Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Navy Hopes Campaign Will Curtail "Bath-Salt" Use

The U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery is getting a lot of attention for an informational campaign it rolled out in late December called "Bath Salts: It's Not a Fad, It's a Nightmare." Materials include a poster depicting a young man envisioning himself as a "demon"-like being and a video in which another young man hallucinates, causing him to believe his girlfriend and fellow sailor are also demons. The public service announcement video and poster are being distributed for display throughout the fleet. 

In a press release announcing the campaign, the Navy says the new media products focus on the dangers of bath salts and are part of the long-term awareness and deterrence campaign Navy Medicine launched last year on synthetic and designer drugs. According to Navy Medicine psychiatry resident Lt. George Loeffler at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, the adverse health effects from bath-salt use can include kidney failure, muscle spasms, severe paranoid delusions, and psychosis. Several cases of long-term inpatient hospitalization and suicide have been reported, and Loeffler has firsthand experience treating service members with severe symptoms at Navy military treatment facilities. "I would say not just as the naval officer, but as the doctor, bath salts will not only jack up your family and your career, it will jack up your mind and body too," Loeffler states in the public-service spot.

Synthetic drugs are growing rapidly in popularity, and psychiatrists and law-enforcement personnel are struggling to keep up with the epidemic. Read more about this problem in Psychiatric News here.

(Image: U.S. Navy)


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