|“Old fashioned bath salts…”|
When bath salts really were bath salts…
Yes, there was a time, up until a few years ago, if people were discussing bath salts it had to do with taking a relaxing bath to soothe your skin and regroup. These bath salts were originally designed to mimic a mineral bath or hot springs. Many mothers since the 1970s have uttered the words “Calgon, take me away!” Usually when children heard that phrase they knew their mom needed time to relax and ease the tensions of the day.
Moms still enjoy a relaxing bath, but the term bath salts has a taken on a whole new meaning.
2010 – Bath Salts marketed as designer drug
In 2009 other countries began to notice abuse of a new designer drug marketed as Bath Salts. By 2010 U.S. authorities were made aware of the dangers of bath salts, resulting from the number of reports to poison centers. In 2011, we published a post about the rise of Bath Salt sales and the forthcoming Drug Enforcement Agency ban on such sales.
Educating adolescents and young adults about bath salts
Working with adolescents and young adults can be challenging; however, rewarding. Typically they are eager to learn, they are inquisitive, but at the same time they are impressionable. If you couple this with the speed at which information is disseminated via today’s technology, a young person’s perceived invincibility, and peer pressure, then it is no wonder that parents, teachers, treatment professionals, and local/national authorities search for innovative ways to send a powerful message to this vulnerable population.
There is no doubt that covering the dangers involved with Bath Salts on the nightly news programs or television news magazines like ABC’s 20/20 or NBC’s Dateline can be of service; however, typically teenagers and young adults may not tune into these shows. However, there is one media vehicle that historically has reached younger audiences simply because they are aired late at night (before or after a show that may have a more diverse audience). We are speaking of public service announcements (commonly referred to as PSAs); the objectives being to raise awareness, change public attitudes and behavior towards a social issue.
United States Navy creates a powerful Bath Salts PSA
Like most communities, the US Navy has been in a battle to educate their sailors about the dangers associated with using Bath Salts and other synthetic drugs. In that effort, this past month the Navy premiered their new PSA: BATH SALTS: It’s not a fad…it’s a nightmare.
If you are having trouble viewing this PSA, you can see it here.
Additionally, Navy Medicine launched a new webpage for their sailors and the public: Synthetic Drugs and Your Health.
Sharing the PSA
We are hopeful that if you find this PSA compelling, then you will share it with your children, both adolescents and young adults. If you’re a treatment professional, you may consider sharing it with your peers and patients. If you’re an educator or administrator, then you might find it to be a useful teaching tool.
That’s the beauty of a PSA, it is public and it is meant to be shared! It allows one to be of service.