Banner’s poison center sees dangerous spike in “bath salts”
PHOENIX (May 18, 2011) — A warning from Valley poison control that the use of synthetic stimulants, known as “bath salts,” is on the rise in Maricopa County. Users are reportedly ingesting the drug to get a high similar to that of cocaine. Exposure calls related to this drug have increased, and the growing trend can be deadly.
This year, 35 cases have been reported to the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center, compared to just one call in 2010. Bath salts, which are not regulated by the FDA, often contain stimulants such as mephedrone and MDPV. Although no deaths have been reported in Maricopa County, a handful of deaths in the U.S. have been linked to the use of these drugs. Valley physicians are concerned due to the lack of federal oversight of bath salts—which can easily lead to a deadly dose when snorted, smoked or injected for purposes of getting high.
“It is important for people to know that these drugs are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” said Daniel Brooks, MD, co-medical director of the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center. “There is no way of knowing whether or not you are getting the same dose or type of drug each time. You’re taking a big chance with your life every time you use these salts to get high.”
Most of the Valley exposures have individuals between the ages of 21 to 25 years old, and the majority of the cases were males. Hospital emergency departments across the Valley have reported patients with increased heart rates and blood pressure, agitation, chest pain, hallucinations, and paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks. Most cases were treated and released from emergency departments, however some of the Arizona cases resulted in hospitalizations for more severe symptoms.
About Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center
The Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center is just a phone call away, and can be reached at 1-800-222-1222. The center provides a free, 24-hour emergency telephone service for both residents and medical professionals of Maricopa County.
About Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center
Located in downtown Phoenix, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center has been providing medical care since 1911, and is the flagship hospital within Banner Health. Banner Good Samaritan is recognized as a Magnet™ hospital for nursing excellence and is ranked as one of America’s “Best Hospitals” by U.S.News & World Report, ranking No. 33 for Heart and Heart Surgery. Today, more than 4,200 nurses and Banner Good Samaritan staff members work with more than 1,700 physicians representing nearly 50 specialties to provide care to more than 43,000 inpatients each year.
Editor’s Note: Medical toxicologists from the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center are available to speak about this topic and the recent data pulled from the call center. Please contact Public Relations to schedule the interview.
CONTACT: Rainey Holloway
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