Drugs Labeled Bath Salts Cause Concern

Poison control center warns of spike in calls

By Stephanie Streff and Anthony Ponce
|  Friday, Mar 4, 2011  |  Updated 5:03 PM CDT
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They're sold as bath salts with names like

They're sold as bath salts with names like "Cloud 9" and "White Dove" but they're a far cry from the kind you put in an actual bath.

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They're sold as bath salts with names like "Cloud 9" and "White Dove" but they're a far cry from the kind you put in an actual bath.

The "bath salts" are actually an amphetamine product and any teens are putting them straight up their noses, said Michael Wahl from the Ilinois Poison Control Center.

"They're basically using it to get high," he said.

The poison control center has seen a spike in calls from ERs in recent weeks about patients showing up hyper and paranoid after taking them.

The trend started in the southeast, where they're blamed for the deaths of at least two young men. One admitted snorting the bath salts right before attempting suicide with a knife.

Here in Chicago, the drug is starting to surface in smoke shops. But even the headshop owners aren't sure what to make of it. One shop owner in Lakeview said he recieved a shipment from a supplier but isn't sure what it's for or how to price it.

Community acivist Andrew Holmes knows what they're for and he's on a mission to educate and eliminate.

"Do you know the harm this is doing to the citizens?" he asked one shop owner.

"They claim to seem like they don't know about it, don't know the history, but I believe they do. They know what's going on."

Poison control experts say they expect the dangerous bath salts trend to get worse unless lawmakers ban the substance.

At least one Illinois representative has heeded the advice.

State Senator Jacquiline Collins is drafting a bill that would criminalize the products in Illinois.

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