States Banning Narcotic 'Bath Salts'

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BY CHRISTINE SLUSSER ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN You're watching multisource U.S. news analysis from Newsy ...
BY CHRISTINE SLUSSER ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN You're watching multisource U.S. news analysis from Newsy Imagine the police bursting down your door with their drug dogs as you try and take a hot bath with your relaxing bath salts. Maybe it’s not that dramatic--but bath salts are going on the chopping block in many states. Except... they aren’t really bath salts--more like an undercover narcotic sold mainly in convenience stores. Minnesota’s KMSP has the details... ”The drugs are often marketed as incense or bath salts, but they can cause serious health complications--and are blamed for the death of a 19-year-old right here in the Twin Cities. The bill would punish the sale of these synthetic drugs, with fines up to 3-thousand dollars.” The Times-Tribune explains why the drug is such a big deal in the first place, and quotes Timothy Cannon, the director of the University of Scranton's Neuroscience program: “That compound works in the brain like amphetamines, forcing the brain to release an abnormal amount of norepinephrine and dopamine to the neurotransmitters' receptors, causing increased vigilance, aggression and paranoia and even symptoms of schizophrenia.” Apparently the salts are also wreaking havoc on health care workers--Pennsylvania’s WFMZ says the number of cases being treated is on the rise. REPORTER: “The poison control center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has seen a spike in calls about bath salts.” DR. KEVIN OSTERHOUDT: “We had four calls in all of 2010, we had three in January, and then we jumped to having forty in February and another forty-five in March and they’re still coming in in April.” ...but the crack down is nationwide. Missouri has a bill banning the substance already to the Senate, and it was recently banned in Oregon as well: “A temporary ban on the sale of synthetic drugs in Oregon is now permanent. The Oregon Board of Pharmacy issued a new rule yesterday outlawing the sale of drugs known as Spice and K2 that mimic marijuana. Bath salts that have the same effects as meth were also banned in that report as well. ” (Video Source: KOIN) The drug was outlawed in Florida at the start of this year, much to one resident’s despair. The Floridian wrote an editorial on nwfdailynews--and isn’t too pleased. “Florida’s unemployment rate is far worse than the national average, but so what? Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi are embarking on an extravagant, expensive — and probably unnecessary — war against so-called pill mills.” WHTM reports, while some states are going after the bubbly bath salts, it’s still fair game in most of the United States. 'Like' Newsy on Facebook for updates in your news feed Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy