COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Bath salts may sound harmless and even funny, but it's a designer drug that causes hallucinogens and other side effects like no other substances.
Despite the risks, this drug has become a recent trend, and soldiers are using this substance as well. A couple of national reports have been made on the increasing number of soldiers abusing bath salts and other synthetic drugs, and Columbus, GA is no exception.
A local drug abuse and addiction treatment center in Columbus that wished to remain anonymous told News Leader 9 that the center has seen an increase in the number of soldiers who seek help with their synthetic drug addiction. In addition, bath salts has been a drug that has been mentioned frequently nowadays.
A retired soldier and his wife, who also wish to remain anonymous, met with News Leader 9 about their experience with drugs when her husband was still active in the Army.
"I had an emergency hysterectomy when I gave birth to my son. I was in pain, and the physicians in the Army kept giving me oxycotin. These pills made me feel better, and that's all they gave me. Consuming drugs did not completely heal me. However, that's what they always gave me. They handed me drugs like candies. Eventually, it led me to take different drugs, and I was soon addicted to synthetic heroin."
The wife explained that she lost her friends, children and even her husband once she started struggling with her addiction. She continued to say that overcoming addiction can take a long time, but with enough motivation, willpower and patience, anyone can start all over again.
"She was a totally different person when she was dependent on drugs… so we separated, but we reunited once my wife became herself again," the Husband said.
The Husband and the Wife explained how the soldiers that used drugs in the Army had their own special language. They had different names for different drugs, and drug abusers had no trouble distinguishing other drug users.
"They would get together and invite each other to underground places to do drugs. Many soldiers also drink, so they would sometimes mix their drugs and drinks together to get higher effect," the wife explained.
The husband also said it was hard to continue rejecting the offers from other soldiers who do drugs. Often times, the soldiers end up receiving pain killers from the physicians within the Army to control the pain they receive from wounds and injuries. The Wife added to say that soldiers are always on the move, so they end up becoming dependent on certain drugs, which leads them to try other substances.
"It's usually the physical pain," the Wife explained. "I've been to multiple sobriety centers and meetings, and soldiers who have been addicted to drugs almost always say they started taking some sort of drugs to control their pain. Again, they often receive these pills from the physicians. Sometimes, others usually end up taking drugs to control their emotional or mental pains as well."
It is against the rule to bring any sort of substance or drugs into the post. The consequences are dire for soldiers and workers who fail to respect and follow the guidelines. However, soldiers often have trouble controlling their addiction, like any other person. The couple strongly believes that the suicide rates and drug addiction rates among soldiers can be solved, if more help and support were offered.
"We care about the mission. However, we also care more about the soldiers!" the wife explained. "If we can show them genuine support by providing resources and professional people who can help them with their depression, addiction and other problems… it could save so many lives."