DEA temporarily bans "bath salts" stimulant as hazardous - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

DEA temporarily bans "bath salts" stimulant as hazardous

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Drug Enforcement Administration says it will temporarily outlaw possession and sale of three synthetic stimulants as dangerous chemicals that pose an imminent hazard to public health.

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.

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.

Bath Salts come in a tiny container that looks harmless until you open it.     

Parent Andre Martin said he was surprise to learn the little jar's powdery bits are what drug experts call synthetic cocaine, and said the product doesn't look like something you would put in your bath.

Sean Irick, 17, says he learned about the drug at school. "I heard it's like coke for your nose, you just sniff it," said Irick.

You can smoke it or inject it and it's legal to purchase for only $18.

Irick's mom feels that Bath Salts are not good for the kids and if she would have seen the product in the store she wouldn't have thought anything of it.

The product is given clever names like "Ivory Wave", "White Lightning" or simply "Bath Salts."

Since the maker's name is not on the product, it could be made by anyone, even someone off the street.

Drug prevention specialist Cecily Watkins said there are so many synthetic forms out there, but it can only take one dose to kill your child.

Watkins says the high is short and the side effects can last up to three days, ranging from hallucinations, paranoia, kidney failure, violent acts and even suicide.

The state's poison control center says they've received 92 calls this year about the drug, and state leaders are pushing a legislation to make it illegal to buy Bath Salts in South Carolina.

For now, anyone over the age of 18 can buy it in the Midlands except for in Chesterfield County.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.

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