Drugs and Bath Salts? Synthetic Cocaine Growing Drug Problem, Say Officials

Drugs and Bath Salt? Synthetic Cocaine Growing Drug Problem, Say Officials
Synthetic Cocaine Sold As "Bath Salts" (CBS/WKMG)

FULTON, Miss. (CBS/WKMG/AP) Experts are warning parents about a synthetic drug labeled as "bath salts."

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Don't let the label fool you. Some say the effects of the powders are as powerful as abusing methamphetamine.

Increasingly, law enforcement agents and poison control centers say the advertised bath salts with complex chemical names are an emerging menace in several U.S. states where authorities talk of banning their sale.

From the deep South to California, emergency calls are being reported over exposure to the stimulants the powders often contain: mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV.

According to CBS affiliate WKMG, the chemicals are sold under such names as Ivory Wave, Bliss, White Lightning and Hurricane Charlie.

Police say they can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates and suicidal thoughts. The chemicals are in products sold legally at convenience stores and on the Internet as bath salts and even plant foods. However, they aren't necessarily being used for the purposes on the label.

Mississippi lawmakers this week began considering a proposal to ban the sale of the powders, and a similar step is being sought in Kentucky. In Louisiana, the bath salts were outlawed by an emergency order after the state's poison center received more than 125 calls in the last three months of 2010 involving exposure to the chemicals.

January 24, 2011 - "Bath Salts" Are Growing Drug Problem, Say Officials
January 18, 2011 - Synthetic Cocaine Being Sold as "Bath Salts"


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