BAD AXE (WWJ/AP) - A county in Michigan's Thumb has declared bath salts a health threat and removed the product from at least one store.
Talking to local radio station WLEW, Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said that anyone selling bath salts could be charged with a misdemeanor. The county health department said at least 21 people have been treated since October after abusing the salts.
Authorities say bath salts can mimic the effect of illegal drugs.
County health officer Gretchen Tenbusch, a nurse, issued the danger order and accompanied sheriff's deputies to a Bad Axe store to seize bath salts. The store has been the victim of thefts since December.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has been targeting three drugs commonly sold as "bath salts," "plant food/fertilizer," or even as "toy cleaner."
"Bath salts" are among a large number of new "designer drugs" popping up in retail stores, head shops, and online.
According to the DEA, "bath salts" are usually ingested by sniffing/snorting. They can also be taken orally, smoked, or put into a solution and injected.
People who abuse these substances have reported agitation, insomnia, irritability, dizziness, depression, paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts, seizures, and panic attacks. Users have also reported effects including impaired perception of reality, reduced motor control, and decreased ability to think clearly.
Some users have described the high as horrible, saying that they saw demons.
The DEA says use of these drugs can cause a rapid heart rate, which may lead to heart attacks and strokes, chest pains, nosebleeds, sweating, nausea and vomiting.
Read more on this from the DEA here. (.pdf format)
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