Driving (home) Necessities

Driving (home) Necessities

The Items That I Bring Along When I Drive Home

All of us get homesick in college and we want to visit home sometimes, see our pets, drive through our hometown. Visiting home however takes time and planning. Whether you live 20 minutes away or 10 hours away, you have to prepare that drive with driving necessities. I have created a list of 10 items that I bring along when I go to visit home (my drive is 10 hours).

1) Car Chargers

When I drove home a few weekends ago I had a charger for my phone and my Fitbit.

2) Auxiliary cord

Everyone wants to listen to their own playlist while driving to a specific destination, I have my own driving playlist that has about 8 hours worth of music on it. I enjoy driving but I enjoy driving more when I have my music on.

3)Hostess Apple Pies

This may seem like an odd item to some, but for me it is a necessity. When I am planning to take a trip back home I always buy at least two of these pies. They are very easy to eat while driving so I usually eat those in the beginning of my long drive.

4) A fountain drink WITH A STRAW

When I am driving I have difficulties drinking water (or soda) when it is out of a plastic bottle. Most people usually use both hands when opening a plastic bottle (if you don't use both hands, you are obviously a wizard). I always have to have a drink when I am driving, you know, so I don't get dehydrated from all the singing...

5) Phone holder

Because I have no sense of direction (especially in the Midwest states), I keep a phone holder on my dash so I can keep a check on the GPS on my phone.

6) Food in General

Literally, bring a bunch of easy to get to snacks: chips; popped popcorn; chewy granola bars; beef jerky

7) Gum

If you don't want to be constantly snacking on your drive, you can pop in a piece of gum and that will curve your appetite and keep your mouth busy.

8) Phone

PLEASE DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE! I use my phone for music and GPS only when I am driving. Also if an emergency occurs it is good to have a cellular device on hand to contact someone if you need. Cellphone=music=directions=emergency services

And obviously while traveling

9) Luggage

You don't want to wear the same clothes over the WHOLE weekend. Bring some extra clothing... obviously...

10) Wallet/ Extra Keys

To pay for gas and food you obviously want your wallet. Extra keys? When I am traveling, I always keep a spare car key in my pocket just in case I lock my keys in my car or leave them somewhere (luckily that has not happened to me).


These are just my personal necessities that I use when I am driving back to my home state. If you have any necessities that you think I should try next time. Comment below! (It will be for the greater good!)


Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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8 Facts About Bath Salts

What are Bath Salts?

Most people are familiar with the chunky and fragrant bath salts that are added to bath water in order to relax and invigorate. However, these bath salts are much different and not nearly as relaxing as users would hope. This kind of bath salt is a designer drug that mimics the effects of such illegal substances like cocaine, methamphetamines and MDMA. They belong to a group of drugs classified as synthetic cathinones, which are man-made substances that share a similar chemical makeup as the khat plant, a plant found in East Africa that acts like a mild stimulant when chewed on. Most bath salts on the market are crystalized powders that are often white or brown.

Bath Salts and its Aliases

This drug is called bath salts because of its similar, chunky rock like look as those sold in health and beauty stores as well as the ability to sell the items in stores as a legal product using this name. With law enforcement cracking down on bath salts in the last few years, people are finding them packaged as plant food and jewelry cleaner to continue their sales. These products are almost always in packaging that states that is not for human consumption.

Bath salts are also called by several other names such as:

-Bloom

-White Lightning

-Cloud Nine

-Red Dove

-Lunar Wave

How long have they been around?

Synthetic cathinones have been around since their creation in France in the 1920s. However, it stayed mostly underground until a similar drug resurfaced in Israel in 2004. Shortly after, the recipe was modified in order to be sold under different names. The current abuse of bath salts comes from their introduction into the British club scene in 2010. Between 2010 and 2011 bath salt sales boomed in Britain and America. It was then that America began to see the disturbing epidemic of users and the horrific side effects of the drug.

Abuse and Addiction

According to users, bath salts leave them with intense cravings even after one time of using it. One study even said that certain synthetic cathinones were more addictive then methamphetamines. Bath salt users explain feeling a euphoric high and sexual stimulation, similar to that of MDMA. They also explain that they feel more focused and have higher energy levels for a few hours after taking the drug, similar to methamphetamines.

Bath salts are most often snorted, but they can also be smoked and injected. Due to the ease of purchasing this drug in liquor stores and smoke shops, users quickly find themselves having a recreational use turn into a full-blown addiction. Ultimately the crash from someone coming off the drug is the most intense and uncomfortable part of the experience. In fact, abuse continues because the user doesn’t want to come down and fears the extreme side effects.

Side Effects

Though the drug is fairly new, there has already been increased rates of mental health problems in people that have used bath salts, with reports claiming people suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In fact, due to the inability to test for the drug, many medical practitioners look for these mental health signs before diagnosing a person as a bath salt user.

