HEALTH ALERT: Educators asked to learn about bath salts

NOTE, Aug. 24, 2011: The Department of Education’s Bath Salts web page was updated to include two additional resources. Visit the “Resources for accurate information” section of the web page: http://www.maine.gov/education/sh/bathsalts.html.

TO: All Maine School Personnel
FROM: Commissioner Stephen L. Bowen, Maine Department of Education

Bath salts, though illegal in Maine, are becoming increasingly available in our towns and cities. They present a high risk of harm to anyone using this synthetic substitute for cocaine and methamphetamines.

Use by youth is on the rise in the United States. Some individuals under the influence of bath salts have been seen exhibiting bizarre and potentially dangerous behavior.

At the request of the Maine Department of Public Safety, and with guidance and support from the Office of Substance Abuse at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, I am asking school administrators, nurses, teachers, and others to become aware of the dangers and symptoms of bath salts in order to protect the safety and well-being of students who may be under their influence, as well as the safety of other students and adults in the school setting.

With the assistance and guidance of the experts in the Office of Substance Abuse, we have compiled a brief fact and resource page on our website with the necessary information: http://www.maine.gov/education/sh/bathsalts.html.

Please read the information and ask all school personnel to do the same. With more of us educated about the drug and its dangers, we will be better prepared to help a student in need.

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