Toxic Bath Salts the New Scourge
It wasn't that long ago that fake marijuana entered the marketplace, sold as incense and carefully labeled,"not for human consumption." While technically legal because the products contained an unregulated derivative with effects similar to THC, states were quick to spot the problem and make them illegal. Well, it's happening again.
This time around, products are being sold as bath salts or even fertilizer. And they are causing the expected emergency room visits as desperate experimenters try these still legal items. An article from last week explains the consequences in New Orleans: "At least 84 people around Louisiana have been hospitalized because of paranoia, fighting, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and physical effects such as hypertension and rapid heartbeat - most for a day or two but at least three of them for weeks, Mark Ryan, head of the Louisiana Poison Center, said Wednesday."
Unlike the fake marijuana, which was smoked, these are billed as "legal cocaine" or "legal speed" and snorted. Creative users have even injected this type of junk. And it isn't just Louisiana, the stuff can be found all over the South and West to Texas.
Already banned in Europe and the UK, these poisons need quick action here in the States -- this time, before they sell enough to make the next designer imitation attractive. The problem from the regulatory end is that each type of product and substance requires separate action. There is currently no mechanism to immediately ban a substance that is not sold for human consumption -- even though everyone knows what's going on. Bath salts do not come packaged in amounts smaller than a sugar packet.
The only thing we can do right now is to get the word out that this junk is even more toxic than the illegal drugs it is meant to replace.