Some of the side effects are similar to other drugs but they are often intensified. These include depression, anxiety, paranoia, agitation, feeling physically ill, and tremors. These side effects can last for days and there has been reports of users self-harming because of the emotional effects of bath salts.

Overdosing on Bath Salts

Many are familiar with bath salts based on a 2012 news story of a Florida man, high on bath salts, who literally chewed off the face of a homeless man. The homeless man ended up losing 80% of his face due to this horrific incident; the zombie-like side effects of the drug quickly made headlines all across the country. In this incident the man was said to be overdosing on bath salts and experiencing intense delusions and hallucinations. Other overdose side effects can include liver failure, seizures, and heart attack.

Many users are often violent toward themselves and others, and can inadvertently harm themselves because of a high pain tolerance. As of 2015, only 68 deaths have been reported due to bath salt overdose. However, these numbers vary based on an inability to test for the drug in peoples’ systems or if the death was associated with bath salts (such as violence).

Banning Bath Salts

By 2011 the poison control centers received over 3,000 calls which was more than ten times the previous year’s total. This caused the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to spring into action in an attempt to effectively ban bath salts. The DEA exercised emergency authority to classify mephedrone, MDPV and methylone (the active ingredients in bath salts) as controlled, schedule 1 substances, thereby making it illegal to sell them or anything made of them. Then in 2012 President Obama signed a federal ban on all synthetic drugs. Even with this ban, though, it has done little to curb the problem as people are turning to the streets in order to continue to use bath salts.

Treating Bath Salt Addiction

Due to the severe and unpredictable side effects of bath salts, detox can be quite trying for the user and medical professionals alike, and it is often difficult to find rehab centers willing to treat users. A large issue is the mental disorders that are often brought on by bath salt abuse. Treatment of bath salts typically deals with detox centers and psychological therapy.

Detox begins with intense medical monitoring as well as medications to alleviate symptoms like nausea, insomnia, and agitation. Just like most drug treatments and recovery programs, those that work with bath salt abuse circle around abstinence, relapse prevention, and rehabilitation. Some take part in outpatient programs after detox but many need a more structured way of rehabilitation due to mental illness. The best way of getting through treatment is having a strong support system and accountability.

Cover Image Credit: Shutterstock

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The Struggles Of A Former 'Fat Kid'

Because everyone has something they struggle with.

I had it better than most growing up but that doesn’t mean I didn’t face challenges. Yes, I always had food to eat and a warm bed to sleep in. I always got what I wanted for Christmas and I attended private high school. But everyone struggles with something, and how you grow up forms who you are going to be. Whether you let your environment break you or become who you are in spite of it, your childhood shapes you. My childhood wasn’t easy and it has shaped me into the person I am today.

I was a fat kid. Not in the way that a little kid gets kinda chubby before they hit their next growth spurt, but most of my life I was really overweight. What I experienced as a result of being overweight formed a good majority of who I am now.

I have severe social anxiety and I’ve dealt with it since elementary school without knowing that it had a name. There are various factors that have molded my specific social anxiety but I attribute it most to how I was treated because of my weight. The first memory I have of that treatment is being in second grade and showing up to school in new denim shorts.

As I confidently walked past a group of fifth-graders they pointed and laughed at how “fat” I was and it completely destroyed me. Now just over a decade later, when I am alone and feeling vulnerable and am faced with a group of unfamiliar people laughing nearby, I feel like they’re laughing at me. I know this sounds extremely narcissistic and irrational and I even say to myself, ‘You are being absolutely ridiculous, they do not give a damn about you.’ But my rational mind never wins that argument.

I can recollect instances in middle school of being called “fat ass” and “thunder thighs,” being asked by a relative, “Do you really need to eat that?” and being told that I’d never look like everyone else. These things are why I struggle to connect with new people, why I break out in hives and tear up when I’m forced to engage in public speaking, why some days I’m so scared to be judged that I don’t want to leave my room and why I sometimes can’t even eat in front of anyone that isn’t my boyfriend.

Physically, now I’m healthy but I definitely skip the gym more than I should. I’m what some might label as curvy but not in the way that’s so trendy right now. I do not have a six pack to go along with my big butt. When I look in the mirror, I see every stretch mark, every inch of cellulite, and every jiggly bit that could stand to be toned. I will always struggle to see who I am now and not the overweight middle schooler that was made fun of.

To many people who know and love me, I am a completely different person now, but there are days when I don’t feel a bit different and I retreat to the farthest corners of my mind. Regardless I try to have a sense of humor, because my fat rolls are not going to stop me from enjoying my pizza rolls.

I am so happy for anyone who hasn’t experienced any bullying or anxiety in their lives, but those people should still be aware of it, and be respectful of it, along with any other struggles people face. It’s impossible to look at someone and know what they’ve gone through in their life. This is just a small reminder that everyone has their own baggage and we could all be a little more understanding.

Cover Image Credit: Saige Rozanc-Petski

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