Watch: U.S. Navy PSA Shows Demonic Dangers of Bath Salts

Set to a dubstep soundtrack, the public service announcement shows a sailor experiencing the dark reality of bath salt use.

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Yes, bath salts are well-publicized as a horrible drug. After all, it was the first substance to be blamed by Miami authorities after a naked man chewed up a homeless man’s face last May. (The perpetrator, Rudy Eugene, turned out not to have any of the synthetic drug in his system.) But now, the U.S. Navy, which has been battling a problem with the designer drug, has launched its own crusade aimed at curbing its use among sailors. Their dramatic new anti-drug video is filled with all the trappings of a horror film — or a horrible dream: zombie-like demons, bare-knuckled assault and late-night bowling are all invoked to show exactly how bad the synthetic drug can be. The campaign’s tagline says, “Bath salts: It’s not a fad…It’s a nightmare.”

Set to a dubstep soundtrack, the public service announcement shows a sailor experiencing the dark reality of bath salt use. After taking a dose of the drug, he immediately vomits — and that’s probably the best and things go down hill from there, including assault, battery and, apparently living in an episode of Supernatural. The video ends with the soldier tied down to a hospital bed as doctors try to treat him.

(MORE: The Real Victims of the Zombie Bath Salt Apocalypse)

In the PSA, Lt. George Loeffler, a Psychiatry Resident at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, describes the dangers of the drugs, “When people are using bath salts, they’re not their normal selves,” he says. “They’re angrier. They’re erratic. They’re violent and they’re unpredictable…. People will start seeing things that aren’t there, believing things that aren’t true.” He adds, “I would say not just as the naval officer, but as your doctor, bath salts will not only jack up your family and your career, it will jack up your mind and body too.”

The Navy has been combating the influence of bath salts since at least 2010, and last March they instituted a drug-testing program for sailors to screen for the synthetic compounds. In just three months last year, the Pacific Fleet noted that 47 sailors tested positive for the drugs, with 10 being discharged.

Bath salts, which have nothing to do with the actual soothing bath additives, are a designer drug, composed of chemicals meant to mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD or methamphetamine. The synthetic drugs came to the public’s attention after the Miami face-eating attack last year, though Eugene actually smoked marijuana, not bath salts. The DEA banned bath salts in 2011 by designating three synthetic chemicals used to make bath salts as controlled substances. Additionally, in 2012, President Obama signed a bill to ban several types of synthetic drugs, including synthetic marijuana and the now-infamous bath salts. The bill was the first ban to be enacted on a federal level, meaning it covers the online and interstate sale of bath salts and other synthetics.

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This is a very good PSA that addresses a very serious issue that young Sailors, as well as senior Sailors, may not realize is happening . And that it is happening more than they think it is. Bath salts, or any other type of product that is used to get high off of, is dangerous. The PSA addressed the issues of bath salts in the Navy and have done their best to show that those drugs are very dangerous, not only for a person's body, but for also their mind. Additionally, using such drugs also have irreversible, long-term effects.

I have to commend the Navy for producing a very informative PSA about bath salts, and for showing the effects of using them. I think it is hard for Sailors, or anyone, to imagine the negative effects of using these types of drugs, and I think this PSA showed those effects as accurately as possible (as according to their sources). Unfortunately though, it is peer pressure and being uneducated about non-regulated designer drugs that leads to people becoming users, which leads to addiction and possible drug-overdose. I hope that with this PSA, leaders, peers, and most importantly, friends who take a stand, that there will less statistics of bath salts in the U.S. Navy.

ENS Bobbie A. Camp, USN
Public Affairs Reserve Component