The use of synthetic drugs like bath salts is putting teenagers’ health at great risk and that includes damaging their kidneys. Such is the case of five Oregon teenagers and one young man in southwest Washington who were all sent to the hospital with kidney failure due to synthetic marijuana misuse, the Oregonlive.com reports.
The cases have occurred since May, with the latest taking place only last week. Of the six, five were between 15 and 18 years of age. All of them were hospitalized, and one was admitted to intensive care to undergo emergency dialysis after his kidneys shut down.
Although the report noted that all men recovered with treatment, the long-term damage to their kidneys is unknown.
Dr. Katrina Hedberg, the Oregon state epidemiologist, describes the drugs as “like Russian Roulette” and can be “extremely dangerous and life-threatening.”
Synthetic drugs are banned in Oregon state and in Washington. But selected head shops and convenience stores continue to sell them in the form of “herbal incense,” “synthetic amphetamines,” “bath salts,” and “K2.” State officials are urging high school students to stay away from these drugs because of the dangers associated with them. Similarly, officials are advising synthetic drugs users to immediately seek medical attention the moment they start feeling ill.