Among the several actions taken by Chicago's City Council on Wednesday was one to fine merchants who sell so-called "synthetic cocaine."
Stores that sell the bath salts, already illegal under state law, face fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 per day.
When snorted, the bath salts mimic the effects of cocaine and sometimes have hallucinogenic effects on the user. Their use has escalated in recent years, experts say, because the chemicals don't show up on standard drug tests.
But health officials said they've seen an increased number of patients come into emergency rooms after using the salts that carry the names such as "8 Ball" and "White Rush."
"We’ve had all sorts of horrible accounts of kids who ingest these and feel that the devil is chasing them, are compelled to kill themselves, have horrible car accidents," Cara Smith, deputy chief of staff to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, was quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times as saying.
A ban on synthetic marijuana took effect in Chicago in December.