The U.S. military is spreading awareness of the dangers of “Spice,” “bath salts” and other synthetic drugs, the Air Force Times reports. As part of the campaign, Navy Surgeon General Vice Admiral Matthew Nathan wrote a blog post stating,“Taking Spice is comparable to playing Russian roulette with both your mental and physical health as well as your career.”
The Air Force Times notes that two new reports in the Annals of Emergency Medicine describe patients taking synthetic drugs who ended up in the hospital. In one case, a patient taking bath salts was able to buy the drugs, sold as a novelty item called “Blue Magic,” at a gas station. The patient developed a potentially deadly reaction and was in the intensive care unit for 12 days.
In the other case, a patient landed in the emergency room after taking methoxetamine, also known as “Kmax” and “Mexxy,” intravenously. According to the article, Kmax or Mexxy is sold as a “research chemical” on the Internet.
Nathan says the military has instituted a ban on Spice. Since synthetic drugs are not detected on drug tests, the Pentagon is working on developing tests that will be able to do so, according to Nathan. “In addition to the health concerns, there are readiness issues involved and use of these products by our people will not be tolerated as personnel using them impact not only themselves but their shipmates,” he wrote, adding that the military has been forced to separate numerous sailors and Marines due to Spice use.