Bath Salts Emerging as New Recreational Drugs
(#1120069, Wednesday, October 26, 1:15 PM Eastern)
The use of bath salts as recreational drugs has greatly escalated in recent years. Researchers from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma describe an incident of a man experiencing significant agitation, paranoia, and hallucinations who also exhibited violent behavior upon his emergency department arrival. His case is not unique. Despite disclaimers of "not for human consumption" package warnings, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, calls for bath salt poisoning incidents have skyrocketed, with 1,782 since January 2011 compared with 302 in all of 2010. The inexpensive powdery substances with benign names contain stimulants not detectable through drug screens. However, they can produce a "high" along with increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions, not unlike the Oklahoma patient. Treatment for ingesting these bath salts is sedation until the side effects wear off, along with supportive care. Although currently federally unregulated, 26 states have made these substances illegal.
Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages May Harm Patients With Chronic Medical Conditions
(#1114467, Sunday, October 23, 7:30 PM Eastern)
The use of caffeinated alcoholic beverages and other nonalcoholic energy drinks has been increasing since their introduction 20 years ago. Researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City noted that the effects of caffeinated alcoholic beverages, such as 4 Loko, on patients with chronic medical conditions are not documented and may be more pronounced in these patients. Their patient experienced a high glucose load, and caffeine intake allowed for excessive alcohol consumption, which induced loss of consciousness, prolonged time without insulin, and diabetic coma. The
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American College of Chest Physicians