientist. Apparently, every meth head with a soda bottle thinks he’s a chemist.

Submitted for consideration: A recent Bay County Sheriff’s Office incident report shows what you can expect if you’re seeking that clean, refreshing (paranoid, anxiety-inducing) bath salts kind of trip.

Seems a man called authorities about 1:35 a.m. on Wednesday after he thought he had gone home to the camper trailer he lives in off County 2301 and found two men rifling through his stuff. A third was crawling around under the trailer, he said. He ran outside to his car, and they ran and got in two vehicles, a car and a truck, the report said.

The 39-year-old man claimed he followed the truck in an attempt to get its license number, but somehow it started chasing him south on U.S. 231. He pulled onto Jarvis Street and ran from house to house, knocking on doors. On Charles Street, he found a house where the occupant let him call 911, the report said. (The man must have forgotten that he had a cell phone on him.)

A deputy took the man back to his car and followed him from there to his trailer, the report said. The deputy found no signs of forced entry; the windows were all closed and locked from the inside, and nothing was missing.

The man’s landlord explained that his tenant had a recent history of mental problems “after using a synthetic drug called ‘blue bath salts,’” the report said. He had been found in the past walking around the area and knocking on doors because he thought he saw an intruder on the property.

Most recently, the man claimed to have seen “a young woman in dark clothes with an all-white face” at about 10 p.m. that same night.

Calgon, take me away!
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