Graphic PSA targeting bath salts, other designer drugs in Navy

SAN DIEGO - The Navy has upped the ante in its war against bath salts and other designer drugs across the fleet. A new PSA directed at sailors is graphic, uncensored and eye-opening.

The six-minute PSA begins from the sailor's perspective. A package is opened and the sailor cuts up the bath salts delivered in the mail. The sailor inhales it before he vomits.

In the dramatization, he suffers hallucinations. Both his roommate and girlfriend turn demonic, prompting the sailor to strike his girlfriend.

"They're erratic, violent and unpredictable," San Diego Navy doctor Lt. George Loeffler says in the video.

He goes on to explain the problems with designer drugs, which leave the sailor in the PSA suffering a host of physical symptoms, including seizures.

The PSA is filled with language likely designed to appeal to those most apt to use designer drugs: the young.  

"Bath salts will not only jack up your family and career. It will jack up your mind and body," Loeffler says in the video.

Last year, about 90 sailors on two California-based ships were kicked out of the Navy for using designer drugs.

Scripps' sister station in San Diego showed the new Navy video to sailors in San Diego, including Nicole Lospennato. She said she knows six sailors who were forced out. One case sticks in her mind.

"We had a really quiet guy and he turned hyper and very talkative," said Lospennato.

It is a symptom that played out in a PSA that did not hold much back.

"They're definitely trying to get the attention of people," said sailor Jason Snow.

Snow says the tactic is necessary.

"They're trying to get to the people before they make their mistakes," said Snow.

The PSA will be distributed across the fleet to be shown in bases and on ships.

The Navy continues to refine its testing for spice and bath salts. One positive test means dismissal. In some cases, if sufficient proof exists, a positive test is not necessary.

To watch the PSA, click on the video player below. (Note to mobile and tablet users: Open story in a browser to watch video.)

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