Recreational drugs called bath salts have become infamous for their bizarreeffects on drug users, causing a whole host of mind and body changes includingdelusions, nausea and vomiting, seizures and even death.
And now, a new study has found that the drug is not only potent – but highlyaddictive.
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that bathsalts – also known as MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) – could actually bemore addictive than methamphetamine, one of the most addictive drugs on themarket.
Along with his colleagues, Michael A. Taffe, TSRI associate professor andprincipal investigator on the study, created an experiment in which rats werecapable of dosing themselves intravenously with either MDPV or methamphetamine, just by pressing a lever. The more times the rats pressed a lever, themore infusions of the drug they would receive.
“We observed that rats will press a lever more often to get a single infusionof MPDV than they will for meth, across a fairly wide dose range,” Taffesaid.
Overall, the rats averaged around 60 lever presses for a dose of meth, compared to an average of 600 for a dose of MDPV.
“Some rats would even emit 3,000 lever presses for a single hit of MDPV,” said Shawn M. Aarde, a TSRI research assistant who was first author of thestudy.