DEA to ban so-called "bath salts" drugs

WASHINGTON - Under mounting pressure from states, the Drug Enforcement Administration says it will temporarily outlaw possession and sale of three synthetic stimulants - often marketed as "bath salts" - as dangerous chemicals that pose an imminent hazard to public health.

CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports that at least 27 states have already banned the stimulants, and the DEA ban will take effect in 30 days.

Sometimes packaged as bath salts or plant food and marketed under names such as "Purple Wave," "Vanilla Sky" and "Bliss," the stimulants are especially popular among teens and young adults and are perceived as mimics of cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine.

Bath salts are lab-produced stimulants called "synthetic cathinones" that mimic the effect of marijuana but are more powerful, and can cause users to hallucinate and become extremely violent.

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The DEA says users have reported disorientation, extreme paranoia and violent episodes after ingesting the chemicals. They are sold on the Internet and in head shops and other retail outlets.

The ban will last at least a year, during which the government will determine whether it should permanently control the stimulants - Mephedrone, MDPV and Methylone.

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