14-year-old Jeremy Dalton was admitted to the Cassia Regional Medical center in Burley last week suffering from extreme dehydration. What makes this ordinary sounding event extraordinary is the way in which he became dehydrated.
“He wanted to be ‘cool’ like all the kids who were doing bath salts,” said Jeremy’s mother Myra, 32. “He put a bag of rock salt in the tub and then took a bath. I guess he thought that’s what you were supposed to do. I walked in and found him shriveled up and crying.”
Synthetic drugs, including “bath salts,” are an increasingly growing problem, especially in rural areas around the country. “Bath Salts” are actually man-made chemicals similar to amphetamines, and are taken either nasally or orally. They are not connected in any way to regular mineral salts, which are dissolved in bath water and used for relaxation.
Last year, the state of Idaho released a parents’ guide focusing on the abuse of synthetic drugs, published after state and county health officials noticed a spike in bath salt related emergencies and overdoses.
Drug abuse and addiction specialist Dr. Phyllis Bromley remarked, “Every so often, a new drug craze is introduced and word spreads quickly now with social networks. We try to keep one step ahead of the drug peddlers but at this point, we can only hope to keep up with them after a number of young people are hurt, or in some cases, killed.”
“I didn’t see that parents’ guide,” said Myra, “but I did tell him not to copy what the other kids were doing. I blame peer pressure for making him do it. We all did some stupid things when we were kids, like the 2 years I took up smoking to look cool, or the time I had an orgy with that biker gang, but I never did anything like this. Never drugs. The reason why I wanted to get the word out even though my son is only 14, is to let other parents know that it can happen to them, even if they think it won’t.”
When asked if he would experiment with drugs in the future, Jeremy, through parched lips, mumbled “Never again.”
Jeremy shows no signs of permanent damage, and is expected to make a full recovery after a day or two of observation and intravenous rehydration therapy.