Synthetic drugs are a growing problem in the United States, especially among teenagers and young adults. Just when authorities think they’ve eradicated one synthetic substance, another one takes its place. Currently, Cloud 9 is one of the most dangerous designer drugs on the streets.
What is Cloud 9?
Though Cloud 9 is classified as a bath salt, it’s also passed off as fertilizer, insect repellent, and potpourri. Complicating things even further, Cloud 9, like most synthetic drugs, goes by several different names. The most common names include Herbal Bliss, Hookah Relax, Ivory Wave, Ritual Spirit, Herbal X, GWM, Rave Energy, and Ultimate Xphoria.
Cloud 9 is listed as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance and contains a synthetic cannabinoid known as AB-PINACHA. Tests from the University of Sydney, Australia also revealed the Ivory Wave formulation contains a potent psychoactive chemical called methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). According to data from the National Science Foundation, MDPV is ten times stronger than cocaine.
Despite the classification, underground Cloud 9 chemists have successfully skirted most legal issues by altering, adding, or removing one chemical ingredient. Once the synthetic makeup is changed, manufacturers give the drug a new name and proceed with distribution.
Frightening Side Effects
Experts warn that Cloud 9 can be smoked, mixed with soda or energy drinks, added to marijuana, used with an e-cigarette, or smoked in a hookah. Side effects include chest pain, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, paranoia, agitation, suicidal thinking or behavior, vivid hallucinations, violent outbursts, and near heart attacks.
Cities across the nation have experienced a spike of adverse reactions traced back to the use of Cloud 9. In fact, the Louisiana Poison Center reports nearly 100 residents have been hospitalized for severe side effects caused by these products.
Just last week, Michigan’s Department of Public Health issued a specific emergency order “to prevent imminent danger” after 25 high school students were hospitalized for adverse reactions brought on by Hookah Relax. Two of those students required round-the-clock psychiatric care after mixing the compound with the drugs Xanax and Vicodin.
One of the most tragic Cloud 9 victims to date is 21-year-old Dickie Sanders. The young man spent three full days suffering from violent hallucinations, crippling paranoia, and suicidal thoughts after snorting Cloud 9. On the third day, Sanders committed suicide in his parents’ home.
Learn more about treatment options for bath salts and synthetic drugs.