We have written quite a bit about the ongoing war being waged by the United States Navy against the misuse and abuse of synthetic marijuana, also known as Spice. Several active duty Sailors, as well as midshipmen, has been removed by the Navy due to Spice-related incidents.
A new enemy, at least in terms of illicit substances: bath salts. There is increasing concern among health officials over these substances, which are being sold – legally – under such brand names as Ivory Wave or Vanilla Sky.
Far from being used as bathwater perfume, however, these substances are being snorted, smoked, inhaled, consumed, and injected, because they mimic the effects of cocaine and methamphetamine, and because they are legal and could not be detected during regular urine tests.
Among its side effects are anxiety, depression, hallucinations, delusions, poor concentration, tremors, seizures, nausea, and sweats.
At this time, the United States Navy does not have a way to screen for bath salts during urine drug tests, as shared by Lt. George Loeffler, chief psychiatry resident at Naval Medical Center San Diego. During a session at the Navy-Marine Corps Combat Operational Stress Control Conference in San Diego, Lt. Loeffler said: “It’s one of the reasons why these substances appear so popular in the military, vice in the civilian community. They actually market it to the fact that they don’t pop positive on the standard urine drug screen.” In addition, he said, bath salts can be bought in “all kinds of places,” including gas stations.