After noticing a spike in deaths at dance music festivals, a group of researchers at New York University decided to look into the drug use of attendees. Ecstasy and/or MDMA are two of the more common drugs at these functions, but the team felt it was safe to assume that many partygoers are “unintentionally or unknowingly using ‘bath salts‘”.
The NYU researchers conducted their study by approaching people outside of a nightclub and asking if they have ever taken MDMA. They would then list off a series of ‘bath salts’ and ask if they have even knowingly taken any of them. Finally, depending on their answers, the team would take a lock of hair to test for the presence of certain drugs. By the end of the study, 48 samples were tested, with half of them testing positive for MDMA and half of them testing positive for ‘bath salts’ or some other psychoactive substance. The most common forms of ‘bath salts’ were methylone and butylone.
When asked about the results, Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, MPH, an affiliate of the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) and an assistant professor of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center (NYULMC), had this to say:
“A lot of people laughed when they gave us their hair saying things like ‘I don’t use bath salts; I’m not a zombie who eats people’s faces.’ Yet our findings suggest many of these people have been using “bath salts” without realizing it.
Ecstasy wasn’t always such a dangerous drug, but it is becoming increasingly risky because it has become so adulterated with new drugs that users and the scientific community alike know very little about. Users need to be aware that what they are taking may not be MDMA.”
If there is anything we should take away from this new study, it is Dr. Palamar’s final thoughts, which can be found in the last paragraph of the report:
“As Molly is becoming a much riskier substance, I really hope that those who decide to use educate themselves about what they’re doing. While it is safest to avoid use, test kits are available online for those who decide to use, and want to ensure that they’re taking real MDMA and not a new synthetic stimulant such as Flakka.”
H/T: Magnetic Mag