Convenience Store Bath Salts Sending Users To Er

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While the name bath salts is misleading, there is no mistaking these chemicals are dangerous. Sold under such innocent product names as Ivory Wave, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky, what is currently being marketed as bath salts (also known as fake cocaine) this synthetic stimulant actually causes hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates, and suicidal tendencies. The scary part is these chemicals are being sold in convenience stores and on the Internet. And, yes, it’s completely legal. However, the many ER trips the drug is creating has caught the attention of the DEA and other federal agencies.

Bath salts are fairly new to the drug scene. Though labeled as “not for human consumption” (as is Spice and K2), the substance is being used as a drug, mostly by former meth addicts since the effects can be as powerful as meth. The bath salts create an intense craving and even though it usually produces a bad trip, users continue to play with it, despite the consequences. Those who try it will binge for several days before ending up in the ER. The chemicals are fairly inexpensive and right now still legal to purchase and possess, leaving law enforcement officers with little they can do except cite for disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

Louisiana leads the nation in number of ER visits and poison control center calls at 165 in the last six months of 2010, Florida was second with 38. Since the number of ER activities caught the attention of Louisiana lawmakers, many of the chemicals were banned for sale in that state drastically reducing the calls over the last couple of months. Several other states are currently introducing legislation to ban the chemicals as well. Federal authorities are still unclear as to where the designer chemicals originated, but there is some speculation they may have started in Europe. Unfortunately, it may take several years to federally restrict these chemical drugs in the U.S. But states can ban them immediately.

The bad news is bath salts are available here in Arizona. Smoke shops in the Valley are carrying them and anyone over the age of 18 can legally purchase an over-the–counter, drug-like experience. Like meth, bath salts can be injected, snorted or smoked.

The kicker is, there is no guarantee the user will survive the high. The bottom line is be careful what you put in your body.

References: nydailynews.com/lifestyle/ health; kpho.com - Phoenix News Channel 5; washingtonpost.com; news.yahoo.com; cbsnews.com

For questions or more information on the Gila County Meth Coalition contact chair Claudia DalMolin at the Gila County Sheriff’s Office, (928) 425-4440; co-chair Bianca DalMolin, (928) 701-1790; facilitator, Misty Cisneros, (928) 402-1879; or media liaison Lu DuBois, (928) 402-4321.

Presented by the Gila County Meth Coalition

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