City Desk

Bath Salts Can’t Rival PCP in Washington

Bath salts might get all the blame these days when someone has a drug-fueled freakout, but addiction blog The Fix reports that it hasn't taken many users from PCP in Washington and other East Coast cities:

The synthetic meth analog got major bad press last year as the new monster-making killer drug epidemic. But in the big East Coast cities from Boston to Washington, D.C., bath salts have barely registered as a blip on the street drug scene. Users here that want a wild drug ride turn to the old standby PCP, despite its reputation for triggering schizophrenia-like states that lead to bizarre episodes of violence.

Though bath salts have failed to catch on in the District, The Fix's Jeff Deeney reports that PCP psychosis can produce similarly psychotic behavior.  Unfortunately, "lunching on the boat" isn't exactly a lunch on a boat:

A typical drug user who presents at a psych unit for suicidal intentions associated with the crushing despair of dope sickness or three days of crack binging is easily stabilized with medication and quickly transferred to a far cheaper drug rehab unit. PCP users, however, will often sit catatonic for days before enough clarity returns for them to articulate their treatment needs. When wet’s anesthetic effect wears off, some patients need to be transferred to other hospitals to repair bones broken during a binge. Psych-unit stays run about $1,000 per day; other injury care costs can go much higher. Most PCP users are poor and uninsured, so taxpayers foot the bill.

Bath salts photo by Flickr user 666ismoney used under a Creative Commons license.

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