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|Q:||So what the heck are bath salts?|
|A:||“Bath Salts” is the nickname for a type of designer drug that’s sold over the Internet, in head shops, and even at gas stations and convenience stores. They come in the form of capsules, powders, or tablets, and are snorted, injected, or swallowed.|
|Q:||What are bath salts made of?|
|A:||Most bath salts contain one of two psychoactive chemicals: MDPV (also known as 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone) or mephedrone. Both are synthetic versions of a natural ingredient found in the East African khat plant.|
|Q:||“Bath salts” is a ridiculous name for a drug. Where did it come from?|
|A:||No one knows for sure. But because MDPV and mephedrone occupy a gray area legally, distributors have marketed them as something else: plant food, bath powder, and yes, bath salts.|
|Q:||What do you mean by “a gray area legally”?|
|A:||MDPV and mephedrone have been illegal in the United States since 2010, but the manufacturers try to avoid prosecution by slightly modifying the compounds to make them technically legal.|
|Q:||How much do bath salts cost?|
|A:||About $25 to $50 per packet.|
|Q:||Will taking bath salts cause me to become a cannibal?|
|A:||Unlikely. But the effects of bath salts are powerful. They stimulate the central nervous system like methamphetamines, plus cause hallucinations, and even psychosis. Other effects: agitation, suicidal thoughts, chest pains, high blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat. On the plus side, you can get a good deal of vacuuming done.|
|Q:||But can bath salts kill me?|
|A:||Yes. As with methamphetamines, the increased heart rate can cause a heart attack.|
In this week’s Newsweek Alison Samuels explains why no one could save Whitney Houston, who died at 48, from herself.
Houston wrestled with demons, drugs, and heartbreaking betrayals that continued to haunt her even after her lifeless, bloated body was found face down in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton on the eve of the Grammys. Autopsy results revealed just how much self-inflicted damage Houston had done in her 48 years. The scalding bath water had burned her face, and there were bruises on her forehead, chest, and upper lip and numerous scars on her body. Years of cocaine use had burned a hole through her septum, she had heart disease, and toxicology tests showed residue of marijuana, Xanax, Benadryl, and other medications in her system.
thebusstop asked: So you can sniff toothpaste?
BREAKING! Tumblr user ponders sniffing toothpaste. Other tumblrs may or may not follow suit.
Come on, kids. What happened to good old-fashioned Robitussin?
What are we calling the result of said drinking? “I’m so sanitized…”
An excerpt From Bill Clegg’s memoir Ninety Days:
All at once it hits me: I’m alone. No one besides Dave knows exactly where I am. I could be doing anything. I’ve been an inpatient for weeks, under the thumb of nurses and doctors and counselors the entire time. No more morning gatherings, group meals, and in-bed-by-10 room checks. I’m alone and unaccountable. And then, like a dead ember blown to life, I think about my old dealers, Rico and Happy. I remember how I owe each of them a thousand dollars and wonder—despite all that’s been lost, everyone hurt, despite everything—how I’m going to get two grand to pay these guys off so I can buy more? I start to puzzle through credit cards and PIN codes for cash advances. Suddenly a few thousand dollars seems within reach, and I can feel that old burn, that hibernating want, come awake. I imagine the relief that first hit will deliver and I’m suddenly up off the couch and pacing. No no no, I chant. No f—king way. That craving, once it begins, is almost impossible to reverse. What my addict mind imagines, my addict body chases. It’s like Bruce Banner as he’s turning into the Incredible Hulk. Once his muscles begin to strain against his clothes and his skin goes green, he has no choice but to let the monster spring from him and unleash its inevitable damage.
[Photo: Chris Buck for Newsweek]
Love this ‘evolution of addiction’ illustration! Designed by Benjamin Ritter for our mag story on whip-its:
Addictions to thrills, drugs, and alcohol result from an imperfect compromise between something very old (dating back hundreds of millions of years, long before humans existed) and something new (dating back no more than a few hundred thousand years, an eye blink in evolution).
What’s old is our reflexive systems. For most of human prehistory, short-term thinking was practically the only thing that mattered: Predator or prey? Fight or flee? Early hominids that made snap decisions like that effectively survived; those that didn’t perished.
Much newer is a different system, one that deliberates and reflects. The trouble is that reflexive systems, because they are older, tend to dominate. If we see a chocolate cake, we eat it, no matter what we might have said at New Year’s about dieting.
Today in awesome vintage Newsweek covers that need to be posted just because, c/o cleaning out my email: LSD. May 6, 1966. The horror!
For more vintage newsmagazine hilarity (and seriousness), follow our sistertumblr, nwkarchivist.
Andrew Sullivan explores:
If you believe, as I do, that we are at root children of God, trapped, as Pascal put it, between being angels and beasts, then there will be moments in our lives when we are closer to being angels and closer to being beasts. In my view, our beastliness, as it were, is a function of our contingency as evolving primates, having to tackle a terrifying world of death, disease, war, hatred, and fear with intelligence and self-control and self-defense. This is the world of the first half of Hobbes’ Leviathan.
But we are also more than that, as Jesus taught us. We are children of God. Our alienation is because something deep within us yearns to come home, a home we do not remember, but we know exists. What psilocybin seems to do is remove the veil from seeing and accepting this wondrous, difficult truth. It does not add something to our consciousness that isn’t already there. It simply calms the noise around it so we can hear what is already within us. Hence the parallels between brains in deep meditation and brains on psilocybin.