Drugs & Medications

Bath Salts

Bath salts is the most common term referring to a set of synthetic drugs. It is also known by various names including:

  • Hurrican Charlie 
  • Ivory Wave
  • Ocean Burst
  • Pixie Dust
  • Plant Food
  • Purple Rain
  • Sextacy
  • Vanilla Sky
  • Zoom2

The products are often thought by users to be a legal substitute for amphetamine or cocaine.

Labeled "not-for-human consumption," the active ingredient may be one of several synthetic drugs similar to natural cathinone psychostimulants found in the khat plant. The crystals or capsules may also contain anesthetic lidocaine.

When people snort or smoke the synthetic drug bath salts, the nervous system is stimulated. It creates a burst of energy along with:

  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased alertness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle cramps

People can have frightening delusions, halluncinations, pyschosis and paranoia.

There are multiple reports of people thinking that monsters, policemen or helicopters are chasing them. These delusions lead to combativeness, assaults, suicide attempts and potential deaths.

For more information or for medical assistance after contact with bath salts, please call the Banner Poison & Drug Information Center directly at (602) 253-3334 or call (800) 222-1222 for your local poison center.

Ecstacy

What is ecstasy?

A type of amphetamine (such as methamphetamine) that has some hallucinogenic properties.

Are ecstasy tablets sold on the street truly ecstasy?

Most ecstasy sold on the street is typically not ecstasy but methamphetamine.

Has ecstasy abuse been associated with chronic neurological problems?

A recent study suggested that chronic users have brain changes, memory deficits and inability to learn new tasks.

For more information, please call the Banner Poison & Drug Information Center directly at (602) 253-3334 or call (800) 222-1222 for your local poison center.

Heroin and Krokodil

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “black tar heroin.”

What are symptoms of heroin use?

  • Coma
  • Constipation 
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Hypoxia (lack of oxygen that reaches the brain) and can cause seizures
  • Nausea
  • Respiratory depression leading to apnea (unable to breathe)
  • Vomiting

Death may result from any of these complications.

What is Krokodil?

Krokodil (said like “crocodile”) or Russian heroin is homemade Desomorphine, which is created by mixing codeine with organic solvents to create a synthetic form of heroin. 

What are symptoms of krokodil use?

  • Gangrene - a discolored (green, black) scale-like skin that resembles a crocodile 
  • Severe infection leading to amputation and/or death
  • Severe tissue damage

For more information, please call the Banner Poison & Drug Information Center directly at (602) 253-3334 or call (800) 222-1222 for your local poison center.

Huffing

It's called huffing/sniffing - inhaling chemical vapors to get high. It's usually associated with teenage drug abuse, but a report suggests that's not really the case. The majority of Americans abusing inhalants are not children but adults, according to a study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. That's more than those who used crack or LSD, heroin or PCP.

Long-term inhaling and sniffing can lead to irreversible damage to the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys and eyes. Sudden sniffing death, the coalition says, can  occur even the first time.

According to the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, a wide range of common household/ office products are abused:

  • Air fresheners
  • Computer keyboard cleaner
  • Cooking sprays
  • Correction fluid 
  • Deoderant
  • Freon
  • Gasoline
  • Glue
  • Hairspray 
  • Helium
  • Household cleaners
  • Markers
  • Nail polish remover
  • Pain thinner
  • Spot removers
  • Spray paint

Some tell-tale signs of inhalant abusers:

  • Constantly smelling sleeves or other parts of clothing
  • Having numerous butane lighters and refills, gasoline or paint soaked rags, or used spray paint cans around the house
  • Hiding rags, plastic sandwich bags, clothing or empty containers of the potentially abused products in closets, under the bed or in the garage
  • Painting fingernails with magic markers or correction fluid
  • Sitting with a pen or marker held close to the nose
  • Trying to  hide paint or stain marks on face, lips, nose, fingers or clothing

For more information, please call the Banner Poison & Drug Information Center directly at (602) 253-3334 or call (800) 222-1222 for your local poison center.

Prescription Medications

Deaths from prescription painkillers* have reached epidemic levels in the past decade. Many more men than women die of overdoses from prescription painkillers with middle aged adults having the highest rate of overdose.

A big part of the problem is non-medical use of prescription painkillers - using drugs without a prescription, or using drugs just for the "high" they cause.

Preventing Prescription Drug Overdoses

  • Don’t ever share medicine with someone else. A medicine is prescribed for you and only you.
  • Read the label and follow your doctor’s or pharmacists’ instructions.
  • Always lock up your medicine, including painkillers. That way, young children will not get into the medicine and it will be harder for teens or others to take something they should not.
  • Keep track of how many pills are in each bottle so you will know if some are missing.
  • Discard all unused medicines as soon as you finish taking them. Call your poison center at 1-800-222-1222 about how to dispose of medicine safely.
  • Participate in local medication disposal events. It is the safest way to remove prescription drugs from homes and protect the environment at the same time. 

For more information, please call the Banner Poison & Drug Information Center directly at (602) 253-3334 or call (800) 222-1222 for your local poison center.

*"Prescription painkillers" refers to opioid or narcotic pain relievers.